Families and friends are what hold our society together. We were created for relationships, and the connection with parents and siblings doesn’t end when we grow up and move away.
When my family moved to Maine several years ago, I left behind an extended family on the western end of the country ~ Mom in New Mexico, Dad in California, and 30-something baby brother in Washington state. I also left behind cherished friends who were there for me in the early years of the lives of my children. I left behind the abundant sunshine and wide-open spaces, and traded it in for overcast skies and frigid winters.
Compared to the West Coast, Maine is a foreign land of humid summers and thick forests. When I arrived, I found that there are insects I’d never heard of, foods I’d never tried, and colloquialisms that still give me a chuckle after all these years. Other than speaking the same language (sort of) I might as well have moved to China. But then, I like Maine so much better in many ways. It is far less populated, the air is very clean, and it has an unspoiled, rugged beauty that does cause us to say, in spite of ourselves, that it is the way life should be.
Truth be told, part of me longed to seek out new lands and have a bit of distance put between me and my quirky family. After all, I’m all grown up and have a family of my own now. But I miss my West Coast friends and family. We have a heart-connection that is strong in spite of the miles between us. My dad is close to my son and I often wish they could spend more time together. Nearly every week, I wish we could have my mom visit for dinner. My brother and I don’t talk nearly often enough – if only, if only …
It is unlikely that I will ever again live in the same hometown as my extended family and West Coast friends. It is unlikely that we will even live in the same state, or on the same side of the Mississippi. Maine is my home now and I love it so. But I can dream… and in the meantime, I can visit them vicariously through the heartfelt work of some of my good friends who have brought to life some of my favorite areas of the West in their writings.
Leanne Phillips is my California buddy who makes the Golden State shine in her special sites entitled:
All Info About California and The Beach Place Blog
Donna Gunnels is my friend who lives up near my brother. She is fortunate to live and write in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where she brings it to life in her site entitled:
Oregon/Washington Coast Vacations
Join me as I visit family and friends the new-fangled way. It may not be quite the same as an in-person visit, but it's the next best thing to being there.
Copyright © 2005 - Paulla Estes