Oooh… it was VERY nice to spend a 3 day weekend visiting with my Mom, out in the Berkshires where I grew up. I go here about 1 wkend each month, but usually it is rushed, with me driving out on a Saturday and returning on Sunday. Every once in a while, I can take a few extra days off, spend more time with my Mom and enjoy the area. Last week, my best friend, who was my next door neighbor growing up, contacted me through my website. My friend moved away when when we were in 5th grade, but we were inseparable until then! She moved to northern VT w/her family and we lost contact. What a nice surprise to now hear from her. She is currently residing in Boise, Idaho. My family has only found memories of this family and everyone was eager to hear about them. One of my 2 brothers was also home visiting for Easter weekend, so we got to reminiscing about what an idyllic childhood we really had. We roamed our neighborhood freely; our parents never worried about our safety. No one locked their doors, day or night. When we wanted to play baseball, we just rounded up our friends in the neighborhood and set up our bases in someone’s backyard. We did not have organized teams/leagues/uniforms, umps, etc. We played until our mother’s called to us for dinner… and I don’t mean on our cell phones! Our Mom’s just opened the back door and yelled out. My friend’s Mom had a big bell attached to the side of the house that she would ring to summon her kids home. When I was growing up, we had a huge field behind our house with cows grazing. We tested the electric barbed wire fence with a blade of grass to see if it was on or off. We patted the cows, tormented the bulls, and rode on the top of the hay bails when they were being picked up and put in the truck during bailing season. Now there is a road in my field and a housing development. Gone are the cows. Everyone locks their doors, day and night. While the simplicity and innocence of that time is gone, the area still remains quite beautiful, nestled at the foot of Mt. Greylock. The town is quiet and far removed from the hustle and bustle of Boston. It’s always a nice respite for me and I inevitably return relaxed, rejuvenated and grateful that I have this peaceful home away from home with which to escape.