When people hear, "New York," they obviously think of the city, the most populous city in the country. They think of taxis, skyscrapers, and gangsters. They don't think of the state. They never think of the rural area in which we dwell. When something happens in New York City, they assume that we are affected by it. In order to educate the public, I have decided to put on a little geography lesson.
(Oh, I am totally qualified to give such a lesson. I remember getting a 100 in geography in 6th grade, and I have access to the Internet, which is where I found the above map, so I'm pretty much an expert... right? Maybe not...)
Notice that you have to drive the length of three states to get from New York City to our home! As close as we can estimate it, we are 7 hours from the great city, which includes a two hour train ride.
Obviously, it's not insulting to assume that we're closer to NYC than we are. It's not that I dislike being in the same state. I love where we live, but it's completely different from what I expected.
And here's the kicker: people in rural areas are pretty stinkin' similar, whether they're in Alabama, Kentucky, or yes, even New York State.
(Okay, that's more sociology than geography. I'm multi-talented that way.)
The trucks are big, the farmers work hard, and everybody knows everything that happens in town. For the first few months, I had a really hard time remembering how far away we were from our original homes. Then I would pass a sign stating that the Canadian border was one mile away, and I'd have a sudden feeling of desertion, as if I'd just left home.
It's amazing how close a few thousand miles can seem at one moment, and how incredibly far they can seem the next. My mental map had a serious scaling issue. Since then I have developed a better understanding of our location (4 months of snow a year will do that), and a better appreciation for the similarities between yankee country folk and confederates that fall into the same category. We can be distant from where we know while being very close to what we know.