“You Are Not From Around Here.”

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Every store I have walked into since arriving in this warm-in-all-the-right-ways-place has found me answering a question I think I have only answered in faraway spots like Petra, Papua New Guinea, or Petionville, Haiti. And what is that question?

Where are you from?

Of course the question can be easily reshaped into a statement, one that, like the question, I have heard much this past week: You are not from around here. It’s a simple statement really, designed to declare the obvious, with all six words working in concert with facial expressions that reveal a mixture of curiosity, caution, and concern. This, obviously, begs for a response from me like, “Well right . . . I’m from Texas,” to which people generally respond with something akin to Whoa.

Or, for some, it is Woe. After all, the immediate follow-up (and this without exception!) is, Didn’t anyone warn you about the weather? It aways culminates with a discussion about the weather.

Ah, yes, the weather. Strangely, since arriving at our new home in Fargo late last week the temperatures have been in the lower 90s. It’s almost as if that hot Dallas weather decided jump in the saddle and trace our 1,200 mile trek to the supposedly frozen north. Indeed, some days this past week found Fargo warmer than Dallas! But let’s not fool ourselves. We know it will change.

And soon.

At least that is what everyone tells me, right after they chuckle when I tell them I’ve just arrived from Texas.

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