life, thoughts

What’s the Difference?

You knew it was coming…my observations on life and the differences between the two states where I’ve lived. First half of my life I lived in Illinois . . .

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Second half of my life I lived in Florida . . .

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Now I’m back in Illinois again.

3guys (1024x683) wmAside from the obvious weather and economic differences in the two places I’ve lived, I’m noticing more subtle differences as well. I’ll probably be popping these up as posts here and there. By all means, if you’d like to share something different about the state you live in too, please do comment.

I wrote about how many more people go outdoors here, but then noticed so much more.

Illinois: In summertime, people drive with their windows down. Many of them have music on too.
Florida: The heat. No way. Even on a pleasant winter day, I rarely saw car windows open.

grasssit (800x393) wmIllinois: The grass is softer. You can walk barefoot in it and even roll around on it.
Florida: Don’t get your skin anywhere near the grass. They are sharp blades growing between gritty sand where fire breathing ants dwell and will bite you on fire! I learned a lesson not to even walk in the grass with sandals or flip-flops on. Those ants know no bounds.

Illinois: The bugs are surprisingly just as bad in both states, just different kinds. And, what’s with the spiders? I haven’t gone a day without seeing one (in my home) since I arrived 3 1/2 months ago. They are fearless here … will crawl right up near you or ON you. They’re fast, and they HOP! I thought there would be less of them because of cold winters to kill them off, but there are just as many if not more. Did I mention I’m petrified of them?
Florida: The spiders stand still with fear when they see you. This makes them easier to catch. But, most bugs are much bigger. They swarmed us every evening on walks with the dogs.

Illinois: Kids climb trees.
Florida: Aside from prickly palm trees, there are climbable trees in Florida, but I don’t ever recall seeing kids climb trees. I don’t know why, unless it’s for the same reason we can’t walk barefoot in the grass.

Illinois: The weather forecasts have been way off several times since I arrived 3 months ago.
Florida: With the exception of hurricane paths, the weather forecasts were more accurate. Then again, there aren’t many weather changes.

Illinois: The sky is like a distant dream, it looks so far away.

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Florida: The sky seems closer to earth, almost like a ceiling. Sometimes its cobalt blue color appeared like a soft surface I could reach up and caress (see above palm tree photo), or like I could grab a cloud and pull it down (see below photo).

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Is the state (or country) you live in like Florida or like Illinois? Is the place where you live have another difference from the things I’ve written here?

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26 thoughts on “What’s the Difference?”

    1. Hi Andrea. I always thought England had weather much like Seattle in the U.S. Pacific Northwest where it rains more often but the climate is mild. It gets cold but not frigid, and doesn’t get heavy snow in winter, just dustings. The summers (usually) don’t get too hot either.But, I’ve never been to England. I just imagine it that way from what I’ve seen on TV.
      There is a lot to observe in these contrasting states for sure. Thanks for reading.

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    1. Hi Joy. Yes, I never thought about the grass when I was growing up in Illinois. Then I moved to Florida and learned real quick about the dangers of walking barefoot in the grass. Thanks for reading about it.

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  1. I have lived in a dozen different states (includes both Florida and Illinois) and visited most of the rest. Some of the differences remain, but it is interesting how many of the differences are now gone as a result of TV, cheap travel, and the internet.

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    1. Hi Charlie. Wow, a dozen different states. Yes, technology does bring us closer together these days. Did you grow up in any one state? Do you have a favorite?

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  2. I have only ever lived in the one state, and on the whole it’s more like Illinois. Moderate and liveable, except the winters I’ve experienced here are milder! I’ve been to the US only once, to California but felt very at home maybe because we have so much exposure to the US via TV, film, music etc but there’s a lot similar in situ, and San Francisco in particular didn’t seem like a different country.

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    1. That’s interesting to learn, EllaDee, that the US didn’t seem much different than Australia. I’ve only been out of the US once … to Europe a long, long time ago (you may remember in my anthology). It was completely different than the US. I thought I had landed on another planet, but in a good way. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  3. Ohio is more like Illinois, though my house doesn’t have as many arachnid visitors. 😉 Before Ohio I’ve lived in Iowa and North Dakota (brrr). The one thing I can say is I keep moving to warmer states!

    I love that you had a sunset photographed from both states. Interesting to see them together like that.

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    1. Do you think you’re in Ohio to stay?

      The sky looks very different in the two states, and I don’t know if those photos captured it. Each is pretty in their own way. Thanks for the nice comment, Carrie.

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    1. Hi Jill. I’m glad you love where you live. I think it’s important to be comfortable in a place. I did love that Florida sky, but I’m also enjoying the weather in Illinois … for now … one day at a time. 🙂

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  4. Having lived in both places, I would have to say the people are much more real in Illinois. We lived in Orange Park, Florida and really felt like I had walked onto a set of the “Stepford Wives” when I lived there. Particularly the women seemed to all dress the same, did the same things, had the same type of names. The houses were all the same, with stucco and pretty facades. I always felt out of place in Florida – or maybe it is just an Orange Park thing. Illinois just seems more real and down to earth to me and maybe a little bit grittier. I like gritty.
    Beautiful photos!!!!

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    1. I completely agree with you about the people, SD. I have written several different blog drafts on the subject of the people in the two different places, and then decided to make it more about the environment instead. Reason being, I found that after 27 years, the people in Illinois have changed … a LOT. Not so much the native Chicagoans, but others. My observations on that subject might sound politically incorrect to some. So, I figured it best I don’t put it into cyberspace where it can never disappear.

      I appreciate your perspective on the two different places. As you know, I never felt like I quite fit in Florida either.

      Do you feel like you fit where you live now? Is that a permanent home for you?

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      1. No, I still don’t feel I really belong here in California. I think to really belong I would have to go all the way back to Australia, but even then with my American accent I probably wouldn’t fit in there either. I think I would like to settle in Washington state or Oregon – it is so green up there, the people are laid back and the gardening is great. I would also like to live on the Isle of Wight, but with the quarantine rules I couldn’t do that to my dogs. So we will have to see over the next couple of years. How have the people in Illinois changed. Have they forsaken that good Midwestern mentality?

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        1. The native Chicagoans definitely still have that good Midwestern mentality. The way it has changed is that it is only about 50% native Chicagoans anymore. I plan to briefly touch on this in a future blog post.

          I can’t imagine having lived in so many different places as you, SD. I could see why it would be difficult to find just the right fit.

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