20 years ago today I drove a rental truck down the narrow streets of Winter Hill in Somerville and officially became a resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Nine years later almost to the day, I moved to Boston proper in my present home in Jamaica Plain. 20 years is by far the most time I’ve resided in any state (compared with 15 years in Connecticut, 7 years in Virginia, and 2 years in New Jersey), and close to half of my life.
Living in Massachusetts this long means making many friends, some of whom have moved on to other states, and then meeting new, interesting people. I’ve developed annual traditions, found favorite restaurants (sadly, many of which have closed), gone to tons of concerts and sporting events, visited museums and historic sites, participated in protests and celebrations, and settled into comfortable routines. And yet there’s so much more to see and do and explore.
It’s all gone by so quickly, so let’s look back at some of the highlights of my 20 years in the Bay State:
1998-2000 – I work sundry temp jobs at GTE, Genzyme, and MIT, and also spend some time unemployed. FUN!
1999-present – began commuting around Boston & environs by bicycle, and while I don’t ride nearly as much as I used to, it’s still a great way to get around the city.
1999 & 2000 – Participated in the Boston –> New York AIDSRide
1999-2006 – Not really in Massachusetts, but living in day trip distance of New Hampshire’s White Mountains meant I could do a lot of hikes of 4000 foot peaks.
2000 – Started working at a library, where I’m still working 3 job changes, 7 offices, and 12 supervisors later.
2000 – Begin leading historical walking tours as a guide for Boston By Foot.
2001-2013 – Participate in a wonderful church community at the Paulist Center in downtown Boston.
2002-2004 – Studied for my Masters in Library and Information Science at the Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science.
2004 – Witnessed the Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years.
2005 – Married Susan!
2007 – Saw the Red Sox win the World Series again.
2007 – Peter Born!
2008 – Spend a couple of weeks suffering from crippling sciatica and missing work. :(
2009 – I performed in the annual Christmas Revels show. I even sang a solo!
2010-2011 – I write and lead a new tour for Boston By Foot for the Avenue of the Arts.
2011 – Kay Born!
2011-2012 – I create and lead another Boston By Foot Tour in Somerville’s Davis Square.
2012 – 2013 – Sang in a family chorus in JP.
2012-present – Our kids attend a wonderful Boston Public School and we get to meet lots of cool teachers, kids, and parents (and become public education activists).
2013 – sang as part of a 50-voice choir in Somerville Theatre bringing the music of Beck to life with burlesque dancers.
2013 – Horrified by the Boston Marathon bombing but touched by the many people who helped save lives and the spirit of the community in the ensuing days.
2013-present – Our kids play in the wonderful Regan Youth League
2013-present – become active in another fantastic church community closer to home, Hope Central.
2013 – Watched the Red Sox win yet another World Series, this time with a 5-year-old superfan
2014-2015 – I write and lead yet another new tour for Boston By Foot of Cambridge Common
2015 – Four consecutive blizzards in a matter of weeks bury Boston in a 108″ of snow.
2017-2018 – Yet again, I’m involved in creating a new tour for Boston By Foot, this time of the SoWa District.