So, Amy here. Moving across the country, from Marin to Hingham (outside of Boston) has been interesting for a few different reasons:
1) SNOW. Lots of friggin snow. I mean, I’m all for grand entrances, but REALLY? 70 + inches and it’s still Feb? You know it’s bad when your mailman tells you it’s time to pack up and move back to California. I thought it was a joke when my friend Mark e-mailed me www.roofrake.com. It’s a rake. For your roof. For real. P.S. Trisha, it’s not funny when you e-mail me “Well….if you were living HERE still, you’d be swimming right now….”
2) The crazy sports. And I’m not talking about Red Sox or Celtics. I’m talking about kid sports, and how intense the parents are. Example: My 8 year-old son came off the soccer field and said “Wow, Mom, like 3 Dads screamed in my face, and the coach freaked out when I didn’t make the goal. In California, I got cheers when I ALMOST made a goal. It really makes me sad.” Aha! I think it’s really interesting that my small-ish kid made this distinction. Were we too coddling as Californians? And maybe it’s not such a bad thing, being pushed to your limits, being pushed around even. That’s what real life is, in almost any new situation. I tried to explain this to him and I got a tween-y eye roll. Hmmm.
Another example: When we first moved, I was invited to drinks with a small group of women. The first question they asked me was if my kids were enrolled in ice hockey because “you know it’s a New England classic, and with your kids’ ages, if they haven’t gotten on the ice, well…” Uh…judgment anyone? I came home all twisted around and Paul just told me to read our first book again and relax.
3) “Live Free or Die.” That’s the New Hampshire (New England) license plate motto. They’re not like, Arizona crazy here, but the intense passion and love for their heritage and history is hard-core for New Englanders. On the plus side, there is something really nice about being around people who truly care about where they came from, and the awe-inspiring history that lives here. I mean, things are OLD here. Really old. There’s even a statue of Abraham Lincoln right in the middle of our little town. On the negative, I think the passion can go wrong on the road, when you drive a little too slowly for these guys. I’ve learned the hard way to toughen up and just swerve up on the curb to get around some guy trying to make a left in the middle of a busy street.
4) It is February 13th. If you drive down any given street in the Boston area (unscientific research), you will see, on 8 out of 10 houses, Christmas wreaths, and in many cases, Christmas lights. Wtf is up with this? Are there brown prickly wilting Christmas trees inside? Will the decorations stay until next year? Is the holiday spirit just like the sports mania? In California, you rip down the tree and fling the lights off around December 28th. I don’t get it.
All in all, so far, so good. The change of seasons is pretty gorgeous. And a little dose of cultural change is a good thing, too.