Tragically, I don't have a picture today to accompany this particular theme. And while my last two Theme Thursdays have been light-hearted, this one is going to be more...contemplative. Nostalgic. Dare I say, slightly depressing? Hopefully not, but I'm giving myself some wiggle room here.
When Will and I were beginning the process of moving from Germany back to the States in the Spring of 2010, I woke up every day with a mixture of emotions. Sadness at leaving the country I called home for the last five years. Anticipation to get the show on the road (those of you who are familiar with military life, you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about). Dread thinking about the headache we were going to have with the whole PCS-permanent change of station-process. Unbridled enthusiasm; not only were we going to be living on the East coast, which had been a long-standing dream of mine, but we were going to be stationed in Boston. Boston. A city I had only visited only once before, on a school orchestra trip my sophomore year in high school, but a city that captured my heart in the four short days we were there. A city that was incredibly rich in history, culture, education, food, music, what have you. Will had never been, but he was excited for our new adventure as well (especially upon hearing me chat up the allure of the North End day after day). I was busy planning touristy activities for Will and I during our first few weeks in our new city; visiting Faneuil Hall, walking the Freedom Trail, Harvard Square, Beacon Hill, USS Constitution, cannoli at Bova's Bakery, pastrami sandwiches at Sam LaGrassa's, etc. Not to mention the museums!! Boston museums just can't be beat.
One of the things I was looking forward to the most, though, was the beauty of the changing seasons. Unlike Wisconsin (freezing cold with mountains of snow from January to the end of April, slushy, gray and muddy until the end of May, unbearably hot from June until the beginning of October, and a very brief period of a beautiful Fall), as a general rule New England had actual seasons. I couldn't wait to experience my very first New England Fall...and believe me when I tell you it didn't disappoint. It's no secret I'm not a fan of ungodly hot weather, but I also don't care for long-lasting winters with below zero temperatures. Fall in Boston was just perfect. A crisp day with a slight chill to the air, the most beautiful shades of orange and red on the trees, a Starbucks coffee drink in one hand and a book in the other, taking a daily 3-mile walk through a gorgeous state park near our apartment (Wompatuck State Park, for those of you who are so inclined and live in the area), and as cheesy and eye-roll worthy as it may be, exploring Salem with my parents during the month of October. For other reasons I can't really put into words, New England-Boston in particular-was utopia for me. Will commented all the time how happy and relaxed I was, and how he had never seen me show such enthusiasm for taking a walk outside. It was true.
As much as I know we did the right thing by moving to Shreveport so Will could finish his college degree, as happy as I am to live closer to his wonderful family, and as much as I enjoy certain things about Louisiana...I can't lie. Saying goodbye to that phenomenal city and that gorgeous part of the country made my heart hurt. There are times, especially now, during the Fall, when I miss the beauty of New England so much I can't stand to think about it. I rarely speak of these feelings to Will, because I don't want him to think for a second that I'm not grateful for his hard work and the sacrifices he's made for our family. I'm so proud of him for making the courageous decision to leave a secure job, to enrolling in college, to getting a 4.0 almost every semester, to working harder than he ever has in his life to make a better future for us. Moving to Shreveport was absolutely the right decision, and I don't regret it for a second. It's just that every so often, and this time of year in particular, I look out the window at the still-green leaves on our trees, and I think of the beautiful shades of orange that are gracing New England right now. I wish we could live there again, more than anywhere else in the world. Will has promised me that we will move back one day, and until that day comes we can vacation there. I am so grateful we had that time together, however short it may have been, in the lovely, exciting, historical, magical city of Boston.