Signs can tell us where we are. They tell us something of the culture we're inhabiting. They provide boundaries, assurance, that we are in familiar territory.
So I've been paying attention to the signs around me as we have a week here in Orlando. I want to set up my mental map. I want to understand this future home of ours.
I had planned to post a series of pictures of the signs we've acquired ourselves - our license plate, the name of our part of town, our street name, our address. And then I realized that armed with all that, someone could potentially stalk us all the way from Minnesota to our new home. I'm not typically paranoid, but that seemed too much like a trail of cyberspace breadcrumbs.
So picture, if you will, these signs that we see. The highway signs - most often 417 and 408 - all have the outline of Florida. Despite that, it took me 3 days of driving to stop thinking, "Hey look - that person has Florida license plates. He's from Florida!" We too have exchanged loons for oranges. (Not that I am a loon, though that thought was kind of loony. Minnesota plates have loons on them).
The sign I don't like seeing is the EZPass toll overhang, strung over the highway periodically, there to suck money from you every few miles on the freeway.
Today we drove past an actual "Welcome to Orlando" sign. Why thank you.
It's encouraging to see signs we know well - Target, Panera Bread, Walgreens. And signs for things we have heard exist - Chick-fil-a, Del Taco. None of these signs were in China. I like seeing them.
Then there are the signs that show we are heading away from the crowded parts to our little neck of the swamp - signs with words like "oak" and "pine" in them that tell us we are heading into the woods. Our woods.
And there's the one small sign, just 5 numbers hung above our garage door, that will signify home.
Those are the signs in view.