Connecticut is a lovely state and I am fortunate to live on beautiful Long Island Sound. Living close to the beach is not only a wonder in itself, it is also a weather moderator for us. In the summer, the cool breezes from the water make hot days bearable. While people ten miles away are getting snow in the winter, it is often raining at my house. Big plus here – You don’t have to shovel rain. On the flip side, while we get less snow, winter doesn’t move on as quickly as I would like. It is often still chilly into May. Way too far into May….. I distinctly recall wearing a wool suit to work in late May one year. And in May of 2005, I had friends from Florida come to visit on May 15. They were horrified to see not one leaf on the trees and swore they’d never come back! No, its not normal, but it happens.
Presently, I live approximately 2 miles away from the town in which I was born, grew up, got married, got divorced, bought a home and had spent my 35-year career. I have had the same doctors, dentists, attorney, and veterinarian forever. (That veterinarian, Jo, is also one of my best friends). I have worked for two of the area’s largest 3 or 4 employers. Many of my high school buddies still live in this area and I see them more than one might think. It is rare that I can go somewhere and not run into someone I know. I am, therefore, a typical New Englander, at least as far as the change issue is concerned. I read somewhere once that New Englanders are the least likely people in the country to relocate. We generally don’t venture out too far from home base for long. We measure driving distances in time, not miles. Visiting a friend who lives 45 minutes away is akin to taking an overnight trip somewhere – it takes a lot of planning. I thought perhaps it was just us older folks who are like this, but yesterday, my 20 something dental hygienist told me that she could not talk her friends into visiting her college friends in Maine. Don’t get me wrong – we do travel. It’s just that people in other parts of the country seem to be more …well….spontaneous about their excursions. I’m not sure what it is about us.
I have never liked being cold, but in 2010, I broke my neck and now live with a permanent spinal cord injury. While I am able to walk and breathe on my own (which I came very close to NOT being able to do!), my fingers, hands and arms are hypersensitive to cold. Emotional stress and inactivity also leads to burning pain.
So it has occurred to me that CT winters aren’t going to get any warmer. And I’m not getting any younger. At the moment, I own a house with a large yard. In that large yard, I went a little crazy with flower gardening. Oh my…what an understatement. More than one visitor has described it as looking like a park. Such a lovely compliment, but taking care of this “park” used to be a lot easier. You know…back when I was you…..youn…..Um…a few years back. Also, I am retired now and so I’m a bit lonelier since I no longer have forced interactions (called a job) any longer. Yes, I thought about volunteering and I know I would be a tremendous help to some organization, but when it is cold, I just have such a hard time going outside. I am afraid that it would just be too easy for me to convince myself that I really don’t NEED to leave and go out into the cold. And that just wouldn’t be fair either to the organization or to myself. There’s also the matter of being with people of your age, background and interests. During the week, most of my neighbors are out working. Yes, I do have other retired friends, but I really want to DO something more. To be a part of something. To work toward something that matters and helps others ALL the time and not just when it is warm outside. BUT if I move to a warm place, well, that problem of me burrowing deeper under the covers in January and February (and March…and April….and….well, you get the idea) just melts away. Stay tuned!