While the traditional “welcome to the neighborhood” muffin basket was not delivered to our door as I had so hoped (and quite frankly expected), we undoubtedly have been exposed to a few regional and small-town uniquities (yes, I just coined a new word; feel free to use it as long as you give me the credit)…
You’uns: Often shortened to “yunz or yinz,” this is western Pennsylvanians’ version of y’all. Don’t be surprised if a waitress with classic 80s bangs asks, “What yunz want?” when taking your order at the local Eat’n Park.
Redd: The equivalent to “clean,” you will often hear (and read about) western Pennsylvanians redding up their house or participating in a redd-up effort to pick up litter.
Oh my gaaawsh: Translated to “oh my gosh” in the rest of the world, New Yorkers have nothing on native western Pennsylvanians. If we wind up having children here, you can rest assured they’ll be sent away when it’s time for them to learn to speak.
Pierogi: Mmm, pierogis, where have you been all my life? A pierogi is basically a combination of mashed potatoes and cheese wrapped in buttery dough, aka a seriously good dumpling. They even serve pierogi pizzas. Why do I have a feeling I’m going to gain weight living here?
Haluski: Haluski is a Slovak word for cabbage and noodles. It might sound healthy (or slightly disgusting), but don’t let it fool you. It’s not healthy because it’s fried and buttery (and it’s not disgusting because it’s fried and buttery).
A gob is also known as a whoopie pie in other parts of the country. It doesn’t get any better than diabetic-coma-inducing cream sandwiched between two chocolate cakes.
Gears: Apparently even cars with automatic transmissions have them. Driving down some of our hills feels like being in the front row of a roller coaster ride. And it felt like it, too, until I found first gear. 🙂
Thunderstorms: I would never take away Florida’s title of being lightening capital of the world, BUT…suffice it to say that I actually buried my head under my pillow during my first mountain-top thunderstorm.
No, UPS does not wait after they ring your doorbell here. Apparently that and muffin baskets are no longer in vogue no matter where you live, but there are still a few tell-tale signs that we are living in a small town.
HS football: The first Saturday morning we were here, we were startled by the numerous sirens blaring down our usually quiet street, sounding as though they were rushing to save the entire town. Imagine our surprise when we found that the source of the ruckus was a police escort for the high school football team, headed to their first game. Taking a walk later that afternoon, we were amazed to see a yard sign for every player on the team posted up and down the street. The Westies (as they fondly refer to themselves) are the Gators of our borough.
Festivals galore: Eating, music, and crafts, oh my! Every weekend is festival weekend. Arts and crafts festivals, ethnic festivals, music festivals. And the Potato Fest. Seriously. I couldn’t make that up if I tried.
Well, I’m off to find a gob. You’uns be sure to come visit us soon; we’ll even redd up the house and take yunz to a festival or two!