See, it takes me awhile to get comfortable somewhere. A true military brat, I never bothered with things like "settling down" and "establishing roots" somewhere. I became old friends with the fear of being the new kid every August. I'd walk in the classroom - always late, because new kids can never be on time! - and pause in the doorway thinking "I am really gonna pee my pants this time". When I met my husband, he wasn't interested in leaving Rhode Island. Like, ever. "Rhode Island is the greatest state in the country!" he'd say in his [adorable] New England accent. "You got mountains, you got ocean, you got the four seasons here ... what else d'ya need?". My answer was always the same, "I don't know .... something".
Here in North Carolina, the natives seem to have a true sense of community. Neighbors wave while passing by. They recommend their teenage sons to mow your lawn or put out the garbage cans on Friday. Gaggles of kids whiz down the asphalt on their bikes, off on their Saturday adventures. The sidewalks are cheerfully littered with chalk art; an after school group effort, letting us all know that BEN WUZ HEER, with your kids and their kids and those other kids from a block away.