Several times a year, I leave the island and drive out to the middle of Massachusetts, near Amherst, where my daughter and her family live. The Connecticut River flows through the middle of the Pioneer Valley. Mountain ranges, rocky hills, and sky-blue lakes provide a landscape that wakes up my mind.
This area has a completely different beauty from Nantucket’s.
I lived in that region once, eons ago. Now I think of it as my other home, because that’s where my four grandchildren live.
There’s a photo of three of my grandchildren during the winter. (My daughter doesn’t allow me to post photos of my children on the Internet, but this doesn’t count, right?) If my grandchildren lived on Mars, that would be my other home. But I also truly enjoy the area. I hike in the Pioneer Valley, and I love being out in the snow.
Wishing to be in two places—Nantucket and Amherst—inspired my novel Summer Breeze, which is set in the Amherst area.
Three young women, Morgan, Natalie, and Bella, live on Dragonfly Lake near Amherst. Through them I explore the idea of home. Leaving home. Staying home. Being torn between two different lives, two different homes. Making the choice to create a home in a new and completely different place.
Sometimes when people come to Nantucket for a week or even a day, they discover dreams and desires they didn’t know they had. When I spend time in the Pioneer Valley, I’m inspired and renewed by the change. Different landscapes can open our lives to new possibilities in our lives.
I’ll take lots of photos while I’m out in the area and share them on Facebook, and here. Enjoy this quiet season. . .take time to breathe and dream and read!