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Little Rhody

November 6th, 2003 · No Comments

Saw this little essay in Slate this morning about the size of Rhode Island. Ted and I each lived there for seven years, three of them as husband and wife.

When I was a child, growing up, all I knew about RI was that it was the smallest state. I also felt deceived when I realized that it wasn’t really an island. I remember asking my mom if Mercer Island – an island in Lake Washington, a suburb of Seattle, that one can drive across via two bridges – was really an island. It took a picture in the paper to prove it to me. Years later when I headed to RI for college, I didn’t know much more about it.

I sure learned a lot in the seven years we lived there. It is a small state for sure. So small that everyone lives less than six degrees of separation apart. Probably only two or three degrees at most. It has its own language and culture, such as coffee milk and “cabinets”. As we discovered, you are born a Rhode Islander: 70% of the population was born there (and they still live in the same house they were born in, or just down the same street, so it seemed, we joked!).

The state is small yet so large to Rhode Islanders that some natives would pack a big picnic lunch and emergency supplies before driving the 45 minutes to an amusement park on the other side – just in case the car were to break down and leave them stranded so far from home: scary thought to travel such a distance!

Yeah, Rhode Island is a small state. And it’s not an island. Sounds tiny and deceiving. But when we lived there, we found some of the most authentic people and some of the largest hearts who have ever loved us.

Tags: places