Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Things I Love About New England

I love that I have New England ancestry - and love the parents, grandparents and earlier generations that made it possible. I love my aunts, uncles and cousins, and all of their families, who still live there - so we can visit them often!

I love the town, county and state records of New England - the births, deaths, marriages, deeds, probates, taxes, town proceedings, cemeteries, and other records. On the one hand, genealogy research is made easier by these records. However, the sheer volume of records is mind-boggling, and makes research a full-time career.

I love the small towns of New England - in most cases, there is a small central core with several main streets, with some feeder streets and many side streets. Outside of the central core, the houses and farms are spaced out, and many of them have woods, streams, ponds, and other natural features.

I love the roads of New England. The freeways and tollways are adequate, except around Boston. The US highway and state roads allow you to go 40 to 60 miles per hour over long stretches, punctuated by small town centers. The roads and streets in town are rarely in a grid, which makes it harder to get around. The round-abouts work well.

I love the houses of New England - they have character, and are generally pretty large. The colonial and Victorian houses are interesting, inside and out. They usually have cellars or basements, and separate garages.

I love the churches of New England - some are modern, but most are 18th or 19th century, many were formerly Congregational churches. They are a central feature of the small town centers. Some are built of stone, others of wood. The steeples are majestic.

I love the graveyards of New England - in most cases, the oldest ones are near the town centers. The oldest stones are often of the "potato chip" style made of slate, and later ones are granite. Walking through the stones gives me chills - I often talk to them, and wonder what kind of life these people had.

I love the stone walls of New England - they set off property and are decorative. No two are alike. There are still plenty of stones in the ground, too.

I love the helpful and friendly people of New England - at least the ones we meet in the small towns we visit - in the libraries, hotels, restaurants and attractions we patronize.

What have I missed about New England? Tell me so I can experience them.

1 comment:

Janice said...

Randy, you didn't mention these but you have already have experienced them in your travels...

The food (seafood mostly) and the accent! :D