Twenty. Only 29 more to go! And I'm barely punchy. OK, that's a lie. I'm beyond punchy but still able to write coherently. But I'm yawning. A lot.
This is kind of a convoluted thing. I don't drive anymore, so I'm pretty much relegated to the area around my community, where I can use the disabled public transportation. This means that my safe spot is unfortunately now beyond my reach. Which sucks so much I can't even put it into words.
So I've got this safe spot, but I can't get to it. It's in the smallest city in MA, Newburyport. I lived there for 9 years and it's the place where I feel like I grew up. I moved there right after I finished graduate school. It is the first place I ever lived alone, the first place I fell sickingly in love, the first place where I held a job, the first place I ever owned property, the first place I owned a boat, and the first place where I bought a new car (actually two new cars!).
Newburyport is very special. It's right on the ocean, at the mouth of the Merrimack River. The ocean is a wildlife sanctuary called Plum Island, home to an amazing array of birds. It's one of the top birding places in the country. Not that I'm a birder, but I've seen everything from puffins to plovers to coromants to snowy owls there.
The city itself is an old whaling and fishing community, and the houses are OLD. When I say old, I mean built in the 1700's old. The downtown was restored right before I first moved there in the early 70's, and it's composed of old red brick 3 and 4 story buildings with big firewalls in-between each building. The sidewalks are also red brick.
The downtown has very funky stores, and a lovely boardwalk along the river for evening strolls. There is a large harbor that is home to some of the most beautiful sailing vessels you've ever seen. It is a small city, about 20K people, and it's walkable from one end to the other. It has salt marshes with a tiny river, the Parker running thru, so you can canoe or kayak there. It has a thriving theatre and a very funky old movie house. There are wonderful restaurants and a couple of very 'townie' bars with live music.
I've never felt more at home anywhere in my life, and when I'm in need of comfort, going up to the Port always makes me feel better. I hope to retire there.
Where is your safe spot?
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