If you could live anywhere, where would that be? I have spent a number of years dreaming about the place that I want to call HOME. Home with a capital "H". The place where I want to be from and I want my children to be from and to return to for holidays, willingly.
We currently reside in a very urban piece of Northern Rhode Island, which carries a stigma. No one that is not born here wants to be from here. I have tried many times to see the beauty of our town and some days am better at it than others. We have a great bank with great tellers, a great postman, a great librarian. If you aren't on a first name basis with these people in your neighborhood, introduce yourself. It's worth it.
Our town also boasts a cathedral that was built by French-Canadian immigrants, an historic theatre and a free, outdoor ice rink. All of these things make our day brighter.
The downside is we are the 3rd poorest city in Rhode Island. Our schools rank almost last in the state and our state ranks near the bottom nationally. Our government is corrupt as well as our police department- allegedly. We have an active mob, again allegedly. While spending eight years here, we have seen a high speed car chase, blast through soccer practice. (True story, guns drawn and helicopter search and all.) We have seen vehicular homicide when gang kids smashed their car into a motorcyclist on purpose, then promptly left their car and walked away from the crime scene. We have seen police crack down on homeless people in the park. We have seen huffing on the street, we have seen drunk, homeless people at the library (not to mention the elderly cat lady, who smells like, well, elderly cat pee.) We see a lot of appalling behavior at our grocery store in the hood.
Try as I might, I just don't want to be from here. I really want to be from Star's Hollow. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stars_Hollow Stars Hollow was the fictional Connecticut town where the Gilmore Girls took place. It was my favorite show, mostly because of the town and its wacky inhabitants. Now, I know what you are thinking, Stars Hollow is fictional. Well, yes I know that and if I didn't my husband would remind me.
Here's the thing, I want to find my Stars Hollow, not Lorelei Gilmore's. Somewhere out there in this beautiful country my Stars Hollow is waiting for me. (It might be in England-I am open to that too.) Somewhere there is a place for me. A town that will be slightly wacky, small enough for me to feel like I know a lot of the community with nice people and it will be safe. I will be able to drive through it and say, "This is my town." It doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to make me smile. Driving through Woonsocket usually does not make me smile. I want to cheer at high school football games. I want my girls to have a neighborhood full of playmates. I want my girls to be able to be outside alone without parental anxiety because our neighbors are a little sketchy. I would even like a school system, that might be good enough for my daughters. I know I am searching for a feeling, nostalgia even, but I am hoping it is out there.
Maybe it doesn't exist; maybe home is what you make it. My girls like it here well enough but I keep thinking it is because they don't know any better.
So, until some divine sign falls from heaven and tells me Woonsocket is the Indian name for Stars Hollow, I am still searching.
I would love to hear your suggestions.