Today is the one year anniversary of New England Bloggers, a blog group I belong to. In honor of this special day Elizabeth, at Thoughts of an Evil Overlord, is hosting a New England Bloggers Carnival. The idea is to write a post about some aspect of living in New England. You can click her link to read what other New England bloggers have to say.
When I heard about this I just knew I had to write a love letter to Rhode Island. You see, I'm a native Rhode Islander who spent 14 years (from age 23 to 37) living in a place as different from RI as you can possibly get... Arizona. Now don't get me wrong, I had a great life in AZ. I had a ton of friends and a wonderful and full social life. But I always felt like a fish out of water. I never got used to the weather, landscape, architecture or the lack of seasons. And I especially never got used to the lack of water and how brown everything is there. Every summer when we would fly back to RI for a visit, I would be shocked at how green Rhode Island summers are. It would take me days to get used to it. And I swear I could smell the sea air as soon as the plane was flying over Connecticut. Yes. Through the sides of the plane. I really could. So, Rhode Island, here's to you.
Dearest Little Rhody,
There are so many things to love about living here in the Ocean State. I love that we are surrounded by water. I didn't realize how I rely on all that water to orient myself, until I moved to the desert. How I missed you. I love all the amazing history here in the 13th colony. You are full of historic buildings, landmarks, cemeteries, and sites of historical significance. I never gave that much thought until 1987, when I moved to the 48th state, which was celebrating its 75th birthday. I had to laugh. 75! Heck, my husband's grandmother was older than that at the time. I love the statue of the Independent Man atop your gorgeous State House. I love what he stands for - freedom and independence. I consider myself to be an independent thinker and I'm proud to come from the first colony to declare independence from the British. Not to mention that you were founded by Roger Williams on the principle of religious freedom. That's right. Williams was kicked out of the Massachusetts Bay colony because he had the gall to support religious tolerance. So he packed his bags, moved south and started a new colony, Providence Plantations. Which later merged with another colony, Rhode Island, becoming Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. And that's still our name today (even though some people are trying to change that). I think it has a nice ring to it: The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Very dignified. There are so many more things that I love about you, RI. Your gorgeous beaches, your wonderful theater, all that the capital city, Providence, has to offer in the way of restaurants, museums, ethnic diversity and a cool college vibe, your many locally owned businesses, Del's lemonade, coffee milk, fluffernutter sandwiches and your quirky accent. Rhode Island, I love you like no other place on earth. You are my home, sweet, home and I hope that I will never have to leave you again. But if I do, you will always have a special place in my heart.
A Rhode Island Girl
The Independent Man