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I frickin’ love New England this time of year. I don’t even mind that summer is almost over and the weather is cooling down, because next comes FALL and fall in Connecticut is gorgeous. It’s also when all the stuff happens – this weekend is the Greek Food Festival, the Taste of Italy, and the Ledyard Town Fair. So much food, so little time! Next weekend we can go apple picking and make enough apple sauce to feed all three of us for a year (I have a secret inside hookup for apples). And before you know it, it will be time to pull out the Halloween decorations – or if you’re some people, that time is now. Here are some of the signs of fall around my neighborhood.
Ok so I really took this walk on Thursday and today is Friday but don’t hassle me bro, I have an infant. Baby Evan and I walked downtown to the library to return the two whole books I managed to read in the last two months and pick out three new ones. THREE! I am so ambitious. Even more impressive, they are books I have not even read before (although really, once you’ve read one Clive Cussler you’ve read them all). Still, BOOKS!
I don’t know how much I’ve talked about where I live in the past, besides calling it small-town New England, but really some days it seems more like a painting than an actual town. We have the Norman Rockwellesque town hall complete with annual Christmas Tree lighting party consisting of carolers, small children and free hot cider. We have what seems like a hundred banks in old stone buildings with big external alarm boxes and thousand-pound wood doors. We have old fashionedy light posts with hanging flower baskets. There are two old hotels from when this was a booming mill city full of prosperity and hope. It’s the kind of place where politicians leave out bumper stickers with “please take one” signs to get support – and people take one.
Unfortunately, the boom has long since banged out and the town is mostly populated by workers from the nearby casinos and…well, to tell the truth I have NO IDEA what most of the people here do for a living. We have several large companies and factories in this part of the state but those people all live in the suburbs for the large yards and lower taxes. I guess the infrastructure of a small city (local government, schools, restaurants, skilled workers) provides enough jobs to be self supporting for the most part, although the slow decline of my town proves that can’t last forever. I hope the current economic problems facing our country (and our STATE – WAY TO GO CONNECTICUT one of only two states still operating without a budget) don’t cause any irreversible damage to this place. I like it here.
Farmer’s Market! It’s held downtown at the boat launch/marina close enough that we can walk down in nice weather (walking home is much harder since it’s uphill). There’s a bigger, fancier market on Friday nights in the next town over but this one is perfectly fine for picking up salad ingredients or something to snack on.
*The last picture is of the mini-golf course that some teenagers vandalized by setting some of the buildings on fire. Now it’s in the process of being bulldozed and I want to kick those kids in the teeth. It was the ONE family-friendly thing to do outside.
**Truthfully, these are from last week. This week has been too tiring to do anything fun – unless you want to see pictures of us filling out tax forms from the town we used to live in or recycling cans at the Big Y to get the 5 cent deposits back.
Today we looked at mansions. We ran into the owner of my favorite one (the green one) who I once bought a bunch of antique furniture from so I know slightly. She was like “Oh my God you had a baby! When did that happen?” And then she gave me the new mommy once-over. It’s like a very fast stink-eye that judges you on your remaining baby fat, general pastiness and whether or not your hair is washed (guess what, it’s not). I don’t think I did very well but luckily you get extra points for the cuteness of the baby and mine flirted his chubby butt off.
Weather permitting, I’m going to make this a weekly feature. Baby Evan is just about aware enough to start appreciating our little outings and my neighborhood has a lot of great houses and gardens to look at.