November 26, 2011: There’s a charming red house in a town just outside Boston that I’ve just realized has become my newest home. I’ve married in. With a new family, I’ve inadvertently been graced with yet another place on the map that’s meaningful to those I now call family, with a hometown accompanied by years and years of stories.
My newest family members have called this house and this town home for more than thirty years. Coming from a family that moved incessantly, I’ve never experienced returning on holidays to the very home in which I hit my head as a toddler or fell off the swingset or slammed the bedroom door as an angry teenager. My family stories are rooted in movement; many of his hinge on staying put.
Other elements of this place are equally foreign. My siblings and I never walked to school; my husband and his siblings walked to elementary school just down the hill. Growing up, my siblings and I never lived this close to town, not until we came back home to Southport as adults. The heart of this great looking town here in Massachusetts is about a mile away.
Other characteristics of this place are more familiar: the windy roads that surround us, the old New England houses, the woods into which we wandered on Thanksgiving afternoon. Our walk through the Middlesex Fells was reminiscent of walks through Mianus River Park behind our home in Stamford, Ct., a place I’d nearly forgotten about until today’s stroll. In Mianus River Park, my sister and I used to scramble up a rock face just off the trail to explore. To get there, we’d cut through the backyard into the woods, then follow the tiny river up to and over the Merriebrook Lane Bridge. My husband and his siblings were similarly drawn to the Fells and its reservoirs for a little fresh air.
Just like old times, we came to the Fells this Thanksgiving with our sisters. I’m thankful for these places that bring us all back together.