Before moving to Boston I had heard that New England was a stuffy place where people were still considered outsiders after living there for twenty years. Wrong.
I found it easier to get to know people and to make friends in Massachusetts than perhaps anywhere I have ever lived. I made friends through people I met at work, in our apartment building, at house parties, in classes at B.U., in writing groups, in a square-dancing club that I joined, and doing community actions such as the Walk for (to end) Hunger, marches to end the death penalty, and election campaigns.
After my husband and I moved to Cape Cod, we encountered different but similar experiences. In no time, we were connected with a group that played tennis regularly; we met kindred people while campaigning to elect Deval Patrick as Governor; I joined a Buddhist meditation group; and every Saturday I met other Cape Codders to rally for peace in the town square. Then Nanowrimo (National November Writers Month) appeared on the Internet, and suddenly I had a new writers’ group to meet with just down the street. No pedigrees required to be accepted by any of these groups. Neither age, nor gender, race, religion, class, marital and health status, income, educational or ethnic background were screening factors.
Rather than remembering New England as stuffy, I think of it as the crossroads of different nationalities, cultures, languages, religions, interests and customs which, when mixed together, produce endless new ideas, technologies, solutions to problems, and works of art. I consider myself privileged to have lived in New England and I will always treasure memories and friends made there.
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