Deeply, Sweetly, Vaguely

20 Sep

Were you born in a place where you didn’t grow up?

But when you visit that place, or see a photo, you feel a slightly intense connection?

I was born in Rhode Island, then my family moved away when I was 5.

Over the years, I’ve been back only a handful of times.

But each time I visit, I enter a time warp… where the 400 miles of inlets and harbors and bays become deeply familiar in a hazy sort of way.

Flashes of sitting in the back seat of our family station wagon on the way to feed the ducks or see the fireworks or go to kindergarten in Barrington, where we lived, spark memories and gentle feelings of what used to be.

Last month, my husband and I were invited to a fairy tale wedding in Newport, Rhode Island…

at Rosecliff Mansion

where we also made time to visit the Green Animals Topiary Garden 

at the charming Brayton Estate

after making a stop at Flo’s world-famous clam shack

followed by a day on the ferry

over to Block Island


where we had a drink on the same veranda as Ulysses S. Grant, Mark Twain, and a Kennedy or two… or three or four.

And as we left Rhode Island, the fog of childhood memories lifted like waking from an old familiar dream, forever woven – deeply, sweetly, vaguely – into my life.





13 Replies to “Deeply, Sweetly, Vaguely

  1. Rhode Island is so lovely and comforting in an old-fashioned way… it would be a wonderful place for you to live! Near your beloved Cape, ferries and trains to Boston and NY, miles of coast, and so much more affordable than MA and CT. We can meet on Block Island!

  2. Love this story too. I think our kids’ kids will remember so much with social media postings. I always wonder if we remember or we remember because we saw photos as children . . You looked beautiful. What a great trip!

  3. Newport, RI! if at all possible we go there (even if it is only overnight) when traveling to the NE. As you said “It is all about what used to be”.

  4. I was born in New Hampshire but was raised in Indiana. We moved right before I started 1st grade. My childhood was spent between Indiana and Massachusetts and Maine, where my extended family still ives. Even through I have only been back to NH a few times, I still consider myself “from” New England or New Hampshire, not Indiana. New England feels like home. I have lived in Colorado for 15 years and it’s home now, but still not quite like New England. Thank you for your writing!

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