And moms, nursing, in public! You, at the park, the museum, the restaurant, anywhere and everywhere...you go, girl!
I also realized how much I missed the friendliness of close quarters. When in the city, in small spaces, you don't tend to ignore one another. I met some of the greatest people across the five inches between tables in Boston and Cambridge restaurants.
Broke into the old apartment
This is where we used to live
Broken glass, broke and hungry
Broken hearts and broken bones
This is where we used to live
I know we don't live here anymore
We bought an old house on the Danforth
She loves me and her body keeps me warm
I'm happy here
But this is where we used to live
You know, this song nails it.
Yeah, nothing was perfect, nothing ever is, but we had some really key life years there, in MA. We had some great times, yeah, some tough ones too, that's life. It was a real time, a growing time, an evolving time. As my husband put it, the first five years were like one extended holiday. No kids, plenty of time and money, and we traveled all over New England---and the world.
We lived it to the fullest...made the most of it. I think that is the main point, you know? We were in a place we loved, I mean loved, and we made the most of it. I promise you, we got more out of New England, saw more of it, did more, in the years we lived there than some people who spend a lifetime there do. Plus, it's where we grew up, turned from young adults into grown-ups, had our kids. That's intensity, you know? Big emotional memories.
And it's always easier to look back fondly, especially on a time that had so much good in it.
However, I felt surprisingly unsentimental about this beach, our private town beach. I think most of our best memories were on Singing Beach, where we spent more time. I felt surprisingly unsentimental about our little town, in fact, and our old house, all of which we visited. Our little town had changed so much, anyway, even before we moved. It had turned into something that was no longer us, which is one of the reasons, I think, we began thinking about leaving it. I felt more sentimental about the bigger town, Beverly, and was surprised by the rush of sentimentality I felt for Salem and Marblehead. With time and distance, I realized that during our last years in MA, our best times were in these places, instead.
In a way, this trip provided some closure. Also, clarity.
But as we got to the airport to return, neither of us could bring ourselves to say "going home." We kept saying, "back to Houston."
What I hope is that we find our place, somehow, whether it's here, there or anywhere. A place that isn't an extended good time holiday, or a perfect family location, on paper. A place that feels like home.
So, we're back. Here, where we live. And we're feeling fine because we just had a great vacation, where we enjoyed ourselves, to the fullest.
Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
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