Tuesday, March 11, 2008

BufBloPoFo Day Brazillion - I Got No Titles Left

What do I Love about where we live?

Well, if this was a year and a half ago, I would have written many of the same things that the Buffalo contingent wrote, with the addition of cheap real estate. But now, we’re in a different place, with a different life. One that most of our Buffalo friends and family haven’t even seen, let alone experienced. I’ll have a shot at it anyway.

1. Fresh Seafood. I really don’t have to go any further than this one. I mean, really, lobsters right off the boat? Heavenly.
2. My job. Can you believe it? I actually love what I do. The experience I’m getting right now is going to write my ticket for the rest of my earthly life. Energy and utility infrastructure will be the single most important issue this country faces in the not too distant future. So far, I’ve done water treatment and filtration, sewer and sanitary treatment, cogeneration, water supply, natural gas supply, and now I’m working on clean fuel alternatives. Anyone want some bio-diesel? I work nine miles from our house and I get to spend real time with my family every single day.
3. The Atlantic Ocean. We’re technically straddling Long Island Sound and open water, but I always look to the East. I love the dark blue hues of the waves.
4. Watch Hill sunsets on the water. One of the main reasons why we got married there.
5. Boating - Must. Get. Sailboat. Soon. In the meantime though, I’ve found a new place to put in with my kayak.
6. The Chorus of Westerly. It has to be in the top 5 anyway. Nowhere else in the entire country does there exist a group similar to this one. They are our extended family. Just ask Mrs. Kitchen, who had to get down on her knees in the Walmart parking lot to give the boys hugs.
7. Christ Church. Yup, we’re actually churchgoers again. It feels like we’re home when we are inside.
8. Pawcatuck Little League. I’ll say it. I’m partial to baseball. Sam loves it. Hopefully, the twins will too. Read The Smell of the Grass and you might catch a glimpse of what I’m talking about. The lore of baseball will always be more powerful than the reality.
9. Michael Jordan's Steak House. Casinos aside, there are some damn fine restaurants in those two gambling meccas.
10. Land. We can walk down our street and go exploring. We can walk behind our house and get lost in the woods. We battle with deer and rabbits and the occasional deranged woodchuck over our garden.
11. The Captain Daniel Packer Inn. Easily my favorite restaurant of all time, bar none. The best calamari I’ve ever had the pleasure of consuming. A basement pub with a huge stone fireplace. And some of the most delicious food anywhere.
12. Our neighborhood. We live in what is easily one of the best neighborhoods on the planet. Our next door neighbor teaches at the twins’ school. There are two babysitters on our street, soon to be three. We know the names of all the people that live on our street. And all their kids, who occupy the road more often than automobiles do. Pig Roast in July. We’re blocking off the entire street, so get here early and park in the driveway!
13. Sea Chanteys at the Griswold Inn. This is where we decided to buy our first house over way too many drinks. It’s probably also a contributing factor to the conception of our first child. It’s also one of the most entertaining musical experiences I’ve ever had on a weekly basis.
14. The Mystic Aquarium. Going there is like watching the boys step into a different universe. Their faces light up, eyes wide, and mouths open. Every time we go, they discover something new. And the educational opportunities are unbelievable. Plus, they have really cool sharks.
15. The Mystic Seaport. Leah’s grandfather used to sell scrimshaw pieces here. It has a special place in both our lives.
16. Noah’s Restaurant. Awesome breakfasts. Even better name.
17. Living within driving distance of both Boston and New York City. We have so many friends still living in Boston. It’s wonderful to be able to see them again. And I’m headed to the NY Auto Show with my father and brothers in two weeks. Without having to burn an entire day traveling. Anyone want to go to Yankee Stadium before they tear it down at the end of the season?
18. Christmas in Stonington. We must have seen Santa a half dozen times this year, and each one was great. The wagon ride around the Borough was by far the best. Santa led everyone in caroling through the streets. He never seemed to tire of Rudolph.
19. The Mystic YMCA. This place rocks. Swim lessons, free babysitting. Hey, we even went there and played tennis last year! And this summer? Beach camp!!!
20. Industry. Pfizer. The Groton Sub Base. The largest casino in the world. Sikorsky. Pratt & Whitney. Amgen. Hasbro. Bristol Myers Squibb. Raytheon. Just to name a few. All of these are within 50 miles of our home. This was the most lamentable aspect of life in Buffalo for me.
21. Great Public Schools. I would have moved just for that.
22. Having the opportunity for Leah to go back to work – because she wants to, not because she has to.
23. Beaches. Before she died, my mom and I went to the beach to take a walk. “The sea is my strength,” she said. Whenever I’ve found myself wanting, I drive over and listen to the crescendos of the waves. They set everything right again.