"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Friday, March 8, 2013

Good vs. Bad

So this one has nothing to do with horses, but rather with our new home. It is a big change from what we are used to, and while there is a lot to love, there are also lots and lots of rules here that we are still learning.

So first, the bad part, just to get it out of the way:

Things We Dislike About Maryland (some are specific to Montgomery County):

1. What is up with grocery stores not selling beer? If we want beer, we have to go to the liquor store. Which is not a bad thing, I guess, as it has exposed us to lots of other beers we wouldn't have met otherwise (Flying Dog Kujo, Stella Artois, Abbey Tripel), but it IS one more stop when you just want to get home and start dinner...

2. The HUGE, EXPENSIVE PITA that is registering out-of-state cars in Maryland. Jeez! And we're not done with that one yet...When I got my car, the dealership gave me FREE tints! It was the first time I've ever had tinted windows on a car of my own. But they were too dark here and didn't pass the safety inspection the first time, so I had to have them removed. I almost cried.

3. OMG: the SPEED CAMERAS! For the first time ever in my life, I have received a speeding ticket via mail...for driving 42 mph. On a main street in the city. WTF????

4. Chipotle's guac isn't as good as it was in Florida Chipotles. Back in FL, the guac has onions, tomatoes and cilantro. Here it just tastes like avocado. I hope this was just bad luck and it will be better at other Chipotles in the area...This is SO trivial. *lol* Only mentioning this one because Charles and I were on a FL vs MD kick yesterday while at Chipotle, so of course this one got added to the list.

5. The mud. I want summer to come so the mud will end!

6. You must stop before you make a right turn with a red light, or you'll get another ticket mailed to your home. Charles is having a REALLY hard time remembering this one. We're Puertorrican drivers, for Chrissakes'! Back on the island, it was okay to pass cars using the emergency lane. At 95 miles per hour. So that gives you an idea. *lol*

7. State (and county!) income tax.

Ok, and now the good part:

Things We Love About Maryland:

1. Seasons!

2. The fact that this place actually has a history and is Somewhere. Sure, FL has a history-Ponce de Leon died there. Can you think of anything else?

Uh-huh. Didn't think so.

3. Easy access to D.C., VA, and West VA. Plus we live 10 minutes walking distance to one of the Metro stations. The world is ours!

4. Amazing variety of healthy cat food and decent cat litter. I'm still astounded. I'm like a kid in a candy store every time I walk into Petco to choose stuff for the cats...

5. The bakery at our local grocery store is amazing. Must stop buying strawberry shortcake! We have yet to visit Wegmans, which I've heard is even better...

7. SO much to see and do! We really do have a never ending list of places to visit and things to do. We're just waiting till it's a little warmer to get started. I mean, this place has beaches (we went to go to Ocean City!), and MOUNTAINS, and snow (it's the first time EVER where I've lived in a place with seasons, AND beaches AND mountains), and real trails for going hiking. HIKING! And camping! And that's just for starters...

8. We can actually drive to NY in the same amount of time it used to take us to drive to Orlando. I like this trade-off better!

9. The people. Mid-westerners say Marylanders are hot-tempered (I keep hearing this at work). I just don't see it. Even when talking to stressed-out clients on the phone during my emergency shifts, I still don't see it.  Maybe compared to people from the Midwest, yes, but not when compared to South FL! Example: I was at the grocery store today and one of the refrigerators was leaking. A girl and her mom saw it, and promptly went to let one of the employees know what was going on. And they told him nicely. Who does that? Certainly no one in South FL.

You know what's funny? A little over 3 years ago, I was working as an Oncology/Internal Medicine vet tech at a huge specialty hospital in the Fort Lauderdale area. My doctor was one of the busiest specialists in the entire building, and on this particular day, the lobby was FULL of people. It was probably close to the holidays, and people were trying to get their pets in for a last round of chemo before they left on vacation, or wanting a last-minute internal medicine workup before Christmas. Everyone in that lobby was in a bad mood. It was utter chaos, and it didn't help that our service was running behind. I went out to get the next appointment, and that's when I saw them-a mom and her teenaged girl, with their cat. They were sitting patiently in their chairs, quiet, and CHEERFUL, amidst a flurry of barking and/or unruly dogs, complaining people, clients yelling at the receptionists, pet owners talking to one another in loud voices. These people. Quiet and happy. It was like an aura of light surrounded them, with a choir of angels singing above their heads...The difference between their current state and the rest of the people in the lobby was that marked!

Of course, they were visiting from out of state for the week (obviously they weren't locals-you could tell that from 8 miles away...), and their cat had become sick. They had gone to an emergency vet, who had referred them to us. I can't for the life of me remember what was wrong with their cat. I think it was fairly young, and I know it turned out to be something not quite that serious-they were going to follow up with their regular vet once they returned home. What I do remember is how NICE these two women were. They were very concerned about their kitty, yet they still found it in themselves to smile, to be patient, to be polite, to not take their worry out on us. As techs, we were constantly abused by clients, especially the high-maintenance internal medicine clients. Not these two. They were as sweet to me as they were to our doctor. We talked about these two women for the next couple of weeks-they were in stark contrast to the average pet owner that walked through our doors. I figured they must come from some magical land where everyone was always happy and rosy. *lol* I said, many times, and I was only half-joking: "I wouldn't mind moving to wherever it is they came from, if everyone is like that!"

We did find out where they were from before their appointment ended.

They were from Maryland.

"And when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." 


  1. Blue Laws.. you probably can't buy alcohol on Sunday either.. so outdated.

  2. Haha! We hadn't tried that yet-thanks for the heads-up! I was talking to one of the girls at work, and apparently it's even worse in Pittsburg, where she's from. Yes, very outdated!