Fandango’s Provocative Question #173

Garry and I went through this process a decade ago when we were thinking about selling and moving. We looked all over the map — not then considering other countries — and realized despite winter, we’d rather live here than anywhere else. I’d absolutely want to live in a house designed to deal with our age and infirmities. A flat house with a better kitchen, many more and better-designed closets. People to help us take care of cleaning and maybe at least some of the cooking.

The weather in New England is always an issue, which is why New Englanders talk about the weather all the time. It’s too hot, too cold, not cold enough. Too much rain Then drought. Too much snow, or where is the snow? Even before climate change, we had rapidly-changing, unpredictable weather.

And yet, here we are. As a mixed-race and mixed-religion couple, there are a lot of places we would never want to live. These days, even more so. California, once a desirable choice is a bit of a mess with fires, drought, earthquakes, mudslides. Hawaii is beautiful but I like four seasons. I’ve lived in a two season country. I never thought I would miss winter, but I did. I especially missed Autumn and living in Jerusalem — solidly inland — I missed the smell of saltwater. I missed the awakening of spring. And I missed people. Friends and family. English as a native language.

If it were possible to live outside the U.S.? Garry strongly favors the south of France. He loved it and has always wanted to go back at least once more. I don’t know if he’d really want to live there. I might favor going there for a couple of months, but I’d want to be home when spring is in the air.

Behind the trees is the Blackstone River

I lived abroad for nearly a decade and I enjoyed being in a different world. But when I talked about home, I knew home was here.

I’m very unhappy with the U.S. now for all the reasons I’ve talked about for the past five years. Yet, this is home. I was born and grew up here. I love the east coast, the smell of the ocean and the long sandy beaches that face the dawn.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

If we were younger, we might be more adventurous. Now? I’d like a newer home designed up to deal with seniors who have issues. I’d love to get help to do things we can’t easily do ourselves.

I have no idea if America will pull out of its slump and become the nation I know it should be. I hope it finds a way. I also know if we crash, we won’t crash alone. The world is teetering on a ledge. It’s a balance point. We can easily fall one way or the other. I hope we find a way to stabilize, to do what we need to do to make our world right.

Categories: #FPQ, #Photography, Anecdote, Autumn, Beach, Life, Provocative Questions, questions, Seasons, Weather

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5 replies

  1. When anybody around here moves it’s always to Vancouver Island.
    That’s unofficial Paradise in these parts, and I know several people
    that have moved there over the years.
    I’ve tried to move there twice, but it just didn’t work out for me.
    I’m supposed to be here in Calgary – for whatever reasons?
    I’m not going to fight it anymore and frankly it’s pretty good.
    Hope you find your spot.


  2. Wonderful post Marilyn! I privately think you live in paradise (despite the weather and the aging home). You have green space. I suspect, if America survives this latest wave of idiocy at the helm, that green space is going to become a very valuable commodity in the days to come. You have gorgeous scenery, all the wild critters and birds, and peace and quiet. I am quite envious! When I bought my home, it was with an eye to the day when I wouldn’t be very mobile (which has shown up now and I’m very thankful for one level living. If I had to contend with stairs, I’d be looking at going into care now because I simply cannot make it up or down stairs safely any more. I can stay in my home a few more years at least because it is so easy access. But. Just like Massachusetts, Utah has its downside. The developers are destroying everything as hoards of people from every other state in the union flock in here. The taxes are pretty stiff. The wages are pretty low. There’s the white elephant in the parlor with the now non-politically correct sign “Mormon” around its neck. I’ve never lived anywhere else and now I can’t imagine it. Not seeing the mountains to my east, literally. Not getting behind a tractor or hay truck driving down the road, snarling traffic for miles behind. The smell of manure on the breeze from the horses and cattle ranchers to my west. Seeing that darling baby filly that was born last month, and watching her and her mother together. Not smelling the stench (and yeah it stinks. Badly) of the Great Salt Lake, which is disappearing. Utah is my home if I have one. We grow where we are planted. Thanks for sharing your paradise with someone land locked who never has properly smelled a brisk ocean breeze. I can still travel vicariously!


    • Everyone I know wherever they were born in this country remembers very specific smells and colors of the place they lived as children. Even on the east coast, the ocean is very different in New England than it is in the Carolinas or in Florida It isn’t even the same color — AND it doesn’t smell the same. The trees are different colors too, even in the summer. We grow different trees and the summer green in Pennsylvania isn’t the same deep green as Massachusetts — or, for that matter, Maine.

      In Israel, the Dead Sea was also disappearing. Israel wanted to run a trench from the Mediterranean into the Dead Sea to bring the water level up a bit, but the Jordanians objected because they mine the sea for minerals. Adding water would dilute it. But of course, if they don’t add water, there won’t be anything to mine. I don’t know if they ever came to an agreement. I think they must have eventually agreed since there still IS a Dead Sea. I was told the Dead Sea and the Great Salt Lake are very similar and for the same reasons. In many ways, parts of Arizona and Utah look remarkably similar to the Judaean Desert and I remember people who had come from Arizona feeling very much at home in the desert. They were used to everything turning brown in the summer and suddenly green when the winter rains began. Of course it’s not ALL desert, though it is an arid area. Prayers for rain every fall are murmured by all, believers or not.

      I found it hard to live so landbound. Jerusalem is beautiful, possibly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Almost unreal and full of ancient ghosts. I loved it and I dream about it still, but in the end, THIS is home. I hope we don’t see a mad rush of people moving here for all the reasons you mention. They would destroy the area in short order. The only saving grace is being too far from Boston & Cambridge to commute — AND not having a commuter rail. All the inconveniences are also the things that keep this area beautiful.


  3. I think I’m too old at this point to pick up and move to another country, even though I fear that our country is heading toward disaster. I just hope that I won’t be around when that occurs, which is probably the only positive thing about being my age that I can think of.


    • I’m pretty sure this country is heading toward disaster, but I think we are not alone. It’s not like I see much forward thinking in Europe, the middle East, Asia or even Australia. Canada has its own big bag of woes too. Just ask the Canadians. They are NOT happy campers either.

      We are absolutely too old to go scampering to another country, learn another language, or even make friends in a completely new environment. Even if I could at this point, do I really WANT to go anywhere?

      Yes. Being old is just fine. I don’t want to live through what’s coming. EVEN should we find a way to pull out of this mess, before that happens it is going to get worse. Quite possibly, MUCH worse.

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