life, thoughts

What’s the Difference this Time?

n1ma0epI’ve still been contemplating more of the subtle differences between the two places I’ve lived in my life, Illinois and Florida. I’m skipping the very obvious weather and economic differences. I’m also not talking about people, but environments.

Illinois: The houses are much older. I’m not speaking of the Victorian homes that have character, but the Cape Cod’s, bi-levels and raised ranches. The newer homes are mostly townhouses, and there are lots of them. Then, there are the brand new mansions. They knock down a home in the middle of an old neighborhood to build them. It looks lopsided with a 900-square-foot house next to a 5000-square-foot mansion. You can see what I mean below.

mansion1 (800x443)The mansion was so big I couldn’t even get it all in the photo.

Florida: There are not many townhouses in this state, but they are overloaded with apartment buildings. There are a lot more one-story homes (ranche-style) with split floor plans (bedrooms on opposite sides of the house). I miss our house’s floor plan back in Florida.

Illinois: You can get to where you are going by cutting through lots of side streets. The speed limit is slower on side roads, but it can help avoid stand-still traffic jams.
Florida: There were mostly main streets or highways. Homes were built in walled-off subdivisions that wound around themselves and didn’t go through to more than one main road.

Illinois: Speed limits on all streets are marked slower, probably for the reason marked in the above Illinois observation.
Florida: Speed limits on all streets are marked faster.

ILHills2 (800x420) wm

Illinois: When I grew up here, I was always under the impression that Illinois was without hills. Cheeseheads (Wisconsinites) used to affectionately (or not so affectionately) call us Flatlanders. But, since we moved back, I’m noticing many of the streets we drive on are hilly (above photo is taken from a stoplight atop a hill). There is nothing especially scenic about them, but I’m surprised that I don’t remember. Perhaps living in flat, swampy Florida for so long, I am just appreciating my new surroundings more.
Florida: No hilly streets anywhere in the vicinity of where I lived, maybe with the exception of Brooksville. Most of Florida land is at sea level.

Illinois: Being on Central Standard Time, primetime TV starts at 7pm, which I can’t seem to get used to.
Florida: Being on Eastern Standard Time, primetime TV starts at 8pm, which I had a hard time adjusting to when I first moved there, too.

Side note: The following is not a political statement, just an observation.

Illinois: The ATM’s have way more buttons to choose. When I left 27 years ago, there were mostly native born Chicagoans. Since I returned, I’ve observed an influx of immigrants, and not from one specific country, but from all over the world. I seem to only run into native Chicagoans and English speaking people about fifty percent of the time (in stores, restaurants, post office, bank, etc).

atmlang (800x437)There is a ‘more’ button!

Florida: The ATM’s have fewer buttons to choose and automatically go to English, but there are not many native born Floridians. Many are transplants from different parts of the U.S. who are escaping northern winters. The immigrants in this state seem to be mostly from a mix of Latin American countries.

Is the place where you live like either of these two states? Can you share something different (than these things) about where you live?

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19 thoughts on “What’s the Difference this Time?”

  1. We have lots of traffic circles (roundabouts) in Maryland that didn’t exist in Illinois when I was growing up. Although, I understand they’re beginning to appear. And we have history that goes back a lot farther out here. 🙂

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    1. I haven’t seen a roundabout here anywhere yet. They can get confusing if people aren’t paying attention. Yes, the history where you are is a longer one, which is always fun to explore. Thanks for sharing what it’s like by you, JM.

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  2. Interesting post, Lori! I, too, notice how East Coast-centric America is.

    Out in the Pacific NW, there are very few homes with basements–too wet, I imagine. Also, on the highways (they call them freeways), there are lots of exits and entrances that are on the left side of the road. I find those very disconcerting! People are generally friendlier here–more helpful in stores, more willing to let you merge into traffic. And they recycle everything out here!

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    1. It’s fun to have these little discoveries of differences when first settling in.

      We didn’t have basements in Florida either, since the land was at sea level.

