Not a Brunswick County local...just yet

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By Brian Slattery

I received some jarring news earlier this week, and it’s caused me to take a hard look at my life.

At least one person in this county, possibly two, think I can no longer say I’m not from here, that having lived here for nine months is time enough to have assimilated.

Now I’m not from here, but I don’t believe for a second that it is that quick and easy to blend into any new location, even Brunswick County.

I have mulled it over and here are more than a few reasons I think I can’t possibly consider myself at home, just yet.

I do not know any short cuts. I might not need a GPS to get where I’m going all the time anymore, but sometimes I need the GPS to get where I’m going. On top of that I have said to someone almost every day that I have been to or learned about someplace new in Brunswick County.

I do not own anything in Brunswick County. Although I cover the issues, I’m not invested, so to speak, in the tax rates or the amendments to zoning or the cost of upgrading utilities once the county takes over the sewer system or what effect the increase in flood insurance rates will have on my property. I just have to make sure the dryer doesn’t catch fire.

I am not retired. As I have learned since I arrived, most of the people who move to Brunswick County are doing so to enjoy their retirement years in a beautiful location near the coast/water. If my financial adviser is correct, I will not be ready to retire until 2137.

I have not seen one alligator. Whether I ask directly or it just comes up in conversation, everyone who lives in Brunswick County has a story about an alligator — the one that lives in the lake behind their house, the one they saw swimming in a canal or the one that was surfing and had to be removed from the beach or the favorite spot to see the biggest alligator in the county. The only alligators I have seen are on TV. I’m not complaining. But unless I see that one has moved into the little patch of swamp in my front yard to feast on frogs, I haven’t joined that club yet.

And I haven’t been able to block out those infernal frogs, either. There’s no way you can say you’re acclimated to the area if the frogs honking away all night can still keep you awake.

So there are just a handful of reasons why I have not yet settled in enough to say that I am from here. Based on the other places I have worked in North Carolina, my guess is it takes one solid decade before the locals stop looking at you like you still haven’t found your way back to the highway.

But I will have to ask Laura Lewis if that is an accurate assessment, since she is the only one in the newsroom who is closest to reaching her 10th anniversary.




Brian Slattery is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or bslattery@brunswickbeacon.com.