Laura Rennie

blog swap - A Marylander's POV

Laura R.1 Comment
Today's post is brought to you from my friend Sam, the creative mastermind behind brights and grafs. Sam hails from East New Market, MD and moved to Harrisonburg, VA to finish college at Eastern Mennonite University. We met last summer when she joined the features staff at the Daily News-Record and now I can't imagine life without her silly facial expressions, witty humor and generous heart. I could (and should) fill a book with all of the emails we've sent each other. 

Since Sam is living in my home state and I'm now living in hers, we thought it would be fun to put together a home state questionnaire and swap blogs for a day. You can read my answers about Virginia here.

Take it away, Sam!
(and yes, she knows she's a Taylor Swift look-alike)

this captures my Maryland experience the best:
a catfish on the line in my dad's boat, sun setting on the Choptank River

1. What would you say are the best and worst features of Maryland?
The beaches are the best, of course! The ocean still is my year-round cure for heartache, stress, boredom...sounds crazy, but being landlocked makes me claustrophobic at times. The worst feature is that it takes so long to get anywhere. There aren't really any "walkable" cities, and it can take 40 minutes just to get between towns on Delmarva.

2. If someone came to visit for a day that had never been to your home state, what would be on the agenda?
We'd have a crab-crackin' feast at my parent's house, on my grandparent's old picnic table in the backyard. What's next depends on the friend's style: to Ocean City for soaking up the sun all day and hitting up the floating bars and dance scenes at night, or to St. Michaels or Annapolis for slow-paced window shopping, coffee, desserts, etc.

3. Do you consider yourself a Northerner or a Southerner?
I like to consider myself a Northerner. But it's taken me three years to shake my "Southern" accent. An occasional "wooter" and "dayd" sometimes slip. I'm probably the opposite of Laura: A Southerner with more Northern values and tendencies.

4. What scents do you think of when you picture Maryland in your mind?
That depends on if I'm picturing the coasts -- tangy with sand, salt, sweat, Dolle's caramel popcorn and Thrasher's fries -- or the back roads around my home, a marshy smell I'm not sure anyone but a local would appreciate.

5. What's one thing people from your home state do better?
Tourism. We've got Baltimore, Ocean City, Annapolis, and they're all very tourist-catered without forgetting the locals.

6. How would you describe a typical Marylander?
That's hard to define, since the Western and Eastern Shores are so different! But a Delmarva native is laid-back, much like a central/southern Virginian.

7. If you relationship with your home state had a theme song, what would it be?
Alright, I have several. "Electric Feel" by MGMT: I don't have a reason for it, just reminds me of summertime. And I know it's cliche, but everytime "Hometown Glory" by Adele comes on I almost lose it! Adele why you gotta be so soulful gurl. Also, "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding makes me feel all wistful (even though it's really about the 'Frisco Bay).

8. You're defending your state against a hater: what sharp comeback do you use to stand up for yourself?
AMERICA IN MINIATURE: BOOM.

9. What flavor(s) come to mind when you think of your hometown?
My mom's generations-old crabcake recipe that no one else can do right. Saltwater taffy. Black-eyed peas with vinegar. Seven layer cake. Onion grass. Chicken houses (**Sam meant to put "chicken houses" under question 4, haha**)

10. Tell us about a memory when you felt really "at home."
One that stands out was a night with my best friend years ago, before I moved to Harrisonburg for school. We were bored, as we always were back home, and went down to the park near the river. We waded around in the black glassy water and thought about how we'd never be in the same places as the same people again. Facing the fleeting ways people and places change made me appreciate my time in Maryland even more, and makes me cherish my time in Virginia now.

bonus question:
What was your favorite and least favorite thing about living in Maryland?
Favorite: You can't drive 20 minutes in any direction without crossing a scenic body of water.
Least favorite: hate to say it, but often it's the people. Racism/sexism/religious intolerance are all very much alive where I'm from. No region's perfect, but I've been acquainted with some pretty ignorant folks.