When I was growing up in Maine, my father had friends who lived together just outside Boston, Massachusetts. I loved visiting them on weekends. They would set me loose with their Charlie Card (more about what that is a bit later) to wander the city for hours. Not necessarily the safest thing for a young teenage girl to do, but it was fun!
I always wanted to live in the Boston area, but it took me a long time to get here. When I met a man who lived in a different town just outside Boston, he moved my daughters and me down to live with him and I’d gotten my wish.
Massachusetts is in the center of New England, and that means we have typical New England weather, about which it’s often said, “If you don’t like the weather wait a minute and it will change.” We have everything from winter blizzards to gorgeous green leaves and flowers to hot, humid, throw-me-in-the-ocean temperatures and the most beautiful foliage colors anywhere in my biased opinion.
For me, Boston is the most appealing part of the state. It’s an old city, heading for its four-hundredth birthday. Narrow streets in the older sections of the city began their lives as wagon tracks and are the bane of drivers’ existence. It isn’t surprising; they aren’t exactly designed for cars and trucks!
The Boston area has a lot of “oldest in the country” things. Harvard University, in the town of Cambridge, was the first college established in North America, back in 1636. Three years later, the first public elementary school in America was opened in the area now known as Dorchester.
Boston has also long been a center for shipping, thanks to its beautiful harbor, the very same one tea was dumped into back at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. The stunning view of the Boston Skyline across the harbor has graced many postcards and paintings—and at current count, three of my book covers.
Of course, Boston isn’t the only thing in Massachusetts. The central part of the state offers beautiful scenery, great skiing in the winter and a quieter way of life than the city while still being within easy commuting distance. In the west, the Berkshires provide absolutely glorious views and some of the best opportunities for foliage viewing in the fall.
Another of Boston’s firsts is its mass transit system, known locally as the “T” which began in Boston in 1631 as a public ferry system. Later, omnibuses pulled by horses, were introduced followed by the first subway system in the United States. In the 1940s, a popular song called “Charlie on the MTA,” originally written as a protest against fare increases, made the rounds and gave its name to the MBTA’s prepaid fare card known by locals as the Charlie Card.
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(pictures provided by author)