Little, by little, I am trying to get my head around summer ending, the start of Kindergarten and Nursery School, a new routine, chapters ending and new ones beginning. As I mentioned in my last post, my head has been anywhere but Blogland lately. As a fairly new blogger, I really should be on it a bit more, but long days and hurricanes have been distracting me.
Centsational Girl got my attention this morning with her "Favorite Things in My Town" post. Since the amount of projects completed this summer were surpassed by beach days and swimming lessons, I figured I'd link up and share a little bit about where I live.
It's funny. For years, I thought I would leave Long Island. Before we had children, my husband and I had our sights set on living and teaching abroad somewhere, moving off the grid, heading south to a three-season-ish climate, basically anything but staying within five miles of the town where we grew up, met and married. Yet, almost twelve years later here we are. So what's kept us here and makes it so special to us?
3. Location, location, location: While I honestly would love to live somewhere with a little more elbow room and trees, in a home with more character, our 1940s Cape Cod on a postage-stamp lot is Home Sweet Home. The fact that we live about 5 miles from the beach, which we take advantage of during every season, and 30 miles from New York City make our gripes worthwhile. Being able to spend the morning in the city and the evening at the beach is totally doable and sort of makes up for the high taxes, small lots, and suburban noise.
Enjoying the Central Park Zoo, NYC
2. Community: The grass is always greener. Sometimes I have a Norman Rockwell image in my head of an idyllically quiet and peaceful tree-lined street, a house set back from the road with a wide front porch and a gracious entry. While I adore this image, I'm grounded by more concrete and tangible assets. After events like 9-11 and a fatal house fire three-doors down last year, I realize how fortunate we are to have neighbors looking out for each other. I am blessed to live on a street that is a community within itself, where neighbors know each other's names, keep an eye on each other's kids, share their generous spirit to bolster each other in times of grief, and celebrate their good fortunes heartily.
Trick-or-Treating through our neighborhood, October 2009
Memorial Day Parade, 2010
1. People: My husband always says, "It's the people who make the party." More than anything else, it's the people who are my favorite part of living on Long Island. We are both blessed to have family and childhood friends and their families living within miles and minutes of us. Since having children, this support system has been more important than ever.
lifelong friends, second generation
cousins and neighbors
While the beaches are beautiful, the city spectacular, and our schools top-notch, it's these connections that give us the comfort and stability we are so fortunate to have. An adventure down the road is always possible, but for now, we're content right where we are.
What's the best part of your hometown, whether newfound or lifelong?