But You'll Never Take the Kentucky out of a Kentuckian
Hancock County, Kentucky
Although I was born and raised in Kentucky (Madisonville, Ky to be exact) and have lived here most of my life, including now (Owensboro) – I have lived in a few other states over the years. I realized, right off the bat, that “outsiders” just don’t get it.
They don’t get a lot of things.
I’ll never forget the first time I tried to order “sweet tea” in Illinois. Hearing the accent, the server smiled and said she’d bring me an unsweet tea and a package of sugar.
I knew then that you were risking everything you held dear when you left the safe confines of the Bluegrass State.
At least the server in Illinois had a (weak as it was) solution. In Kansas, they’d never heard of fried green tomatoes or fried okra, so a solution was out of the question.
Don’t even think of ordering grits in some states. They’ll look at you like you have three heads – and not one of the three speaks their language.
They don’t “grill out” in a lot of other states either, they “barbecue.”
Barbecue. DO NOT tell a Kentuckian your “barbecuing” unless BBQ is actually involved. You’ll just break their heart.
Oh! Speaking of “hearts,” they don’t bestow as many blessings on hearts elsewhere in the country. As Kentuckians we freely give out these blessings…
- “Well, bless your heart…”
- “Awww, bless her heart…”
- “Oh! Bless his heart!”
I got an e-mail a few days ago telling me about an article published online called 30 Things No One Tells You About Leaving Kentucky. They said I might want to share it with my readers.
Bless their hearts.
(Continued below the picture…)
John James Audubon State Park, Henderson
I got a big kick out of the list and identified with quite a few – especially these:
- The Wildcats will always be your home team. Absolutely! We’ve worn UK tees and sweatshirts in Indiana (that was especially fun), Illinois, Iowa, Florida, and Kansas. They’re always your team and you’re always proud to let the whole world know it.
- You’ll long for lazy days at a Bluegrass Festival. Diet Coke in one hand while the other taps out a beat on your knee… good times!
- You’ll be asked to repeat things. Yep. Although, to be honest, I’m certain they understand us, they just want to hear it again. If I had a dime for every time I’ve had to repeat “y’all” I’d be one rich Kentuckian.
- There’s not a more beautiful place to explore the outdoors. TRUTH. If you travel much outside of the state, you’ll be struck (each time you return) by the vivid colors. The GREENs and BLUEs in Kentucky are simply more pronounced than just about anywhere else. We have trees, hills, horse farms, and such beautiful wildlife and birds here. Truth be told, we’re pretty spoiled.
- There’s no nice like “Kentucky nice.” This is another one that you have to experience for yourself to realize just how true it is. Sure, there are pleasant and friendly people everywhere, but there’s just something different about a nice Kentuckian. After experiencing the difference a few times, I nailed it… an especially nice Floridian, Iowan, Hoosier, Tennessean (insert any of the 49 others) will treat you like a friend. The average Kentuckian treats you like you’re family. That’s why we wave at strangers… they’re cousins, aunts, uncles…
- You never get used to unsweet tea. No. Way. In. Heck.
I hope you’ll click through and see which of the 30 you identify with. It’s a really funny article and you’ll find yourself nodding in agreement more than once: 30 Things No One Tells You About Leaving Kentucky.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a tall glass of sweet tea with my name on it…