a picture perfect day...blue skies. delightful. dreamlike. not the dreary of last month. i'm done with dreary. enough. it's time for some fun in the sun....right in our own home town. grateful? yes. very. very.
from the days that biff and i began our life together, learning about each other... our hopes...dreams...wishes and plans, biff and i became acutely aware that our life was meant to be near the water. preferably ocean....preferably a coastal town....anywhere.....just plain and simple.....near the coastline.
we both always talked of living in connecticut. it's very familiar to us. we both have spent lots of time with good friends and family.....we both love and have special memories of summers past on new england beaches.
sure, we talked about other places and possibilities for us. it's just that we both hoped to be near family...more or less. we both felt comfortable with the landscape of connecticut. for biff, much of the farmland reminded him of places in dutchess county, new york, where he grew up. so much of the shoreline and seasons felt like home to me. when we saw our "house to be"....we both had that "ahhhhhh" peaceful moment where we took a breath and exclaimed,"this is a great location...not far from the beaches....green with trees, shrubs and grass....and the most charming stone wall that tickled a spot in our hearts....the stone wall reminded me of my backyard and the stonewall reminded biff of the 1775 brick house farm and the lovely stone walls crisscrossing the landscape of his childhood.
so, here we are. we feel like we are where we are meant to be. that matters. we both loved our little village on the north shore of long island....the gold coast. long island has had much growth since my childhood days was feeling too crowded for where we wanted to be.
our move to the south shore of boston was perfect for our new start...biff with his new job, newlyweds trying to build our own life together....our new baby...we were a family...our own family. we were on our own as a family and that's just what we both needed. it was a romantic time for us. we had no family near us. we only had a new life. a new family.
it was a big move for both of us...leaving the closeness of family and good old friends. but, we had each other. we were a mom and a dad. our move was with our sweet baby grace. we had to adapt. we were separated from the family....and we were thte ones who tried to be at every family function and most of our great friends and their family celebrations.....until we got to boston, we hadn't realized how much was expected of us...everywhere! we were the ones who made the roadtrips to be everywhere for everyone!
enter....our little family in boston. it was new to us..being off on our own. it was one of the greatest things that could have happened to us.....we were in our own new place with our own new us.....the family!
it was in the boston area where we learned to be a family. it was that new area that made us.....us. we had only each other. we had to make new friends....friends for us all. it was our new life....together as a new family. we have always felt that move was the best thing for us. the timing was right. we were meant to live our own life....while loving our family everywhere else....going to visit and having some loyal visitors. we had gotten a gift! we were treated to our own lives.....that we had waited so long to find......we were on our own with long distance support! we had no obligations. we had just us. thankfully. we claimed our lives together. we were the family...creating our own life together.
there were times that we talked of living in the carolinas....a little bit south and a little bit better cost of living. we had friends who had moved and loved it down there....maybe...should we....would we...maybe...hmmmmmm. we walked through our teeny, tiny, sweet and magical mary tyler moore apartment....we realized the carolinas were not right...we knew it wouldn't fit. Everywhere we looked....in our miniscule charmed dreamland, it became immediately apparent to us that it could not be, would not be the place for us. how did we know? we were talking about the possibilites of moving....that's when we realized every single photograph, framed print, needlepoint and magnet we owned was by the ocean. we couldn't leave the shore for inland. we knew our place.
that's how we did it! we knew. we knew where we needed to be. by the water. on our own. and so we moved to be in the right place for biff's new job.....and the south shore of boston would allow us to get to the cape which was my home away from home! nantucket and the vineyard
after almost 5 years, we were ready and connecticut called us. really. we were quiet. we listened for the signs.....whether it was right for us or not.....it was...it is.
and here we are. in the place we're meant to be. we try to stay true. true to what's best for us. for our family. our needs and our joys and our lives....equally necessary to keep our lives in balance.
today, i was at our beach. with the dogs. then, with the kids and the dogs. and again....just me with the dogs.
it's our home. it's the people that we know. it's the land. the beaches. the boating. the sailing. the families. the schools. the kids. the teachers. the sunshine. the artists. the doctors. the churches. the feelings that we were home!
we are. the beach is our place. we go on our own. we go with dogs. we go as a family. we go with friends. we sail. we walk. we collect shells and sea glass.
tomorrow is a day for us all to enjoy. it's a celebration. it's the annual regatta for joe...our sailing instructor...our coach...our director! it's a regatta in his memory. he taught us all and pushed us all further than we thought we could go....he scared us...he barked out orders! he taught us community and sharing and kindness and random family connections and compassion and fun!
he was a big bear of a man with a big, booming voice....who cared...and shared the love of sailing, the camaraderie, the joy, the friendships, the equality among sailors....
joe showed us all by example...no matter what the circumstances....that no matter how much money or boat or toys for show.....it doesn't matter. we don't care. we're here for the sailing. we here for the love. we're here for the passion. we're here for the laughter. we're here for the learning. we're here for the challenge. we're here because we all belong. no matter what. this is where we belong. we share that joy with all of the sailors. we love where we are. we love who we are. we love the simplicity.that was joe's gift. he shared.
joe, our friend...the man, the tiller, the dream. right here in our town. it's where we belong! our family belongs....to each other first of all.....and we share that love with other families who put families first. they sail together. they mix. there's no politics. just "share the wind" as joe called his program.....it was joe's gift....we have that for life...and we want to pass it on!
our grace and t.j. began their sailing classes when as soon as they were age appropriate. age eight. they were babies! joe was the big, the booming, the brilliant, the big guy with all of the rules. the big guy who told them that they'd have to capsize on day 2! i thought we'd never get them back to sail again....they complained all the way....they capsized ....they loved it.
every challenge was turned into opportunity. no excuses. just do it. never politically correct. must. have to. that's that!
excited. we're excited. t.j. is sailing in the hobie cat regatta with a friend from school....i'm so proud of t.j. he is up for the hall. he'll be geared up and ready for whatever takes place. he'll challenge himself.....throughout the day. he will end the day proud and exhausted.....and we'll remember joe. and thank him...for teaching us....teaching us so many lessons....and sharing friends....and passion for sailing....and extreme challenges....and our lives have been changed....because of his rich spirit, fun loving ways. we miss him and everytime we're at the beach, he's with us.....shouting at me from the committee boat..."MAMA MIA! PUSH THE TILLER!" and when he said ph, i pulled. his booming voice made me jump, then freeze in position
mama mia...my nick name from joe.
we are where we belong. we love it here. it's our place...we love to share.