Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Monday, June 3, 2013

Run Away

Selling our home, and finding another one in town would be difficult today.  The market has rebounded a bit since 2007, but not quite to where we were when we bought in 2006.  Almost, but not quite.  The type of home we are interested in is not available in Sturbridge at this time, but is in other towns.  There is very limited new home building going on, and what is being built, is like all the rest.  They are like those tract developments of the 1960's many of us grew up in.

I don't doubt the market will recover, but attracting more people to town to buy up existing inventory, and then for builders to supply new homes once the inventory becomes critically low will help drive home prices up to realistic levels.  Interest rates will rise some, and the market will even off and become less of a buyers flea market.  In the meantime, the towns debt, and tax rate counters new arrivals from settling here.

Things will get better, but it is going to take some more time, and it just may not happen in my lifetime.

Wells Beach, Maine
(c) 2012 W. Hersee
 In the meantime, since we felt selling, and buying locally, would not be in our best interest at this time we decided to get another place elsewhere.  It's the best of both worlds.  We get to keep the home we enjoy here in town for now, and escape whenever we can to  the coast of Maine.

Why another place?  Simple.  It is therapy.

It is a safe haven, a place to go to decompress, recharge, and start over again fresh.  This gives me strength to do what I do better, and clears my head.  Just pack up the car, leave someone in charge at home, and go.

Those are the grownup reasons, but the bestest one, the most important one, is child inspired: we get to "run away".  We always ran away for a weekend every few months, or so, and knew of the benefits, but now, we do it more often, and I am a better man for it.

Running away is something that we all need to do now, and again.  Leaving the daily whatevers behind, and emptying ones mind into a book on the beach, or just examining the back of your eyelids, is a great way of  making more room upstairs for improved insight into life back in the real world.

Just happens.

A few hours away in the mountains, or shore, acts as a cerebral flushing.  With no pressing issues in front of us, with no visual reminders, such as grass getting too tall, we loose all those stress inspired behaviors.

Late on Sunday, we return home, refreshed, and eager to begin our week.

Some unasked for advice:  run away.  Doesn't really matter where, just a place you will enjoy for a couple of days  Bring as little as possible with you, and as soon as the car door closes behind you in your driveway, let go, and don't think about anything from this world until you return.

When you do return all the same stuff will be here to greet you, but you will be in a better frame of mind to deal with it.

A couple of nights at a Hampton Inn every couple of months can change your world, and make it easier to deal with.

Now, get out there and recharge, let go, and decompress.  Your clear thoughts, and renewed strength are needed here in town if we are ever to take it back, and make it a better place.


  1. Brian FriedmannMonday, June 03, 2013

    You must be returning VERY LATE from Wells on a Sunday if you are arriving home refreshed. Our place is 6 hours from here above Ellsworth (the end of traffic lights on Rt 1 almost) (sort of near Bar Harbor). We would always leave there so we'd miss most of the Sunday traffic and get home at 11 PM or later - and even that was no guarantee. And going up Friday on Columbus Day weekend was a nightmare. But always worth it when we heard the loons on the pond. At least the drive-thru toll in NH helps a bit but now Maine tolls and bridge at ME/NH seems to be a bottleneck. But, we are retired now, so get to avoid all that weekend traffic!

  2. We've been fortunate so far. Traffic has been good depending on our planning. We stayed later this week, and made it home by 7:15 PM. Just a two hour drive. Still, 2 hours in a car is a small price to pay for what one gets in return. Of course, holiday traffic can put a wrinkle in even the best laid escape plans.


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