wildartist, though I have never lived in such diverse places as you, I understand completely what you are saying. When we bought our present home we paid far more than what the average home in this town sells for and immediately began very visible and extensive renovations. That we were out-of-staters and it being a second home I was very aware of how the locals labeled us. Then they saw me working my butt off every weekend cleaning up the property and working on the house. That gave them pause because most second home owners just hire people to do everything for them. Of course I hired skilled workers too but I made sure I hired locals via word of mouth, and that helped spread the word that we were OK. The other thing I did was jump in where and as I saw opportunities. Baling hay, log splitting, cutting wood etc. Lots of folks have gardens and so I asked about their gardens and gave some folks pickles I had made and fresh veggies my garden back in MA. I baked bread and just stopped by to give loaves to folks I met. I joined in with the local guys for their 7AM gab fest at the little general store each Saturday and Sunday morning. Basically I established I was no different than anyone else here in any way that mattered. When the day came that the pull no punches filter nothing woman who ran the general store announced to everyone that I wasn’t a Masshole (their private term for folks from MA), nor a flatlander (their public term for folks from MA) I knew I had been accepted. Most second home owners never make the effort. Folks would periodically ask when I was going to be here fulltime and when that day finally came they congratulated me and said it was about time. Now I’m an Town official (Lister which is Vermont speak for Assessor) and I’ve been asked to come onto the Planning Board (no), become a Selectman (no), and to become the Town’s Auditor (maybe). I’ve become part of the community.