Greetings, MaryAnn! I notice you haven't been active at Atheist Nexus lately. <sigh> Sometimes it can seem a bit fragmented, with different groups for every interest. Please consider a group for socializing, where we talk about whatever's on our minds, .Hang With Friends. :D You might feel more at home.
the south is definitely unique...sometimes being down there and around my family drives me nuts though, but other than that, i have some great friends and there is some cool stuff to do for sure, and i like the wildness of the seasons and weather down there. Living in seattle and experiencing the rain up here, is quite a bit different from rain down in the south...we don't have thunderstorms for one. But yes, you should definitely find the time to come up this way, we have waaaaay too many mountains for you to get lost hiking on up here, haha.
Sheer hubris for Greyfax to say that only West Virginia is in the running with Alabama for most backwards -- Mississippi is certainly on up there. After all, MS is where the civil right's movement decided to wage their biggest fights, because if they could prevail in MS they could prevail anywhere.