My family and I will eventually be moving to Missouri, to serve at Missionary Acres. Since many of our deputation meetings have been cancelled, we were blessed with the opportunity to spend most of the summer at the Acres. It was the first time we’ve all been down here together, and we learned some surprising things about Missouri.
As you read these, please don’t get the idea that we didn’t like being down here. We truly enjoyed our time here, and are looking forward to moving back down.
There were just somethings that were completely different compared to life in Washington State that they surprised us. Some in a good way, some in a not so great way. But, now we will know what to expect when we come back…
1. Humid Hot Is Really Hot
Washington State isn’t exactly humid. At least, not in Eastern Washington where we live. It gets hot in the summer, but it is nothing like the heat we experienced down here.
Humid hot is really, really hot. It’s just different. And it sort of sucks the energy out of you.
It’s also strange to feel so sticky when you go outside. There have been days when multiple showers were needed just to try to feel clean in the humidity.
On a similar note, we don’t have an air conditioner back home. It gets hot, but it cools down enough at night that we’ve always managed fine with windows and fans.
Here? I’m so thankful for the AC!
2. Different Road Kill
Back up in Washington, we typically see deer and skunks on the side of the road. Here, it’s a completely different animal. There are so many squished armadillos. Ew!
The first time we saw one, everyone was peering out the window trying to figure out what this strange creature was. Then we saw another…and another.
We see some every time we drive. It must have something to do with the fact that they’re nocturnal and hard for drivers to see. Poor little critters.
3. Short Trees
I really miss the mountains and pine trees back home. There are trees here, but they are really short. They are pretty in their own way, but it is so strange to look out and see the tops of all of the trees when you drive.
The mountains here are also short. I’m pretty sure they’re what we call hills back in Washington, but everyone here calls them mountains. 😀
4. So Many Churches
Back west, good churches are few and far between. We have to drive over an hour from our home church to get to another one.
There are seriously so many churches. It is incredible. The kids had fun counting them as we drove to go shopping.
5. Friendly People
On average, the people down in Missouri are way more friendly. It’s not unusual to strike up a conversation with a total stranger.
This was a little odd for me, since I’m definitely an introvert, but at the same time, I really enjoyed it. It was nice to see more people smiling and being kind. The world could use a lot more of this!
The kids and I had some conversations about this, and how there are different cultures within the same country.
6. Rich History
One of the first things the kids noticed as we drove across the country was that the further east we went, the more cemeteries we saw. This got us talking about how this part of the country has been growing for longer than the western part.
There is so much history here. And when we get back here when quarantine isn’t a thing, we’re going to explore the historical sites nearby.
7. Small State
It takes us all day to drive across Washington. States back west are just larger. Missouri on the other hand? I know it’s larger than many eastern states, but it’s tiny compared to Washington!
In a single day, we did a fun drive that took us into Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri. Granted, it was a long day. But, it was still a ton of states for that time.Especially when you consider the fact that we spent nearly an entire day driving through Montana when we came down here in June…
8. Stinky Rain
Back home, the rain is so refreshing. It cools everything down and the smell when you walk outside afterwards is amazing. It’s fresh and pine-y and just wonderful.
The first time it rained while we were here, we were so excited. We went running outside to get some relief from the heat. That was a mistake.
It was hot outside still. So now we were hot and wet.
And the smell?
It didn’t get better. It got worse. Much, much worse. It seriously smelled like dirty socks or something.
That was a surprise.
9. Beware the Grass
About a week after we got here, one of the staff members warned us to stay out of the grass, since it was chigger season.
Having no idea what chiggers were, we didn’t think much of it. And, soon, the kids were all back to playing outside. On the grass…
A few days later, we noticed these strange marks on their legs.
Yup, chigger bites. All over.
I think everyone got at least a couple of bites while we were here. Owen got hit the worst. He had a lot of energy one day, and I wanted him to get some fresh air so we went outside. He crawled off the deck and played in the grass. The next day, his legs looked like they were polka dotted. Poor boy.
We did look up chiggers and learned a lot. And if anyone has any idea how to clear up chigger bites (that actually works), we’d love to hear!
10. New Stores
When you live and shop in the same area for almost your entire life, you kind of get used to things. It was sort of fun to see some new stores down here in Missouri.
We didn’t make it into all of them, since we were trying to keep shopping to a minimum during Covid. However, we did go into a few. I’m looking forward to exploring more when we get back down here.
A few of the stores we don’t have in the Spokane area:
- Dollar General
I know there are more, but those are the ones that seem to be everywhere down here.
Have You Ever Been to Missouri?
Was there anything that surprised you about it compared to where you came from?