You Say Stop, I Say Go, Go, Go.

In case I never told you, Scarlet was born to “Hello, Goodbye” by The Beatles. (hence, the lyrics title)

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Des was born to “Touch of Grey” by the Grateful Dead. It’s one of my lifelong anthems. They played it during the encore of their last show ever (in theory) last night at Soldier Field. They played “Scarlet Begonias” (a Scarlet song) and “Fire on the Mountain” (a Des song because his middle name is Blaze) on Friday night. Last night they played “Cassidy” & “Touch of Grey”.

They played each of our songs.

I found myself feeling very moody and broody yesterday. I’ve talked a lot in the past about my Beyond Birth group of friends – the women I sat with weekly at our hospital postpartum group from when our babies were born until they were four-months-old. Since we’re talking about a range of four months here, we all dropped in and out of baby groups and hearts (although mostly in, where hearts are concerned) and then we made our own baby group, and then we made groups of groups. We paired off. Some of us went to work. Some moved away. Some weren’t very close anyway. Six years ago, nearly to the day, I joined the ranks of motherhood and I found myself so utterly lost and so utterly found within a group of local women.


So much has changed, and the tightness of the original grip loosened in some ways, and grew stronger in others. So much has changed for all. For me, my anxiety was manageable for 33 years, and then got a bit unmanageable and then got manageable again. I went through about 17 jobs, then a second pregnancy and birth, and then some more jobs – before settling a bit comfortably in my work now. There was finding playgroup friends and preschool friends and daycare friends and kindergarten friends. There was finding blogging friends. That’s big. That’s you, isn’t it? This is all rather big, just how I like it.

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I am forever intimidated and inspired by friendship. It’s the most fascinating relationship to me. You fall in love with your friends, but it’s not romantic love. (I think?) You choose to share your hearts and thoughts with people who aren’t your family, but they become your family. Like I said, fascinating and baffling. With staying power. It all rushes back, doesn’t it?

Yesterday, I found us all together again, but not necessarily for a happy reason. It’s because one of our own is moving to Austin, Texas. So I sat there at the party and I saw all my beautiful friends and I thought about Cassidy on his Chicago, Fare Thee Well adventure, and I thought about my friends on their Austin adventure. Then I wondered about my own adventure – who, what, where, when, how it will be. I felt overjoyed and destroyed at the passage of time and the connections we make.

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You don’t feel lost if you don’t feel love. They are partners in that way. And even if my friends never move back here, to this wonderful place, I know I will see them on the other side, and I know they’ll come back here for Thanksgiving someday. Soon.

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I’m so heart-crushed and so bewilderingly inspired that we could all find ourselves together again at this beautiful picnic, a little more battered than ever before, or a little more bolstered. Maybe in my case, it’s both. I love you guys.

These seems like the perfect introduction to participate in this week’s Tuesday Ten – Ten Things I Love About Where I Live. Of course, that could be a whole other post (or three) so I’ll simplify the beautifully complex as best as I can.

The Liebers

Ten Things I Love About Northampton.

1. Food. Organic and local – and however you want it. Gluten-free, vegan or macrobiotic? Sure thing, if that’s your bag. 17,000 homemade ice cream parlors within a ten mile radius? Yes. That’s my bag. If you turn left out of my driveway, you arrive in a thriving small city and you may or may not have to wait for your brunch, but it will be worth it. If you turn right out of my driveway, you find my favorite farm restaurant or even a sugar shack in the woods.

2. Folks. I’ve met some incredible friends. I could probably do that everywhere, but these are my people. Sarcastic and kind, or just kind. Most of us are politically on the same page, and we look out for each other too, especially during winter.

3. Fun. Well I had to go food, folks and fun there, didn’t I? Fun is.. everywhere. Mountain tops and forest parks. Mini zoos and mini golf. Six Flags and Yankee Candle – if big tourist attractions are your bag, baby. And they’re mine, sometimes. I’m an ambivert. I could go left or right out my driveway. I seek both adventure and solitude. There’s something for everyone!

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4. There are moose here. I have never seen one here, but there are moose here.

