It has been a while since I've written. In the interim, I've moved to Amherst, MA with my partner Lori and her 8-year-old daughter Abigail. The Pioneer Valley region of Massachusetts is a very different place than urban, suburban, and exurban DC, where I had been living since 2001.
I really like the area. It lives up to its reputation as extremely progressive and liberal, with a host of aging hippies blending right in with all the other eccentric and "regular" people (if there is such a thing.)
One thing I do find odd is the existence of a geographical boundary. Just as folks in Northern VA and DC/Suburban Maryland have created this artificial boundary I like to call "the Potomac Ocean" (sure, it's a bear to cross from one to the other in rush hour, but at other times, it's a cakewalk) here there seems to be "the Connecticut Ocean." Folks in Northampton, on the west side of the Connecticut River seem to find crossing the bridge and driving the few miles to Amherst an anathema. In a horse and buggy, maybe. And yes, there is a bit of "traffic" (and I use quotes purposefully) at peak times when UMass/Amherst College/Hampshire College and Smith College are all in motion, but the delays are nothing at all like DC Beltway traffic.
Everyone is telling me to be prepared for winter, but with ten years in Fargo, ND under my belt, a New England winter doesn't scare me at all.
Now, it has been about a month and there are still dozens of unpacked boxes filling up the basement and assorted other corners of the house, but that's to be expected-especially when moving the accumulated stuff of two adults with years of previous relationships and households behind them.
In between doing all the things we need to do for our new jobs, taking care of Abigail, and routine house care, slowly but surely, a bit at a time, we'll get everything in its place. Even without that, the place is really starting to feel like home.
A new home, a new community, new work environments. Exciting and exhausting. And worth it.
Adrian (aka Migdalor guy)
P.S. - MA limits vanity license plates to 6 characters, so I can't get the MigdalOr plate I wanted. Sigh.