Let’s talk Somers. Somers, Connecticut that is. The town we live in. A sweet little woodsy town of a humble 10,000, tucked right under the boarder of Massachusetts in the tiny hills of the Shenipsit State Forest, 27 miles north east of Hartford. I really must say that my understanding of Connecticut is nothing like what it truly is since I haven’t seen about 90% of the state, but with that said I’ll tell you what I think of our corner of New England: pure sweetness. I can’t remember who I was talking with in Portland before we left, but as I was trying to describe where we were moving and was greatly lacking the words to put it, and she said with a smile, “They have villages. Not towns.” Yes! Villages! Tiny little roadways, winding in and out of one hamlet after another. You don’t come upon suburban neighborhood met with another suburban maze met with a freeway of suburbia…sound familiar? It’s one quaint village filled with houses proudly named and dated back to the 1700s across the front porch of their Georgian and Federal style homes that you swear the American flag was stitched together in a dim fire lit room, and then long stretches of deciduous forrest and horse farms to once again be greeted by another village from the late 1800s with stunning architecture. There are some small strip malls along the way. And obviously there are cities, and there are freeways (which I was corrected by our realtor that they are called highways in New England), and of course I’m sure suburbia lives somewhere …BUT not where we are :)
And to put it simply, we live a much simpler life–and it’s quite refreshing. No I’m not living in some naive world, ignorant of the great possibility that reality will soon set in to the fact we are missing much of what we considered home: family & friends & church & familiarity…but I feel as though typing these feelings are just as important to share with you as it is to be a dear reminder of what the Lord has blessed us with. In a couple of weeks, when by chance we are sitting in our cold house and the thought “what in the world were we thinking?!” pops into our heads, I shall need to revert back to this post; when the freshness of our life is taking hold and my heart is filled with gladness and thankfulness. I am human after all–too quick to forget the good and remember the bad…
With that said, I will continue with the thought of a simpler life and be thankful for it. Tyler and I are finding our way around the town of Somers and East Longmeadow, which is to our north in Massachusetts. Of course we nailed down the closest Starbucks since we are in the land of Dunkin’ Donuts and unfortunate coffee. I was blessed to find a Pilates studio (more on that to come I’m sure) and Tyler found the best pizza in town, Frankie’s Firehouse Restaraunt. A-MAZ-ING is all I have to say. Its got Tyler convinced he’s going figure out the recipe and make a fortune in Portland selling real pizza to the masses. Not to mention their sizes are beyond description–the party size was longer than my 5 1/2 year old Cody, who really is the size of a normal 7 year old, and could feed an entire frat house. It costs a mere 30 bucks. I’m pretty sure $30 got me an 8 piece large pizza delivered to my house in West Linn. Like I said, we’re going to make a fortune when we get back, folks.
Oh, and the architecture–can you tell I love it? It’s just beautiful. I was a sucker for any bungalow in Portland, which was usually located in the center of “Keep Portland Weird”, so it was never a possibly to have such character or history without the side effects of NPR and PETA. So we were always stuck in the midst of rows of builder’s houses pilled on top of each other. You know the ones…with the same ole builder’s grade cabinets and the same lame layout everyone has from Happy Valley to Beaverton–where no matter where you were, you were walking into the same neighborhood and same house as the one 20 miles ago…don’t get me wrong they can be and are wonderful homes to be thankful for, but my personal preference is character. There is so much more room to make the space yours. Of course I’m typing in dream land here, and the chances of us ever procuring such a property is zilch, but as long as I’m pretending simplicity is ideal, Colonial revival is ideal too.
I find myself gazing out my car window in awe and delight at what is so foreign to us; one Greek revival next to a Second Empire and then to a charming Federal style that makes you think of White Christmas and the quintessential family home. I wonder, if these New Englanders puke at the thought of modern homes…or perhaps drafty windows and oil heating (!!!) and 2 acres of mowed lawn gets old, and a craftsmen style home built in 2013 with sidewalks is calling their name :)
There’s no target, no Fred Meyer, no Costco in Somers. My goodness, the closest J. Crew is 40 mins away and the mall doesn’t even have a Nordstrom–the humanity!! We need to drive at least 20 mins to get to anything that isn’t a grocery store or bed & breakfast. It may seem tedious but really, it’s hard to explain properly, but since we live in the woods (as I like to call it), that’s what everyone does and that is what everyone expects, thus so do we. The strip malls are 20 mins away. Hospitals too. It’s a village. We don’t have villages in Portland. We don’t have history for that matter…I guess the closest thing I can relate it to is Eastern Oregon. How there are vast miles of farm land met with a farm town met with more farm land. Think of that but enter Revolutionary War, the woods, Christmas, Colonial America, nostalgia and you’ve got it.
Simple. Yes simple. No hustle bustle of running off to this or that–we don’t have this or that. We have Somers. We have pre-school (and wonderful gift from above!) and Tyler has work and…well, it looks like we might be doing baseball soon. And I’m sure we’ll find other activities to do…yes, simple is more to do with the fact the Lord has taken us out of what is comfortable and what we loved to fill our time with and he has given us Somers, Connecticut. Right here in the woods. No family. No friends. No church family. This is purposeful and good, as are all things from above, and we are to learn from His plan and not our own. For Tyler and I both know that we were given this plan, we did not make it up.
So here’s to our year in training, for I know He had good things ahead for us!