I moved from Buffalo, New York to Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1987 for my ex-husband’s job in NYC, one hour away.
Countless cell phones, cars and jobs ago. VHS tapes and Blockbuster were still the rage! Netflix and Amazon Prime were unimaginable! LOL!
My son, Kevin was 2. My son, Troy, a twinkle in my eyes, was born in 1988. Change is not always easy, even though, I have an adventurous spirit and like meeting people. My knee jerk response to hitching up and relocating was ” So, WHERE is this place?” My geography was a little rusty.
I didn’t know anyone who lived in Bridgeport.
Or, much about the Nutmeg State— except it’s in New England and is haven for a lot of filthy rich celebs with long winding driveways and manicured landscaping.
I didn’t move to that part! LOL! People assume that everyone is living high on the hog. No!!! Connecticut has its own share of unemployment; poverty, crime and corruption. Don’t let those warm and fuzzy” Christmas in Connecticut” movies on the Lifetime Channel fool ya! LOL! Gritty, urban cities like Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven are intermingled with quaint suburbs and picturesque rural areas.
It’s not perfect! Expensive housing and sky high property, income and annual car taxes– get under my skin. Because, it ain’t cheap around these parts, many millennials and retirees are packing their bags. But, it’s been a beautiful journey–none-the-less!
I wasn’t looking for him. And, he wasn’t looking for me. The dating scene was getting old and weary. Ten years ago, “Q” (Quentin) and I met at a pizza joint in Bridgeport called “Two Boots.” It was a random Friday night, out to hear a local band perform, with my girlfriends; I just wanted to have fun and sip a Cosmo–in, peace!!
We were introduced by a lovely mutual friend, Carmen, who thought our personalities meshed. Her husband was Q’s best friend and best man at their wedding. She nudged me as soon as she saw him walk in. Her light bulb went off!! “Hey, you’re divorced. He’s divorced, ” she blurted. Her eyes lit up like a starry night in Vermont!
Well, it worked. We’ve never stopped talking after that night; no more lying to myself and settling for foul relationships. I knew he was special right from the start. I was choking on the aroma of spicy Jambalaya; he rushed over and got me a glass of water. A real gentleman. A class act with a crazy sense of humor!!
Funny thing? He lived right around the corner. Lesson learned? We meet people when we are supposed to meet them–when our lives are in alignment.
We got married in Branford, Connecticut, March 28, 2015, on a gorgeous snowy day. Unusual spring weather for an unusual love match. My hairstylist/dear friend, Diva, told me the snow was a sign that the ”angels were sprinkling confetti,” LOL! I loved that!
Met fabulous friends…
My heart swells when I think about it. I have truly been blessed with genuine, loving, kind and loyal friends– that feel like family. I love them all so much. Many are nurses. We worked together at Bridgeport Hospital and various home care agencies. Some, I met in nursing school at Fairfield University.
Others are neighbors, friends of friends, wives of friends, parents of my son’s friends. And, some I met serendipitously at the grocery store, hair and nail salon and any other place I felt a connection and opened my pie hole to say hello.
The first person I met, while still unpacking, was my gregarious, vibrant, funny and down to earth neighbor, Robyn Waller. She knocked on the door, gave me a big hug and told me she had a young family, too. I loved her, immediately!
Several years later, when my son, Kevin, was seven, he was stricken with epileptic seizures. I found him in bed convulsing with his eyes rolling in his head. I was scared out of my mind. I called Robyn, screaming at the top of my lungs.
She ran over immediately, scooped up my four year old son, Troy and took him to her house while the ambulance took Kevin and me to the hospital. I never worried about Troy. She has always been there for me and my family through good and bad; over all these years. Never judgmental, always loving and supportive. One of a kind, a true-blue sister/friend.
Long Island Sound Shoreline…
I never realized how much I loved the water until I moved here. I mean, I REALLY love it!! An odd statement coming from a non-swimmer! I was more attuned to Buffalo blizzards and sub-zero wind chills. There are plenty of coastal beaches sprinkled along Connecticut’s southern border from Greenwich to New London. It’s absolutely gorgeous and therapeutic! It speaks to me!! And, I listen!!
Having close access to the water is a treat! Seaside Park is a Bridgeport gem that snuggles Long Island Sound; only a 10 minute ride from my home. It’s where I go to chill, get inspired and take long walks; even in the dead of winter. I love connecting with nature! We even have the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry, founded in 1883, one of the oldest operating ferry companies in America. Three boats sail back and forth daily from Bridgeport to Port Jefferson, Long Island; the scenic ride takes 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Driving on I-95 is a nightmare. I don’t mess with it unless I take a Xanax and pray first! I’d rather take the local streets, doubling my travel time. Don’t judge! LOL!
Who needs 18-wheelers, traffic jams, accidents and rude drivers with an affinity for the middle finger, disrupting my zen?
Thank God for the Merritt Parkway: a limited access, two lane in each direction, historic, parkway in Fairfield County. The thing I love most? No trucks or buses. “The Merritt,” as we Nutmeggers call it, is charming with beautiful, low stoned Art Deco bridges. Autumn foliage and snow blanketing icy branches along the concourse are equally breathtaking.
Until I moved to Bridgeport, I had never heard of a Portuguese roll. After one taste, I was addicted. 220 calories of pure delight. Not Keto diet friendly! Crusty on the outside and light and airy on the inside. It’s shaped like a big fist. LOL! Trust me, they’re yummy whether toasted and slathered with butter and strawberry jam, as a sandwich or dunked into a hearty soup. They can’t be compared to the sad little rolls at the local grocery store. I’m grateful for Bridgeport’s large Portuguese community for giving dough some pizzazz!
New York City; a hop, skip and jump away…
Yep. It’s pretty cool. Sometimes, I still can’t believe I only live one hour from Manhattan. She’s like that sexy, sophisticated cousin who turns heads! LOL! It’s convenient; I hop on Metro North rails in downtown Bridgeport, and away I go to Grand Central Terminal. It never gets old! The grandeur and beauty of this cavernous place is jaw dropping. People everywhere–masses of humanity intersecting their lives, bumping into each other, moving fast. Grand Central is the heartbeat of Gotham! The energy in NYC is electric!! I love the cultural diversity! Over the years, I have enjoyed good eats and fabulous Broadway theater. I can’t wait to see “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life & Times of The Temptations,” next month.
Yale University’s Gothic architecture….
The cover shot was taken at Yale University; located smack dab in bustling, downtown New Haven. This campus is absolutely stunning! I worked in New Haven five years ago, and during many of my lunch breaks, I would find myself wandering around the campus taking in all the sights, like a tourist. It was hard to leave! I soaked up the beauty and observed all the brainy students moving about. I’m surprised I wasn’t arrested for trespassing; snapping hundreds of pictures of Gothic doors, archways, windows,gates, clock towers and gargoyles; straight out of a Harry Potter movie. This Ivy League campus is a real treasure, I’m grateful I live close enough to visit all the time.
So, what’s the point of this post? Sometimes, we are looking far and wide for things to make us happy and satisfied. When it could be just under our noses; in our own backyards. We just have to open our eyes and be willing to be open to the experience.