There are numerous elements of life you ponder when driving across country. You notice the obvious shift in topography and the climate that changes in tandem. When you've taken the same path for five years back and forth from where you used to live to where you now live, you begin to find hidden gems in towns and cities along the way. Food coops with amazing sandwiches, parks to take the kids to, hotels that allow dogs, and places to stay where the breakfast is served overlooking the rolling hills and not some parking lot. One thing I've noticed more specifically is that the people change as quickly as the landscape. In Albuquerque people are nice, but guarded. The attitude is similar to a big city although the population may not necessarily reflect one. In eastern Texas things shift toward southern hospitality. Joplin Missouri is amazing, the people will blow you away with kindness but as an eastern girl I often wonder what's hiding inside. By the time you get to St. Louis the shift occurs back toward an east coast stiffness with a midwestern guard. When we arrived in Effingham, Illinois I was completely let down by how little kindness we received from everyone we came in contact with. The southern attitude seems spirited in community whereas the midwestern vibe seems to say every woman for herself.
Like the heaviness of the humidity my heart weighs heavy with our impending move back east.