Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Why I Live in Connecticut

I hate this time of year when summer comes to an end. I am a spring/summer kind of gal. Fall and winter are secondary seasons that I just want to get through. Although, since I've been living in New England for 16 years now, I have grudgingly come to acknowledge the beauty of fall because that's what New England does best. Since I happened to love sunny days, old friends and family often ask: why don't you move back down to Florida?

It's a good question. After all, I fled Minnesota in my old Volkswagon Beetle at nineteen years old just to get out of the cold. The best answer I can give is that summers in Florida are horrible. In New England, spring, summer and fall are glorious. It's just the damned winter I can't stand.

Reason number two why I stay in Connecticut? I love New York City. It was my home for seven years and it gives me great comfort to know that it is but 90 minutes away. I make every effort to see my beloved NYC every season. It doesn't alway work out that way, but at least I know I don't have to buy a plane ticket to spend a Sunday in the city. That's VERY important.

Don't get me wrong, I will always be a Midwestern girl at heart and every time I go back to Minnesota I muse, what if I stayed in this beautiful state? But as we all know in middle age, looking back at this point does little good. I truly love New England. I love eating lobsters in the summer, and spending a full day at Hammonsett Beach in Madison, CT. I love taking weekend trips to Cape Cod. Better yet, hopping a ferry to Nantucket. I love looking out my window during the middle of October and viewing a spectacular landscape of fall colors along the Housatonic River.

I love the art festivals, the oyster festivals, the Newport Jazz Festival. When I do my 30-minute walks, I peak into the woods and discover hidden stone walls. I start to imagine what is was like at the very place I am standing back in the 1800s when those stone walls were built. These moments are like fabric patches that make up the entire quilt of my memories over the past 16 years here in Connecticut. I remember when I left Minnesota and moved to Flordia. I lived there for a mere three years. And yet, I haven't forgotten those days when I missed Minnesota terribly. Moving to a new place can be invigorating. It's an opportunity to walk away from the past and start a clean slate. I have done that four times in my life.

I would do it again in a minute, if it were the right place. If I had the opportunity to move to Europe I would start packing my bags right now. It could be England, Spain, France or Italy. I would give anything to experience living abroad. If I got a job offer to move to California, I would say immediately: I'll get there as soon as I can.

But since none of those things have happened, I guess I'll continue passing my days here in New England. I'm looking forward to that riot of color filling the landscape six weeks from now. I will grin and bear this coming winter. And once all that's over, I can look forward to the daffodils and tulips of spring and finally get back to what I love most: the lazy days of summer.

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