I really wanted to go inside and take some pictures from the inside looking out through the windows, (I love these windows!) but the people who lived next door were eyeing me suspiciously. When I walked toward them to ask permission, they went inside and started watching me through the window. A weird reaction, for sure! So, I got outta there.
I am obviously an "outsider," though -- here's what these people probably thought of me:
* I was not driving a pickup truck. In fact, I was driving a (gasp!) Japanese car.
Of course, I am neither a Charleston resident, nor a Catholic (and the Catholic church is definitely NOT at all what people make it out to be) and I do know a good bit about NASCAR history, although I'm not exactly a fan. But they didn't know that.
This experience really drove home the fact that, no matter how long I live out in the boonies, I will always be a "city person" to the locals. Not that that's a bad thing -- people around here love the outsiders just as much once they get to know you, but there's always that delineation. You're never a local, even if you live here your whole life. And it takes a long time and a lot of work to really be accepted around here. It has taken me since 2001 to start to feel like I really belong here, and the belonging part has really only happened within the last year.
The way I see it, though, I've got the best of both worlds. I work in the city, among the hustle and bustle of city life and gorgeous architectural treasures everywhere you look, but then I can go home and climb trees and catch turtles with the kids and not have to worry about letting them run free through the woods. I can have a cappuccino and look at art galleries during my lunch break, then stop and buy eggs from somebody's house on the way home from work. I live the perfect life for me, long commute or not.
Although, next time I shoot this church, I'm going to drive there in my husband's Ranger, wearing an Earnhardt shirt.