This post is about locations. Tell us about the five favorite places you have lived in your lifetime. What did you like? What kind of place was it? Anything special happen there?
First, I have to think about where I've lived for any amount of time: in North Carolina (Lakeview and Raleigh), in Alaska (Nome and Eagle River), in New York (Manhattan-ish), in Connecticut (New Haven), in Pennsylvania (Philly), and in England (Cambridge). Some of these addresses were of much shorter duration than others.
1. Nome, Alaska I moved to Nome just after graduating from college to work for KNOM radio ("Yours for Western Alaska"). I was the deputy news director. I loved living in Nome because it was right on the water (Norton Sound) and it was very small town. I knew people everywhere I went and I could walk almost anywhere I wanted to go. There was always something new to try, learn, experience or complain about. I met my (now) husband in Nome. Living in Nome helped me to come into my own and become the person I felt I really was. I was away from my family and got to establish myself as Julia, with little other connection. Between the personal formation, the tundra exploration, the romantic expansion and so many other things... there's no place like Nome in my heart.
2. Westcott House, Jesus Lane, Cambridge, England I lived in Cambridge for three months in the fall of 2005 when I was an exchange student from Yale Divinity School to the Cambridge Theological Exchange- specifically Westcott House. This was a very hard three months for me because I had expected culture shock (the difference between being American and being in England), but I wasn't prepared for the level of spiritual and liturgical (church-related) culture shock I experienced. Because I knew many Episcopalians, I hadn't really expected the significant difference between Lutherans (ELCA) and the Church of England (Anglo-Catholic). Suddenly I was examining everything I believed in a new and different way. At the time, my experience was painful and frustrating, but then and now I was grateful. Living in Cambridge made me put into words how I felt about my denomination and my country in a way I never had before and might not have... without that experience.
3. Raleigh, NC I lived in Raleigh for two years while I was in college. This was my first "city life" experience. I had a bizarre sort of giddiness the first time I realized the road I was driving on was in the traffic report. (Oh, the things a country girl finds interesting.) Raleigh was my first "grown-up" city and will always have a special place in my heart.
4. Eagle River, AK I live in ER right now and I'm not sure I could move to another Anchorage community. I adore our quiet area and our proximity to so many outdoor activities.
5. Nuka Bay, AK My husband and I own almost 7 acres in Nuka... across the bay from Homer, AK and across the mountains from Seldovia. We hope to build a cabin out there and to live there for some portion of our retirement/sabbatical years. I'm looking forward to this address with all my heart.
I think I might need to follow this up sometime with a post about places I have been or would like to go. When I look at this list, it's representative of places I have lived, but not totally revealing of places that have a hold in my heart.