"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.