There’s no denying that Virginia is a crazy mix of all different types of people. And yet, after living in Virginia most of my life with friends and family in every corner of the state, I have found that there are a few common threads that run through most of our lives — or in this case, our homes. After visiting lots of people and places, here are a few things that seem to show up in Virginia homes time and again.
1. Virginia Pride
Be it a plate, the state flag or "Virginia is for Lovers" on a tshirt, Virginia homes often feature their fair share of Virginia flair.
2. SOMETHING monogrammed
I don't know what it is - maybe it's just a Southern thing - but Virginians love their monograms. From jewelry to silverware to hand towels in the guest bathroom, if you can see it, you can monogram it.
3. Tea Bags
Just check the cupboards - you're sure to find them. Whether it's Lipton, NesTea or Luzianne, Virginians are always ready to make the next pitcher of ice cold sweet tea.
4. Grits…they're not just for breakfast
Maybe they're instant or maybe they're the good old-fashioned slow boiling kind, but grits are a staple of many Virginia homes. You never know when you might need to whip up a breakfast side, a cheese and sausage casserole, or a big ol' pot of shrimp and grits.
5. A Stockpile of Citronella Candles
Mosquitos are a part of life in the Virginia summers - so we come prepared. There's just no reason to let a few skeeters keep you from a summer night on the porch.
6. Barbecue Sauce
Take a peek in just about any fridge in Virginia and you're sure to find a bottle or two - from sweet and smoky to tangy vinegar to your uncle's homemade spicy sauce. We love our BBQ and it's nice to have options, right?
7. Homegrown Tomatoes
Chances are, no matter where you live, there are tomatoes growing nearby. Maybe they're from your own garden, maybe they're from the neighbors' or maybe you hit the local farmers' market every Saturday to stock up. But with so much emphasis returning to homegrown foods, most people I know have a few vines of their own and the Virginia summer tomato bounty is better than ever.
8. Souvenirs from Williamsburg
Admit it, somewhere in your house, there's a souvenir from Williamsburg - maybe it's just a fridge magnet or maybe it's the "authentic" wooden fife you hid from your kids after they wouldn't stop playing it, but it's there…and it's ok. We all have one.
9. Books about Virginia
Old books about Virginia, new books about Virginia, books about the founding fathers, books about the Revolutionary War in Virginia, books about the Civil War in Virginia, books about the original colonies, biographies of famous Virginians, Virginia photography books and books about books about Virginia…you get the point. No Virginia home is complete without at least a few of these in their library.
10. A personalized license plate
There may or may not be one on your car right now, but considering the fact that Virginia can take credit for 1 out of 10 personalized license plates registered in the U.S., chances are there's been at least one in your life (and driveway) at some point.
11. A Cast Iron Skillet
Now, I know this one may not be in EVERY home…but if you're lucky, and I mean REALLY lucky, you not only have one, but you have one that's been passed down to you. The perfectly seasoned cast iron skillet, one that's cooked homestyle goodness for generations, is possibly one of the most valuable pieces of currency in many Virginia homes.
12. This quote...
Maybe it's on a mug, maybe it was cross-stitched on a pillow by your grandmother, but chances are you've had this quote displayed in your house at some point or another.
This is not the definitive list by any means – but it’s what I’ve observed over and over again. How many of these things are in your home? Better yet, what are the things that you think Virginia homes might have that homes in other states don’t? Share your thought in the comments below!