We celebrated this past Saturday what was for me a bittersweet 6th year wedding anniversary. Bittersweet because in a couple of months we will be moving from Albany and all that I have grown to love and appreciate of this area. I didn’t always feel this way. Actually, a couple of months after we had moved up here I was wondering if we had made a colossal mistake. Although I’m familiar with upstate winters ( I attended SUNY Oswego for three years so I’m very well acquainted with lake effect snow and weather) memory has a way of eroding how endless cloudy days and heavy snowstorms feel like and so in the middle of February two years ago with a toddler in tow and not knowing anyone except for a close friend who lived nearby I remember looking out the window into a sea of gray and feeling like the colorless day was going to crush in on me.

Fast-forward two years later to this past Saturday. There I was with my husband and two boys at my favorite local park drinking in the fall colors while knowing deep down inside me that this may very well be one of the last times we will enjoy the beauty and ruggedness of Tawasentha Park or the great amenities that the local area has to offer such as the Guilderland Public Library (yes I’m one of those people who falls in love with libraries and GPL has a first-rate children’s section). However, what I’ll really miss are the great people I have met, folks that have become friends and that have lifted my spirits on the dreariest of sunless days with their humor and laughter. Kind people I have gotten to know at places I frequent such as the Y, the library and local restaurants who take the time to ask my son how he is doing, if he is liking school and would he like to use the machine that checks out books at the library (that was a big moment for him!). People who have celebrated the birth of our son through surprise parties, genuine smiles and congratulations and who marvel at how big he has gotten and have made me feel part of a great community. People that have instilled in Henry a sense of home.

For someone like me who has moved more times than I can count this is an entirely new feeling. The least of all places I expected to feel a sense of kinship and belonging was right here in Albany. I’ll always call it home.

So is there anyone out there that moved to a place that they never thought they would grow to like but now call home. I would like to hear about your experience.