For the earliest part of my life, my family and I frequently traveled between Massachusetts and Florida to visit one set of grandparents in each state. We lived miles from any other family members in Mass and I had a better relationship with my Floridian grandparents on the phone than I did in person. Eventually, my grandfather in Florida became terminally ill and as a result, we uprooted ourselves from Massachusetts to relocate to Florida. Although I was very young, I can still recall feeling strongly attached to the bay state and nearly heartbroken about the move. I considered the entire clawed-state my home: from the berkshires to Boston. The radically changing weather was my favorite game of hide and seek, the autumn leaves painted the surroundings with such vibrant colors no fingerpainting could compare to and the Boston Red Sox were undoubtedly superior to any fishy sports team Florida might have.
The move itself was trying, and even once we had settled into the quaint house in the newest neighborhood development, I missed Massachusetts with every fiber of my little heart. Year-round greenery, however beautiful, did not tempt me with its accompanying fair weather; no, I longed for snow days during school and an every-changing, undulating landscape. People were pleasant, but they had passions completely divergant from my own. Every weekend was beach day when I wanted seasons. Fast food was abudant on the commercialized stretch of land just beyond our property, but I preferred my northern grandmother's home cooking. And as the months passed by, I could only dream of my Massachusetts home among the hills, or trips down to the breezy cape in place of the identical houses and constant sun that left my appetite for New England unsatisfied.
Although my return to the land of big hills came on the somber passing of my grandfather, the smell of crisp northern air was exactly what I needed. We moved away from our western-mass home and settled far closer to the patchwork of towns where the remainder of my family resided, just south west of Boston. Witnessing a sudden summer shower or an abrupt blizzard awakened the pitter-patter in my chest and in a wave of seafood dinners and Patriot games; I knew I was back where I belonged. Nestled within a hilly community where yellow buses picked me up at my door for the start of school and returned me during the blossoming of late-spring flowers, announcing the soon-to-be arrival of summer. From then on, I knew there wasn't a single thing about my Massachusetts home I could ever live without.