Opposites attract — it’s a very common saying, true with magnets, and often true with couples.
Perhaps it’s a balance; perhaps it’s to fill needs. Vacations, getaways, and day trips often work that way, too.
I have such fond memories from recent trips. We went to Tilghman Island for a fundraiser for the new Tilghman Watermen’s Museum. You’ve not experienced America until you’ve gone to an event at a volunteer fire department in a rural environment. All the locals had their tales. One had many family members perish at sea during a storm. Another was a decades-ago transplant from Washington who became a part of the fabric of the community. Others build boats or are currently transitioning from their cosmopolitan roots and big city careers to placing new roots in Tilghman Island. The room was filled with a sense of community and cause, quite different from my experiences in urban and suburban environs.
We also attended weddings at Vermont rural churches with receptions in venues such as the local Moose Lodge or an outdoor facility by a covered bridge in none other than Norman Rockwell’s front yard. There was just a feeling of love, peace, harmony, and community quite similar to what Rockwell depicted in his paintings and quite in contrast to my day-to-day life.
And, then, there’s the opposite. Those same relatives who hosted our Vermont “true Americana” experience joined us for a getaway in New York City, a place where I lived for five years. They marveled at the massive buildings and monumental undertakings like the elaborate subway system, Ellis Island, highways up to 16-lanes wide, the globally recognized Statue of Liberty, and entertainment options of staggering proportions. Of course, there was also the mix of the impersonal massive crowds balanced with the friendliness of total strangers. It is indeed the great melting pot, served as a stark contrast to the more homogeneous New England experience.
Perhaps these getaways that contrast our day-to-day norms serve the purpose of fulfilling either unmet needs or incomplete facets in our lives. Either way, the value is profound, not just in making our lives more complete, but in expanding our views of the world as well as our knowledge and understanding.
Read through our collection of stories in this edition, as well as our online archives at RecreationNews.com, and see where your next getaway should be. And, if you haven’t experienced it yet, go to one of those small rural towns and, hopefully, you’ll be lucky enough to be there while something is going on at the local volunteer fire department!