Our family has been in Indiana for two weeks now. For the most part, it has been an exceptionally smooth transition. Thanks to help from folks at our new church, we were mostly unpacked in just one day and had meals provided for our first week. The boys jumped right into summer camps and we have figured out how to get to Target, the grocery store and the nearest DQ.
I thought I’d share some of my initial impressions of our new locale, particularly in comparison to our previous life of nearly 11 years in North Carolina although we also lived in Minnesota (Twin Cities) for five years prior to that.
- The first thing I noticed is that people here smoke more, which is ironic because North Carolina is a major tobacco producer. However, apparently we lived in a very health-conscious area of the state. Here in Indy, I see people smoking everywhere: walking on the street, outside of stores and restaurants, and in their yards and garages while working outside.
- This is probably related, but folks in this part of Indy also seem less concerned with healthy eating habits. For example, there are no Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods on our side of the city. It’s not that I shopped at those stores, but I do think their absence speaks to the general level of health-consciousness, or lack thereof.
- Again on the subject of food, one positive is that many foods are much cheaper here, especially produce and some dairy products. I have not done much comparison of meat prices but was pleased with my initial grocery re-stock excursions.
- The summers here are much more comfortable than in North Carolina. Although it’s been hot this week (in the 90s), it is less humid, there’s been a pleasant breeze, and the evenings still bring a relief from the heat. On the flip side, I know I will definitely miss the mild NC winters.
- It stays lighter much later here in the summer. As we near the longest day of the year, we have enjoyed evening light until after 10 p.m. and sunrise around 5:30 a.m. Again, the tradeoff will be shorter days in the winter.
- In our part of the state, football is bigger than basketball. There are still a lot of basketball fans, but the dominant topic around here is the Colts. It’s amazing how Peyton Manning almost single-handedly turned Indianapolis into a football town.
- Indianapolis seems to have much to offer yet also seems to be a very “accessible” city. It is almost exactly the same size as Charlotte, NC so it has many big-town opportunities (sports, the arts, a major airport) yet it is still easy to drive from one side of the city to the other. Our town in particular, although only 20 minutes from downtown, definitely feels like a “hometown” and not just a metropolitan suburb.
- The Department (or Bureau, as they call it here) of Motor Vehicles was the most friendly and efficient I have ever experienced. I was in and out in just over an hour with multiple transactions completed. A complete non-event compared to other places we’ve lived.
- After living in the Durham/Chapel Hill area for so long, I had forgotten how transient that area is compared to the rest of the country. Many people we’ve met in Greenwood have lived here all their lives. In our part of NC, by contrast, it was rare to find a true Durham or Chapel Hill native.
All in all, we are enjoying our new town, city and state. Thanks again for your prayers throughout our transition!