Farewell, New England

Dorky college senior, 1979

Dorky college senior, 1979

On Aug. 31, 1975 my parents dropped me off at the Boston University dormitory at 700 Commonwealth Ave. with a suitcase, a box of basic living supplies and a squash racket. I have no idea why they gave me the squash racket. I was never any good at squash.

The next few days were some of the loneliest of my life, but it didn’t matter. I was in Boston, the place where I had wanted to live since I was 13, and I knew this was where I belonged.

My opinion has never changed. Despite having many opportunities to move to other parts of the country, none has appealed to me as much as the area I’ve called home for 39 years. But now the time has come to leave. In two weeks I’ll pack up my family and my possessions and haul out for a new life in Reading PA.

The decision hasn’t been easy, but it’s the right thing to do. The three-story urban house that Dana and I bought eight years ago – with its postage-stamp-sized yard and tiny bedrooms – was perfect for our needs at the time but is now poorly suited for bringing up young children. The school system in my town is middle-of-the-road and there are no nearby open spaces for kids to play.

In contrast, Dana’s entire family lives within about a 45-minute drive of Reading. There are plenty of aunts, uncles and cousins for the girls to play with and a housing dollar goes about two thirds farther. My business is entirely virtual, so a high-speed connection, a phone line and a nearby airport are all I need to work. We hope to buy or build our dream home and settle there for good.

The Twillins - Lillian & BlairThose are my girls – Lillian and Blair. How can I not do what’s best for two such adorable kids?

There’s so much I’ll miss about this area. I raised two kids to adulthood here, enjoyed a successful career and came to know the city like the back of my hand. I’ve always loved the fact that you could walk from one end of downtown Boston to the other in about half an hour, and I’ve done so countless times. New Englanders can be prickly at times, but I’ve also found them to be goodhearted and possessed of a wonderful sense of humor. I had the good fortune to hold Red Sox season tickets during a decade in which the team won three World Series championships. I will be a New England sports fan until the day I die.

It’s tough to move away from my 26-year-old son, but I’m proud of how well he’s done overcoming his learning disabilities to live independently in Cambridge. My daughter is studying at Savannah College of Art and Design and will doubtless find her career opportunities elsewhere. I’ll miss my friends terribly, but I console myself with the fact that I’ll only be about six hours away.

A former boss of mine used to say “Change is your friend.” I’ll remember that as I take this next step. Bostonians like to call their city the Hub of the Universe. It will always be the hub of mine.

 

17 thoughts on “Farewell, New England

  1. Paul – wishing you and your family all the best! What an exciting adventure! And Lillian & Blair are just adorable. It is obvious Boston will remain in your heart. And who knows just maybe you will pick up a new squash racquet.

  2. Paul and Dana – great to have been able to say we lived in the same town. And Paul, I recall your first days at Computerworld in that same town when I got to interview you for the IDG Update newsletter and how you had done a similar project at Honeywell. Then New Marketing Bootcamp… It’s been fun working with you over the years and best wishes at the new homestead!

  3. I wish you happiness and everything you are looking for, for you and your family..
    The girls are adorable..
    I would love to see pictures of your grown children…
    Be Safe, Drive Safe and Have Fun…
    Never forget to Smile and Laugh it’s Good for Your Soul ~

  4. Sending you a virtual martini to celebrate what was and will be. Safe travels and move.

  5. Home is where your family is, regardless of the city, the state, or the country. Best of luck to you, Dana and the girls as you make new and wonderful memories.
    – Leslie

  6. Paul, just saw that you and Dana are making a big move. I did the same two years ago, although mine was a move away from family and toward warm weather and the ocean and knowing not one person. From SF to Indy to Savannah…I love change. Maria, my now 9.5 year old, was very angry at first but has adapted quite nicely.

    I remembered seeing on your FB account at some point that you had been at The Thunderbird and I wondered why. I thought it was a fluke. (Maria, the dogs and I spent four days there while waiting for the moving van to get here.) After reading your post, I see now that it wasn’t a fluke at all – that your daughter is at SCAD! I live downtown and close to several SCAD buildings.

    If you make another trip here, please let me know. I would love to see you.
    In the meantime, good luck with the move, my friend!

    Katherine

  7. Katherine: I had no idea you were in Savannah! I’m sure I’ll be back there for my daughter’s graduation, so I’ll look you up. It’s a lovely town, as is Indianapolis, by the way. You appear to have a knack for finding hidden gems. Thanks so much for commenting. We arrived in Reading last night and are getting set up now.

  8. Very nice, Paul. Change is often good, despite some heartache and challenges. I feel the same way about this locale, but know at some point change is in my destiny. Hopefully it’s not an RV or anything else without a permanent garden and front porch. It is all about memories, new and old, and the friends you make along the roads that lead to change. Best of luck, my friend.

  9. So much to see and do in that area (and this from someone who lives hard by the non-reality show part of the Jersey Shore). My father-in-law relished taking my daughters to see the Amish, Liberty Bell, etc. Heck, I would move to “Pretzel City” just to explore my favorite snack food category.

  10. Thanks, Mark. Amish country is beautiful, as is much of the countryside around here. We’re exploring and finding new and interesting things each weekend.

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