Barbara Parent column: Where best to hang your hat?

Two weeks away and we return home to lilacs and dogwoods in bloom, maples just budding upon leaving now show off their spring finery.

Lilies of the valley spread across the backyard borders and two fox pups chase each other around the driveway and into the rhododendron.

Cottontails are in abundance, and hopefully have a keen ear to the presence of the fox family.

They appear so small after watching Alvin, yes we named him, and whom we trust is still roaming our Cross Lake Camp.

Alvin is a Snowshoe Hare and will more than likely want an apology from me when I return to camp in a few weeks as I mistakenly referred to him as a rabbit in my column last week.

We had left for Maine the fourth week in April and returned to Connecticut the end of the first week in May.

To paraphrase singer Dinah Washington, what a difference two weeks make on the Southington landscape we left for a northern Maine of barren maples and birches, stretches of snow remaining on mud soaked patches of a summer’s lawn.

Our arrival home is a directional reversal we’ve encountered in the past when approaching the Palm Beach airport three hours after leaving a gray and dismal March Connecticut and gazing down at palm trees and plantings bursting with color and surrounded by stretches of greenery as far as the eye can see.

Which brings up the question at this time in life, should we stay in New England or should we go and if we go, where to? The four seasons of our childhood princess? Gentle winters of deep blue pearly waters and white silversands? Waking to Tulsa time? Calling it a night in the bright lights and big city? Or just settling back somewhere in the middle of Montana?

What constitutes the ideal place to retire after crunching the numbers and the overall climate and health care, the proximity to shopping, HOA fees and for many of us, a lifetime of relationships.

The hot spot today is Alabama or so I’m informed when I turn on my iPhone. The best place to retire suggestions come from all directions.

But who is the expert on where to spend our remaining years?

Who tallies up the stats regarding the ideal place that would appeal to the individual and by the way, those locations changes as rapidly as the feds raise the interest rates.

Today the experts point to Alabama. Yesterday it was Tennessee. Tomorrow?

In the meantime, here in Southington, the fox pups chase each other around the yard, showing up anywhere from 5:30 to 8 each morning.

Makes a retiree content to hang her hat in the place she knows best.


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