I’ve spent 29 of my almost 36 years living in the small northern Fairfield County shoreline town of Stratford. We’re a quick forty-five minutes from New York, an hour from Rhode Island beaches, have easy access to major highways and Metro-North. In an 8.5-mile drive, you can get from one of our three beaches to Roosevelt Forest.
Now, here is a little back story: we sold our first home five years ago. Our house hunting experience was a long one. We had a list of towns we wanted to look at and a deadline – enrolling our oldest child in Kindergarten. In the time between selling and buying, we stayed with my parents in my childhood home.
This is where all the nostalgia came back.
We started taking our kids to all the places we went to as kids: Paradise Pizza, Zack’s Frozen Yogurt, and Cricket Carhop to name a few. We still take them to see the fireworks from the spot I always went to growing up, explore Boothe Park, walk to the farmer’s market on Paradise Green, just about live at the beach in the summer, and frequent all the playgrounds.
Ask any of my friends. They’ll tell you that moving back to my hometown was never on my radar. Actually, it was something I swore I would never do for all the same reasons most people say they’ll never move back to their hometown. And, some don’t, but I have fully accepted that I am, truly, a hometown girl.
As our home search started to get more serious, something kept drawing us back to Stratford. We love the diversity and the small-town feel. My husband grew up here, too, and we graduated from cross-town rival high schools. After a weekend of unsuccessfully looking at homes in a variety of towns, our amazing realtor called us and insisted we look at a house that just came on the market. The rest is history.
I know it’s not for everyone, but I love being a hometown girl. The Zac Brown band gets me with their Homegrown lyrics, “Live in a small town where it feels like home. I’ve got everything I need, and nothin’ that I don’t.” I like that my kids go to the same elementary school my husband went to, that all the grandparents are a quick walk or drive away, and I like knowing a lot of people when we go out places.