Short tours of a small city, Elmira, U.S.A., deep in the heart of Upstate New York. Click on photo for detailed view.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Good Things Come in Small Packages

They do indeed. This is the tiny town that housed the college I chose three decades ago. I was amused by its presumption and enchanted with its remoteness. No one would ever find me here. Wrong.

First my husband found me, wooed me, and married me. Carried me off to Washington, DC where we simply didn't belong. Moved our growing family to Annapolis, MD, where only the wealthy seemed to thrive. And finally returned to his roots in Elmira, New York.

Two nobodies headed nowhere settled here. But Elmira, New York is a funny place. Two nobodies and their children can do rather well here. It's a country sort of city. Or maybe it's a city for the countryside. I don't know. I always felt that New England was God's Country. Lately, though, New England seems so suburban, more so than even the suburbs of Elmira. It's a country sort of city where the suburbs, well, they are really the countryside. Five minutes' drive in any direction leads to farmland or even wilderness. Try that in New England these days!

But the utilities of a city, and the sensibilities of the country coexist here. You know, I dearly miss the New England of my childhood, but I truly love the Elmira of the here and now. And that's the only reality that matters at any given time.

We can credit that to its people, especially those of my husband's family, my neighbors--many of whom are transplantees like me, my coworkers at the Elmira Star-Gazette, and of course the people of Elmira. Elmirans, black and red and white and yellow (to be totally politically incorrect). They are the "locals" of all my blogs. To which I humbly include myself (with secret, but great, pride). I love the "locals" because they love me. Despite my lingering accent and strange outside ways. Never in my life, and surely nowhere else, have I ever seen such all encompassing acceptance and enjoyment of each person with all her quirks as I have found here.

Welcome to Elmira. A country sort of city, with the biggest heart in the world. These are tiny tours of a little city, smack in the middle of nowhere. You're gonna love it.

Little Pond