Southern Sojourn

So, we are leaving South Carolina. My experiment in southern housewifery is over, and I have to say it is with a great big sigh of relief.

A sense of relief not unlike the shockingly icy temperature of a Maine ocean on a hot summer day. I’ve been longing for that burst of coolness, refreshment from the stagnant. I’m actually looking forward to the fall and a change of scenery.

I miss my family, and we’ve done enough exploring here. The South is a different country from New England, with a different value system and culture from what we prefer. I want to raise my son in a place where being different is not jeered at, a place that values education and alternative takes on life. I’ve met acquaintances with many new variety of tree, plant and human. I recognize the weather, speech and traffic patterns, and I am okay with eliminating the term “y’all” from my vocabulary. Maybe some day I will curse the snow, but I miss those gray winter landscapes, and we all miss poking around in the woods without fear of lurking alligators and snakes. But, I have no remorse haughtily saying see ya to cockroaches. Its been like a year abroad for us, and I hope everyone gets a chance to experience the regional differences in the country, not just overseas.

I have made a list of things I love about South Carolina.

…in no order of importance:

  1. Meandering the trails at the James Island County Park
  2. Easy to one of the top ten beaches in America
  3. Sitting outside on the patio all year long
  4. This place. And the view from this bar
  5. Walking along the battery with iced tea on a Sunday morning, and stopping to let our son splash in the pineapple fountain
  6. The amazing quality of local fruits and vegetables available all year–and my new love affair with okra
  7. Hearing the trees rustle outside our bedroom windows (never the dull roar of sirens and traffic)
  8. The general lack of anything even slightly resembling traffic
  9. My rediscovery of a genuine yoga practice
  10. How my plants flourished here–my lavender blossomed this year for the first time in 6 years.

It has been a swell year, but I think if I was really honest with myself I knew we weren’t really going to live here for long. It was a fun temporary change, this sojourn in southern living.


Boston Basket List

There is a lot of stuff I love about Boston. However, we have lived here for 5 years, and to me that is the end of an era. It feels like just a few weeks ago I was unpacking a maze of boxes in our lovely apartment on Beacon Street.  But those 900 square feet got small fast, and for the last year we’ve lived in Quincy.  And I’ve hated almost every minute of it.  It is a “full-service” building that has covered parking, a concierge, a fitness center, a dog park.  But it overlooks train tracks on one side and the Neponset bridge on the other.  We rushed into renting this apartment because we suddenly needed more space with the little one on the way.  Good thing I’ve been too busy the last eight months to really care that I can’t walk outside my front door and go for a walk in nature.  I do not want my son to grow up remembering that he overlooked a parking lot outside his first bedroom.

As fate has it, we’re moving to Charleston, South Carolina.  Next month! Just like the funny combination of circumstances that brought husband down there for the last month, it feels as though everything has fallen perfectly into place for us to move now.  No lease to pay our way out of.  No job I’m going to tragically tear myself away from.  My good friends are all splattered around the country now, and our family is ready for a big change.  Massachusetts was a fine place for me to work on my education and for Kevin to broaden his professional network, but my heart has never settled here.

However, there are still things I will miss.  And there are things I hope to experience before I leave, and many others I hope to re-visit.  Its not like we’ll never be back to visit, but it definitely won’t be quite as easy to run up the street to the epic Copley Square Farmers Market.

So this isn’t exactly a “Bucket List” because I think that implies a list of things one is hoping to do for the first time.  I call this my Basket List.  A little more whimsical of a title for a list that concedes nostalgia.

Boston Basket List
…in no particular order of importance

  1. Visit the Institute for Contemporary Art
  2. Eat Pho in China Town after seeing a movie at the AMC Boston Common
  3. Take Homer for a swim in the fountains in the Public Gardens
  4. Go to the North End and eat at Pomodoro
  5. Visit Miniluxe then wander down Newbury Street with Pinkberry in hand
  6. Stalk Walk by Tom Brady’s house on Beacon Street
  7. Hit up Back Bay Yoga for as many classes as yoginily possible
  8. Get an ice cream from that truck at the corner of Arlington & Boylston
  9. Walk down Comm Ave and take a picture with the dancers’ sculpture
  10. Go to BPL and think philosophical thoughts in the Courtyard
  11. Go to Pawsh and buy Homer a special treat and visit Balky
  12. Laugh at the tourists in the Gardens taking pictures of the squirrels
  13. Get breakfast at Cafe Vanille, curse the narrow sidewalks of Charles Street on our way to eat said breakfast beside our favorite fountain in the Garden
  14. Go to the top of the Prudential Tower and marvel at the city
  15. Read some T.S. Eliot in the reading room at the Boston Athenaeum

Its not long. Its not ambitious.  But it perfectly captures what our life has been like in this part of the world over the last 5 years.  I’ll leave it to you, my dear readers, to determine which one of the 15 activities above I have not done yet.

But #3 you may safely eliminate.