Thursday, September 27, 2007

Window Shopping

"Would you ever consider moving?"

Fairly Odd Father (otherwise known as my husband) asked the question casually, having just returned from a week-long conference in North Carolina ("really nice weather!", "the people are so friendly!").

I paused before answering in the most passive-aggressive manner possible, saying, "Only if it is for a year, and we don't have to sell the house".

In other words, "nononononononononono!"

I love this little corner of the world we have carved out for ourselves. Our house is neither grand, nor brand new, nor all that unique (colonials being a dime a dozen in New England). But we are surrounded by trees and have the kind of neighbors that make you banish the thought of a fence.

But, even more than our home or neighbors, I feel at home in New England. As autumn starts dipping its toe into our state, I get that familiar feeling of anticipation over the show of colors that will soon be everywhere. Leaves will fall so we can crunch them under our shoes. Apples will ripen so that we can eat them right off the tree. The nights will get cooler so that we can sleep with an extra blanket on the bed.

And, then, with any luck, we'll get snow. I'm not sure why I get so excited about snow, but school cancellations are thrilling to me. I hop on the computer to check the cancellation list like a 15-year-old; this practice is made more peculiar when you realize that I am neither 15, nor in school; in fact, we homeschool so are not affected by the weather.

Fairly Odd Father pointed out that North Carolina has four seasons. . .sort of. Well, no snow, he admitted. To which I said, "and that is good because ? ? ?"

(I'm fickle, though. By February, I'm done with the snow; by May, I'm done with rain; by August, I'm done with humidity; and by November, I'm done with all those leaves in our yard).

Name a place and I can tell you why I wouldn't want to leave here for there.

Friends new to Southern California gushed, "we're finding that it's as nice here as everyone says it is!" But, the lack of rain (less than an inch in the first half of the year) unnerves me, and there is that lack of snow to liven things up.

Other friends are in Kansas, and I have spent many fun days in Chicago; both may be lovely places to live, but I would need to be flown out to an ocean every few months. Plus, I once lived in the tornado belt and heard that siren enough for a lifetime.

After visiting Portland, Oregon, I thought it came pretty close to an ideal place to live, but it is r-e-a-l-l-y far from my mom and my sister's family, and it seems to rain an awful lot. Love snow, don't love rain.

I've also visited Austin, Seattle, Colorado ski country, San Diego, Washington DC, various parts of Florida and Arizona, New Orleans, New York City, the Jersey Shore, parts of Pennsylvania, Costa Rica, the coasts of Canada, and a bit of Europe. In every place, I see something that helps me to understand why someone would want to live there---either it is lovely weather, great culture, fun people or beautiful scenery (or any combination of these).

But, I keep coming back to my home in Eastern Massachusetts, a place with its own version of 'lovely weather', plenty of culture and history, people I love, and scenery that can stop me in my tracks.

Fairly Odd Father and I have agreed, though, that we would consider moving to a new state if the opportunity arose.

What could get me to leave my town, my state? Why, it could only be the land of Ben & Jerry's, maple syrup, Burlington, snow and rolling hills: Vermont. For Vermont, I'd risk it all.


Trenches of Mommyhood said...

Hubby and I met in NC, then lived in SC before moving back up to MA. I would move back down to NC in a heartbeat! I'm a big fan of MILD (as in no snow and lows of 40 degrees) winters.

Binky said...

In my family, I'm the one who wants to move south. My husband loves it up here. Since our extended families are here, too, this is where we'll stay. It could be worse. I liked the line about neighbors who make you banish the thought of a fence. But, sadly, I can't relate. We attract bad neighbors like some kind of screwed up magnet. Our neighbors make us relish the thought of chain link.

Ruth Dynamite said...

New England has it all, and those of us who know it will never leave.

Whirlwind said...

Husband and I have discussed moving (mostly to Washington State) but for now, I think if we do move, it would be someplace still in the area. I love the school the girls are currently at, our friends and family. I like our house (through it's faults) but know in the near future we'll have to upgrade.

But your right New England seems to be the perfect place to live!

Ladybug's Picnic said...

I've lived here my entire life (in Massachusetts) and I can't imagine leaving. My husband was born here, but his family moved to Seattle when he was 3. Seattle is great, but New England (despite the disgusting humidity) does have it all.

painted maypole said...

the nice thing about being in the north is that when you start getting sick of one season, another is just around the corner. I am DONE with the heat and humidity of summer by July here in Louisiana, but it'll easily be October before I get any relief!

Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck said...

I so miss New England. I am a Mass girl through and through, but live outside DC now--best place to work for hubby (and me, really). I love our community and neighborhood, but the weather kills me. High 90s and humid all summer, not enough snow in the winter. Spring and Fall are nice, but not as nice as they are up there. At least all my family is still there, so I get to visit a lot!

Anonymous said...

It's something about being from here (NewEngland) that is tough to explain. I was born here & lived here most of my life. Hubby & I lived in his home state of PA for 4 years & I was so homesick for "home". My folks no longer live in New England, but it was just something about the area that I had to have. We moved back to MA 5 years ago & I now truly appreciate ALL that the NE area has to offer - even the wacky weather - I take nothing for granted - I am happy to be "home".

pinks & blues girls said...

I feel the same way, even down to getting tired of the snow come Feb., the rain come May and the leaves come Nov. (although my birthday is in Nov. so I can make a little exception for that).

My husband, who grew up here, lived in Southern CA for 8 years before moving back because he missed the seasons. It may sound crazy to some, but they days when the weather is (seasonally) perfect, New England weather the best!

Jane, Pinks & Blues

Anonymous said...

I grew up here in Connecticut, but I must admit, I would love to live down South.

Maybe one day. It's pretty and the families are here, but it's SO expensive to live here.

And I'm done with snow pretty fast as well. Maybe because I've done my share of shoveling over the years!

Tricia said...


Major Bedhead said...

I lived outside of Atlanta for three long, hot, bug-filled years. I don't know if I could move away again. I lived in England for a year - that I could do, but only for a definite time period. I could also do the Pacific NW, but again, only with an end date.

I love New England. Love it. Can't explain why, but it's in my blood and I would (and have) miss it desperately if I left again.

margalit said...

I left Newburyport to move to the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. I lasted less than two years. Besides being the only Jew in my entire town and having a boss at IBM that required me to refer to him as "Preacher", the segregation, the backwardness, and the bizarre behavior of the people (ULTRA friendly isn't fun), I couldn't wait to get the hell out of there. HATED it. I'd never go back.

Ah, Boston you're my home!

Reff said...

Here's a VT job

Pinks & Blues Girls said...

Hmmm... As a child, I live in Michigan, Maine, Massachustetts, southern California and New Hampshire (my Dad was in the Navy).

My Mom was born and raised in Boston (my uncle still owns the home that my Mom grew up in), but loved living in so many different places.

I, for one, LOVE New England and cannot imagine living anywhere else. I love the ocean, I love the mountains, I love the rivers and lakes and streams. I love the close proximity to cities like New York City and Washington, D.C. I love what the changing seasons bring. I love the unexpected warm days in the winter and the cold days in the summer!

I am here to stay... but very willing to travel to other places when my wunderlust kicks in!

Sharon - Pinks & Blues Girls

Michelle said...

I'm feeling so nostalgic tonight and typed in "want to move back to New England" and found your blog.

I'm from CT and now live in SC. It's nice down here and I have nothing to complain about (maybe the heat), but I so miss my CT!! I miss, miss, miss it to pieces.

Thanks for writing this. Trying to justify wanting something else when things are good is hard, but I guess no justification is needed.

I just miss New England.