"I just tell people the service involves both the interior and exterior"
Dave, most of your installations must be back to back. Here in the desert most older homes have a subpanel in a closet or utility room no where near the service entrance. With most upgrades, we use a meter combo and just connect up the old subpanel feeders. Then any new circuits are run from the new combo. Sometimes, if the subpanel is not up to par, we will extend all the circuits to the outdoor combo. Course we got no snow!
I was so small when I left Crystal Lake my only electrical experience was cutting a cord off an old clock my Ma threw out, then plugging it in. I don't remember what our service even looked like.