It's an inevitable comment once I mention where I live. And, while I do appreciate the compliment. While I do agree that, yes, it is beautiful here. There is always that part of me that wants to scream out BUT do you know how hard it can be to live here. To live here full time. Not just have a summer or winter home here as so many do. Not just to visit with the throngs of tourists which invade us each season. But to truly be born and raised here. Do you have any idea how difficult that can be?
Growing up in the Pocono Mountains is fun. Our small hamlet is extremely safe. It's a place where you can let your children run free in the yard (free range children. OH MY?!!) without concern. It's a place where your neighbors know you and your parents and usually your grandparents as well. There's tons of outdoor adventures to be had from skiing to river rafting. We've got great hiking trails and are a virtual mecca to the mountain biking enthusiast. Yes, all of this is wonderful.
But, for someone like me. Someone who needs action. Someone who loves to go to NYC just to sit at the cafes and read or people watch, this town can be stifling. I long for more. I'm admittedly a bit high maintenance. I love nice things. I enjoy having the latest tech toys. Do you know how far the nearest mall is? It's nearly 25 miles. Do you know where the closest Barnes and Nobles is? Again 25 miles. My closest store is Walmart and even THAT is 2 towns away.
I never had the luxury of just grabbing my two ladies and heading out to a zoo for the day. Not without a pain in the rear drive to Philadelphia anyway. Everything interesting to me is a full day event. A long drive. Tolls and gas. Even my favorite runs to NYC don't fill the need. I want to live in the middle of it. I want to experience all there is out there. I want my girls to see everything this world has to offer outside of our protective mountains. I don't want them to be close minded to certain ideas simply because of this town.
But I'm just a big dreamer, really. I have hopes that NYC will rub off on the girls (and they do love it there) and one of them will attend college there. But I know I'll never really get to live in New York City or any other city for that matter. No, this town, this place, it doesn't allow you to leave so freely. So I have my daydreams. I have my weekends spent wandering around lower Manhatten. I'll always have my dreams.
And I'll always hear:
Oh! But it's so beautiful there!