Today, we'll start with the easiest, because that's what I can handle right now.
List all the cities/towns/burgs you've ever lived in and tell us what one thing do you miss most and one thing you'll never miss about that place.
Lebanon, NH, 1971-74 (This one's hard, because I was two when we moved, and really have only two memories of being there. We'll call one of them positive and one negative.)
- Do miss: Using the dough box on the porch as a pretend rowboat with my friend Emily.
- Don't miss: Looking down the steep back stairs into the kitchen.
- Do miss: Playing with neighborhood kids in our connected yards. I had no idea at the time how awesome our yards were, and how awesome for my sister and me that we were in the middle, age-wise, of our neighbors.
- Don't miss: Living soooooooooo far away from school and town. Missing the bus was a real ordeal.
- Do miss: Hanging out in basements. I don't know why we spent so much time in so many people's basements, but we did, and I loved it.
- Don't miss: The culture of tolerated dishonesty. Living in Wayland was totally formative for me; I went from being a kid with a maybe slightly overdeveloped sense of "fair" to someone who was really unable to abide cheating, due largely to being exposed to so much of it in that environment, so blatantly. People have commented in my adult life that I am very ethical, sometimes to the point of self-righteousness. That is entirely a reaction to Wayland. It was like a vaccine.
- Do miss: All the people. I had a professor (Psychology of Stress and Stress Management) who freaked out the class (which consisted of mostly second-semester seniors, though I was a first-year student) by reminding us that this was the last time in our lives we'd ever be surrounded by so many people of our own age, with similar interests. It was true. Making and maintaining friendships was easier then. And there was always stuff to do, even if some of it wasn't all that smart.
- Don't miss: Being a student. I'm not all that good at it, or all that interested in it.
- Do miss: The people I lived with, my view of the Cathedral, and Sunday evenings watching Murder She Wrote with my grandmother.
- Don't miss: The $100-a-month stipend we lived on, and even that is not as bad as it sounds: We also had housing, health insurance, and an extra $90 a month for food. But still.
- Do miss: Dinner club. One of my best friends from high school (who was still an undergraduate, in that town), had a club of folks who would take turns cooking for each other. I have replicated it in small ways, but never to the degree we had then. I have rarely eaten so well, and the company was terrific.
- Don't miss: The stupid dog who came with my house. The woman who owned the house was renting it to me at what she assured me was a great deal, while she was out of the country. But she had a dog, which, no big deal, I like dogs. But this particular dog needed to have a door open for her at all times. In Hanover, NH. In the winter. She was also very needy. The dog, not the owner, although a case could be made there, too.
- Do miss: The house and property, kind of. It was a great house, but it was a group house full of strangers, so I mostly kept to my room, instead of using the rest of the house. Still, it was really pretty.
- Don't miss: The unease of living with a drug dealer. It was just weed, and he and his girlfriend were both always very nice, and I didn't even know they were dealing until he got arrested, but still, it was weird.
- Do miss: Living in an apple orchard with those great roommates. We had a helluva time, a lot of the time.
- Don't miss: Living in the middle of nowhere. It was a twenty-minute drive to the nearest anything. Also, one of my roommates often drove that twenty minutes drunk, which made me very nervous.
- Do miss: My upstairs neighbors and their foosball table (which they eventually gave me). We had a good time.
- Don't miss: One of a series of creepy relationships with a creepy creepy dude. In fact, now that I think about it, I had two of those in those days in Keene. They were so creepy it's hard to picture myself in those situations, but I have wound up in several of them over my life. The second most memorable and one of the two creepiest were in Keene in this period.
- Do miss: Individual people. I made some fantastic friends there, some of the best of my life, and I miss them very, very much. I also miss having a group of coworkers who were always up for getting a beer, although I realize now that we were not always in the healthiest patterns when we did that, at either of the two Arlington places of employment where I had that. Sometimes we were, though. Sometimes, it was just fun, moderate bonding.
- Don't miss: The constant feeling that people thought they were better than anyone else around them. It manifests itself in the craziest rudeness. That was what was eventually too too hard.