Our New England Life

Today marks three months since the Rhymeswithsmile family moved to New England.  Wait, let me qualify that ... moved to urban suburban mega-suburban typical Southern stereotype of New England, Connecticut.  It's hard to come up with the right word to describe where we live: quaint New England village isn't quite right (because the state capital is 1 mile down the road), but it's no bustling metropolis either.  I think it's exactly what I thought it'd be: neighborhood living where folks really care about their lawns and take a lot of pride in their clothing choices (I think I'm the only person within a 10-mile radius who ventures out of her house - gasp - wearing yoga pants and no makeup), and a really amazing downtown that has nothing we can afford.

I think it's awesome.  I am loving being in the center of a tiny state where "far away" is 20 minutes.  Taxes are high, but the parks and libraries are fantastic.  We're within arm's reach of beach camping, mountain camping, island camping, and lake camping.  We're anticipating a spectacular display of fall foliage (don't disappoint us, New England).

I don't like to spend money anyway, so it's kinda nice that everything we think we might want is unaffordable anyway.  Folks in my neighborhood put things on the curb all the time (we're talking good things ... like glider rocking chairs, and double strollers), and the Freecycle community up here is phenomenal.
Free!  And in great shape!
I'd like to share a few rules for Living in New England that I've learned, based on personal observation, conversations with other transplanted Southerners, and the ever-popular stereotypes.  One day, I may be a successful local. We'll see ...

Rule #1 - Accept the taxes are high, shrug it off, and fiercely love your town.

Rule #2 - Be a bad driver like everyone else, but make allowances for all the other drivers who are worse than you.

Rule #3 - Have a favorite restaurant that fits in one of the following categories: is ethnic, has outdoor seating, is downtown, and/or has waitstaff in uniform.

Rule #4 - Do not disrespect Dunkin' Donuts, even if their donuts are undunkable and disgusting.

Rule #5 - Come to understand that "near" means within THIS town's limits and "far" means anywhere else.

Rule #6 - Be touristy and drive 25 miles for ice cream from the UConn dairy bar, because it's worth it.

See that giant cone of ice cream?  Less than $3.
E appreciates Aunt Becky's willingness to share.

Rule #7 - For that matter, get out and do anything ... because you can, and because you'll only have to drive an hour at most to get there.  You can be back by dinner.

Rule #8 - Accept that Chacos are not a "thing" here.  The only people I have seen wearing them are not from around here.  Believe me.  I've asked.

Rule #9 - It's OK to still be "southern" here.  I've had utility company workers and nurses at the doctor's office complement me on my accent.

The list continues.  But for now, I'm done.  I'm going to go sit in my (free) rocking chair and listen to the rain while I scheme about what we'll try to pack into the next three months ...


  1. Oh, I LOVE that picture of Ellis blissfully shoveling in ice cream!! Classic!
    Way to go having such a positive attitude! I remember the move from Colorado to Tennessee was pretty crazy for me. Major culture shock! And now the South holds such a dear spot my heart, I hope that you'll experience the same. Not the same as home but irreplaceable!!

  2. This is such a great summary of your first few months! I love the line about Chaco's not being a thing. Maybe you can MAKE them a thing! As always, Ellis is a beauty!

  3. I had to google chacos. But I'm glad you're settling in! And uber jealous of your free finds- we're moving an I've spent way too much money on furniture!

  4. And here I thought never leaving the house without make-up was a southern thing! Miss you!