      Left-hand exists on the highway (freeway is different for me too) DOES sound disconcerting. Something you have to learn to grow accustomed to.

      Thanks for sharing the discoveries in differences you’ve found, Lorna. Hope you’re feeling better these days.

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  3. In Australia there are variations and rivalries between states and capital cities. Melbourne vs Sydney… competition for sporting events and cuisine/lifestyle superiority, NSW & Queensland compete via the rugby league for sporting supremacy. Language can be confusing… in NSW a pot is something you cook food in, in Victoria it’s a small glass of beer. In NSW we say peanut butter, in Queensland and Western Australia the same thing is called peanut paste.

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    1. That’s interesting to learn that the vernacular is different in parts of Australia. In Chicago we call soda pop (Coke, Pepsi, etc), “pop.” When I said that word in Florida, they had no idea what I was referring to. It took me a minute to figure out what word to use that they would understand … “soda.” Thank you for sharing about Australia, EllaDee. The culture there doesn’t sound so different than here.

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    1. That’s interesting to learn that those “McMansions” are misplaced in Georgia, too. They knock down an old home in the neighborhood to build them. I wonder if one day all the small homes will be replaced by those ginormous ones.

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  4. I grew up in Herman and Galesburg in Illinois, lived in Florida for a short bit of time, and now live in a spot of forest between the mountains and ocean here in the Pacific Northwest…I agree with your observations about both locations. It is always interesting to see the same bits of the world through someone else’s eyes and get a recounting of their observations.

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    1. Galesburg is quite a ways from me. Are there hills there? Aside from the reputation of having rainy days, the Pacific NW sounds so beautiful and with basically mild weather. Sounds like you’ve found a lovely home, Charlie. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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  5. When I lived in Florida, I saw a lot of mansions plunked next to small houses or double-wides. Moving from Virginia to Florida, I definitely missed the rolling hills. I’m not a fan of flat ground, although the ocean was beautiful.

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    1. Hi Jill. When I first moved to Florida, you could see a mansion next to a shack (or a trailer). Over time, I saw less & less of that, and lots of middle-to-upper-class homes built in humongous subdivisions. I’m not a fan of flat ground either, and why I’m pleasantly surprised about the small hills here. I lived closer to the gulf side in Florida, but it was a distance to the beach (50 miles). I couldn’t get a glimpse of its beauty on a regular basis. Only got there maybe 4 times a year.

      Thanks for sharing your experience with Florida and Virginia.

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  6. I can’t get over the contrast of the two houses in that picture. Wow. Talk about a David and Goliath image.

    I grew up in and then trained in states that had a 7 pm start to primetime TV. It made perfect sense to me. Until I moved to the Eastern Time Zone. Now I can’t imagine shows kicking off at 7 pm. Not that I ever watch shows on schedule–I set the DVR and watch maybe an hour before I go to bed. But still, seven just seems so early now.

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    1. I know, those houses are crazy, right? There are about 2 to 3 of those Goliath homes between old, small houses on each street.
      I know what you mean about primetime TV. I thought it was too late to start it when I first moved to Florida. Now, 7pm seems too early.
      We got rid of the DVR when we moved. More expensive to live here, so we’re trying to cut back where we can. I do miss it, but we watch OnDemand now.

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  7. Hi Lori. What is up with that enormous house squished in between all the normal size houses – doesn’t make any sense. I miss Illinois with it’s rolling hills. Florida was way too flat for my tastes – we lived in Jacksonville. Presently, we live in the Central Valley of California, where everything is pretty flat, but on good days we can see the towering Sierras which are quite impressive and their sheer enormity will take your breath away. I always think about the pioneers trying to make it across those mountain ranges, and it blows my mind – that they actually made it. Hope all is well with your family!!!!

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    1. Yeah, they’re doing that squishing of enormous houses between small homes in lots of old neighborhoods now. The Sierras sound majestic. The hills here are puny, but I hadn’t remembered them, and I’m pleased to discover them after those marshy, flat lands of Florida. Hope you and your family are well, too, SD.

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