Sunday, July 02, 2006

TOPIC: An Apology to (Most) Yankees
I recently returned from a 10-day trip to New England. It was my pleasure to travel with our church youth group to Virginia, Washington (DC), Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine. We simply passed through some of those states, but spent a day or more in a few New England states -- primarily New Hampshire, New York and Massachusetts. I have to admit that I owe (most) "yankees" an apology.
Being Southern born and bred, and never having travelled much farther north than Washington, D.C., my perceptions of "northerners" mostly came from experiences with vacationing yankees who drive south each Winter. Many of these folks are less than friendly -- and some are downright jerks. My favorite thing to say to some of the worst was, "If you don't like it down here, I-95 runs north all day. Get on it and DRIVE!"
My perception of "yankees" changed over the past ten days -- especially people from New Hampshire and New York City. While not all have our "Southern hospitality", I found that the majority of the people with whom we interacted were nice, friendly and polite. To say I was amazed is an understatement. To say I was blessed to have people on the streets of NYC speak and smile at me is also an understatment. It was GREAT!
In fact, some of the folks we dealt with in NYC were more polite and well-mannered than some of the kids who were on the trip with us. New England -- my apologies to you for assuming you would all be rude and unfriendly. I love your area of the country -- and I'm very glad I went. I hope to visit you again soon, too. God bless and keep up the good work!

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