Friday, January 11, 2008

There's no place like home

I've been tagged by the lovely Larramie to share 7 local knowledge facts with you, my wonderful readers. I stalled for a day when I read this meme, stuck on the word "local"--what exactly does that mean?

Were I to share 7 facts about my immediate locale, it would include the giant fuzzy cat who just arrived in our neighborhood (who I'm hoping will take care of the squirrel problem) and the new gas station that just reopened, replacing the one that blew up. Not all that interesting.

If I went a bit broader and included all of Greater Boston, we'd probably end up with an mix of stuff you already know from American history class about tea parties in the local river and a guy named Paul who rode a horse across town in the middle of the night and saved our country from being snuffed out by people wearing red coats. And I might mention a certain baseball team, a controversial (but winning) football team, and a phenomenal basketball team, along with the important truth that every last one of those teams has been HORRIBLE BEYOND BELIEF for most of my lifetime and that their recent victories still make me all amazed and tingly inside.

But I think I'll go even broader, and offer up some unknown facts about life here on the New England Coast. An intrepid visitor can cover the whole thing in a single visit, so you might as well know what the real treasures are:

1. Chivalry: New Englanders will stop and help you if you're stuck in snow or have a flat tire. They may not make much small talk, but they'll pull a rope out of the back of their Ford F-150 and tow you out of a ditch without asking anything in return. (I realized how rare this was when my car was stuck in the L.L. Bean parking lot a few years back and nobody--nobody!--offered to help this damsel in distress. I was baffled until I looked around and saw that all the cars had licence plates from...well, let's just say, not New England.)

2. Entrepreneurial Spirit: We like to sell things by the side of the road. In the past year, I've seen signs for everything from homemade jam to freshly taxidermized animals on wooden stands at the end of driveways, along with a little can where you can leave the money, honor-system style. If you need baby bunnies, four cords of firewood, or a hubcap for your Nissan Sentra, you'll find it here.

3. Understanding of What One Needs for a Good & Happy Life: All New England citizens are required to prove ownership or access to a pickup truck and a black labrador retriever. Two degrees of separation are allowed (which is how Steve & I still qualify--my sister has the dog and Dad has the truck) but go much beyond that and you're frowned upon as someone who doesn't quite get the way we do things around here.

4. Unique Genius: If you wander out to a pier and don't try to catch the lobsters with a fishing pole, you might meet a lobsterman who will explain his amazing profession. It will be the highlight of your trip.

5. Seasons: If you come here between January and May and don't have friends to visit, there's a good chance you'll leave wondering why anyone would ever live here. Unless you ski, and then you'll be to busy perfecting your Bode Miller impersonation to care about the lack of leaves on trees.

6. Other Seasons: If you come to New England between July and October, you'll want to come back as soon as possible, and you'll probably have a renewed faith in God. Who else could have created such a gorgeous place for us to inhabit?

7. THAT DOG: The New England coast is awe inspiring, gorgeous, and different from anywhere else on earth. It's also the home of THAT DOG (a Philly native, truth be told, but she doesn't remember that) which is as much of a tourist attraction as anything else you'll find here :)

12 comments:

Susie said...

This was great. I LOVE being from New England.

L Sass said...

You make me want to go to New England tomorrow!

Michelle said...

i want to visit boston!

Larramie said...

You did New England proud, Trish, with a personal and creative listing. Fascinating details we'd never know or understand otherwise, um, except for the weather. ;) Thank you for playing.

Sarakastic said...

wait wait wait, are you saying that lobsters aren't cuaght with fishing poles?

Kristen said...

These are great observations! So often, people like to talk about the negative things about New England and New Englanders. But you reminded me why I love living here! Happy weekend!

ellesappelle said...

Based on that list, I'd go.

Angela said...

As far as the trucks and black labs goes and roadside stands, New England sounds a lot like the grand old Midwest.

Travis Erwin said...

Interesting stuff.One of these days I hope to make up to that neck o' the woods.

Kris B said...

Funny; when I relocated to Hawaii, I thought the honor system sales were a wonderfully unique aspect of living in the islands - guess it's done elsewhere, too! Except, I've never seen taxidermy. And what you call chivalry, we call aloha. ;-)

Thanks for playing - you've rekindled my interest in visiting New England sooner rather than later!

Ello said...

OK I totally agree that New England has the most amazing scenery. When I go on Flickr for pretty pictures, I always type in New England to see what I get and it usually is great!

Lisa said...

I'm so glad I came by! I was born and raised in Boston and in the suburbs and the things you've chosen to talk about make me miss New England - a lot - well, maybe not at this time of year :)