February 27, 2012


halibut state park, september 2011

I'm an "east coaster". I grew up in western Massachusetts which is actually a few hours from the ocean and I never thought of myself as living anywhere near the coast. I remember in second grade my pen-pal from Australia wrote asking what it was like to like to live by the sea. I was totally puzzled by the question and my mother got out a map and showed me that in fact we were near the coast in relative terms. She told me that we had the best of both worlds, mountains and fertile soil yet we weren't land-locked... her bias was pretty evident!

Now that we live just outside of Boston of course we are close to the ocean, but we actually see it surprisingly little. We are skiers and hikers and campers and love the woods and mountains so we're generally drawn to the west to my home town or up to Vermont and New Hampshire. Truthfully I'm not a big "beach go-er". Pale skin and an inability to sit still are not a great match for beach culture. Still the idea of being near the coast plays a powerful role in my sense of self.

I remember camping on Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks in Michigan, the horizon was endless and it looked and sounded just like the ocean. It was staggeringly beautiful but I had to keep bending my mind around the idea that this.is.not.the.edge. I know, something is wrong with me.

I have a mental image of where I am in an aerial view and I do get an irrational feeling of claustrophobia when I think about moving too far from land's edge. I am fully aware that it's silly. My father lives in Minneapolis and I've spent a lot of time traveling all around the country. I love so many cities in the middle of the country where the architecture is far more daring and not so tethered to tradition. I also love the mountains and the countryside and I especially love that there are areas where the cost of living is not as ridiculous as it is here. There are so many amazing places that in theory I want to call home... but my brain always goes to "land-locked, land-locked"... and so I've never strayed too far.

And although I don't like to lounge on the beach, I do love a rocky coast, staring out at the horizon, listening to the waves crash, and smelling the salty breeze. All the cliches are true, there are few places more calming.

I'm not certain where we'll end up settling down or if we'll stay right where we are. I'm sure if I do move I'll make peace with my phobias, but wherever I am I'll always be an "east coaster".


  1. Hello, hello! These photos are so refreshing. I'm excited for warmer weather!
    That's so funny about the bright yellow tights craziness! Mischievous wind!

  2. That's a gorgeous little man you've got there! I guess eventually, your inner calm will let you know when you're at the right place.

  3. Beautiful photos, Lilly! I am a Midwesterner through and through so I can't even imagine living so close to such vibrant scenery. I have always associated the ocean and the mountains with family vacations and long car rides. There would be months of buildup and excitement if I knew I would be able to swim in the ocean or enjoy the mountain view (for the record I have been skiing once and it ended with two twisted knees- Ha!). It's funny how what we are raised around deeply shapes our view of the world!

  4. Your photos are gorgeous and your baby is adorable. I moved from Wilmington NC back to Kentucky two years ago and the hardest part for me was that it is landlocked. I miss the ocean, but would be just as happy on a large lake :)

  5. First of all, whoa! Nice arms, mama!

    Second, yes. I can totally relate. Andrew and I spent 7 years on the East Coast and I miss it terribly. We are so land-locked right now it's sad. And yes, the cost of living is much more reasonable, but there's a give and take. The coasts have so much more culture!!! We do miss that. So if I were you, stay close to what you love (unless one of you gets a job offer you can't refuse that will make family time a regular occurrence... Oh, that is our story, not yours!).

    Love these pictures!

  6. I can relate (although I am a land-locked lass by birth). There is something about where you were born and raised that stays in your soul, regardless of how you view it. Beautiful pictures, btw!!

  7. The photos are pretty magnificent! I'd stay right there too! Im from Southern California and have been here my whole life. I'm in Hollywood now and unlike the media portrays, we don't live at the beach every moment we get....I haven't been in over 5 years and the last time I was in the ocean was in Hawaii. I love that I can just make a quick drive and see it though, imagining what lies across the way from the waters. Even in crazed LA beach culture there is calm in it...

  8. Beautiful photos. I am a west coaster and I miss the beach, terribly! I ave never thought of being land locked, now that I think about it, it is kid of creepy!