Transplant Profile: Southerner by choice, Katie Sciba talks sweet tea, Southern vocab and beating culture shock

Nothing makes the South shine like seeing it through the eyes of a Southerner-by-choice. While Transplant Profiles usually feature born-and-raised Southerners living outside the region, this week’s contributor is a Midwesterner who moved South six years ago. Funny thing about people from the Midwest – they’re hard to impress. If anyone rivals Southerners for having pride of place, it’s Midwesterners. “New” Southerner and author of The Catholic Wife blog, Katie Sciba, shares her experience in adopting “y’all” into her vocabulary as well as a few other worthwhile adaptations she’s made since putting down roots in Louisiana.
@TheCatholicWife and Southerner by choice, Katie Sciba talks sweet tea, Southern vocab and beating culture shock today on the blog! | StayingSouthern.net

(Photo credit: Chip Methvin)

Name: Katie Sciba

Born in: Newport News, VA but grown in Omaha, NE (military brat)

Occupation: Columnist and at-home mom

I currently live in: Shreveport, LA

I transplanted because: Visiting future in-laws with my husband Easter of 2008, he was introduced to the principal at the local Catholic high school. By the end of the conversation, he had a job offer. Two weeks after our wedding in June, we filled a Uhaul and drove down to start a brand new life.

Similarities I found between the South and other places I lived: I’ve described both Midwesterners and Southerners as the nicest people I’ve ever met. Both will bend over backwards to make sure you’re taken care of in times of need and the abundance of care and concern is humbling. It’s been a real blessing to have experienced in both places.

The most drastic difference between the South and other places: The PACE, good grief, the PACE!! In the Midwest, there’s not much time to chat in passing because the work ethic dictates that play comes later. Every man is on his mission and people go go go til quittin’ time. Down here, life is slower, which drove me bananas at first. I remember pushing a cart (what they’d call a buggy here) at Target, getting stuck behind a pair of sauntering Southern belles in a narrow aisle. Cruising at a pace slightly faster than a turtle, I couldn’t get over how much they weren’t in a rush. It wasn’t until I learned to slow down myself that the culture shock wore off.

A Southern habit or value I adopted: It’s almost embarrassing, but I say y’all now. My whole life I made fun of it, and now I’ve proudly added to my vernacular.  The Midwestern counterpart “you guys,” still slips in here and there, but “y’all” feels much more natural. I’m also a huge fan of Sweet Tea and so enchanted by the flavor of Southern life.

How living in the South has changed me: It’s expanded my horizons – I just tore apart and ate crawfish for the first time a couple weekends ago (after living here for nearly 6 years). It’s been fantastic experiencing things outside of what I knew during my upbringing. And I really have learned to slow down, generally speaking, to enjoy life instead of rushing through it like I did before.

Morsel of wisdom to other “new” Southerners: Give your A/C a tune up for the 6-month long summer. I’ll never forget how shockingly hot it was when we moved down here, and how long it lingered into what was “supposed” to be autumn. Other than that? Just dive in. It might not make sense at first, but every nuance of the South has some delightful reason behind it that’s worth savoring.

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Would you or someone you know make a great candidate for a Transplant Profile? Write me!

Read another Transplant Profile here

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Josh Abbott Band: Honest-to-goodness country on tour near you

Throughout history, many great things have come from Texas.

Tex-Mex. The Schlitterbahn. Whataburger. Chuck Norris.

And a recent addition to the list: the Josh Abbott Band.

You may remember these Texas boys from their 2011 release “Oh, Tonight” featuring Kacey Musgraves, but like so many quality artists, the really good songs fly under the radar. Exhibit A:


Hands down the best comparison drawn between a woman and anything, ever.

The Josh Abbott Band doesn’t rest on merely referencing Southern landmarks in their lyrics; they paint a much heartier picture. Listening to “Road Trippin” actually makes it feel 10 degrees warmer outside and gives me the urge to wear sunglasses regardless of what time of day it may be.

“I’ll Sing About Mine” offers a refreshing take on what much of mainstream country music has forgotten about – real life.

“When the radio’s on, I just don’t understand, because tractor’s ain’t sexy and working is hard for small town people like me.”


Good news for Southerners living off the beaten path – the band is making its rounds to Illinois, Colorado and Kansas this July.

Josh Abbott Band: Honest-to-goodness country on tour | StayingSouthern.net

(joshabbottband.com)

July 4: Willie’s 4th of July Picnic: Willie Nelson, Dierks Bentley, Ryan Bingham, and more TBA! Fort Worth, TX
July 12: Bub City BBQ Festival, Chicago, IL
July 17: Cavalcade Rodeo, Pawhuska, OK 
July 25: Grizzly Rose, Denver, CO
July 27: Dodge City Days, Dodge City, KS

Click here for more upcoming tour dates.