5. Downtown Northampton. That was Scarlet’s suggestion, but I love it too. The food, folks, and fun. The rainbow crosswalk.

6. Did I mention our town has its own Pride Parade? I’ve been to one in San Francisco and one in NYC. Ours holds up to those.

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7. October. Just October. And all of the many places I do photography jobs. This place is gorgeous.

8. The celebratory nature of Northampton. It’s a place of tourism, which feels so alive. People travel here from all over.

9. It wasn’t a terrible transition to move from San Francisco to Northampton. It was just about right.

10. It’s an incredible place to raise kids. It celebrates life, love, diversity, nature and rainbow cookies.

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**This post has been sponsored by LOVE, friendship, Northampton (although not formerly), and all of the places to love. I haven’t been compensated for this post, unless you count nearly six years of awesomeness, rainbows, cookies and friendship.

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  1. I was never that into Grateful Dead, but Touch of Grey has always spoken to me. I have always loved the music video, especially when they turn into skeletons. I was fascinated by it as a child.
    Do you know I haven’t been to Boston’s pride parade in 10 years, since I was first living here? Very sad.
    I know I have been to Northampton, at the very least when I was visiting colleges, but I don’t really remember it. I think I need to make a trip back out there πŸ˜‰
    And friendship…oh, the intensity of it. I’m bummed because the closest friend I’ve made since Eve was born — she has a daughter just a month older than Eve — is moving out of town in just a few weeks. That’s one of the things I don’t love about living here. It brings in so many amazing people for the universities and then they leave — they graduate, they got professorship jobs someplace else. It’s great and it’s sad.

    1. The music video creeped me out a bit as a kid, but also intrigued me! It’s such a great song, and I’m so glad we welcomed Des with it!
      I never even knew of a Boston Pride Parade because we have one here? That sounds fun, actually. I’m sure you’ll get your chance to do it.

  2. Cassidy and Des,and Scarlet have their own songs. That’s pretty special! I hope you have at least one special song of your own, Tamara. It’s great that you have so many reasons why you love Northampton. When I moved to Bridgewater 48 years ago it was known as Bradley Gardens, and we shared Somerville’s zip code. It has since become a booming city and township. “You don’t feel lost if you don’t feel love.” I believe that too, and no one I know has ever said that better.

    1. Oh, I do! “Touch of Grey” is mine. I heard it as a kid and I always loved it. And true that Des was born to it.. but.. well his birth was mostly my doing! So that’s my song and “Fire on the Mountain” is Des’ song. So great.
      I used to live right by Bridgewater. I loved it. If I still lived close to it, I’d go to the mall on a weeknight and get an iced coffee.

  3. From start to finish, I loved this post as you seriously had this huge Beatles fan from the get go, but still your town does sound so amazing and truly hope to get to visit you someday soon to enjoy all of the above and more with you, my friend!! πŸ˜‰

    1. It sounds like we’ll be able to make a plan somehow! I just know it.
      And I think I was totally raised on The Beatles so it makes sense to raise them on them!

  4. I also love that “Hello Goodbye” came out the night I met your father and we had our first date.

  5. Hi Tamara! I wanted to stop by here and say hi! I’m so glad you were able to visit with your friends before they left. That’s the one really difficult thing I’ve been finding more frequently on my job is having my work friends retire. They have always been a big part of the life raft to hang on to during the stormy seas. So, name your #1 favorite food dish in Northampton. Have a great day! πŸ™‚

    1. So glad to see you here! Just like a holiday.
      My #1 favorite food dish here? Sheesh, I have no idea! Does cookie dough ice cream count?
      I really love certain salads and certain pizzas too.

  6. I would love living where you live!

    It always stinks when friends move. In the military life it happens often. My good friend here is moving in October. I always want to scream, “But you CAN’T go!”

  7. Great post, Tamara. The fact that your babies were born to a song is really cool. The Beatles? The best band ever. OMG, The Grateful Dead? Wow. I wish I had joined a mom’s group when I had my first baby. I think it would’ve been really helpful. I didn’t have many friends with babies at the time and we sure need the support of each other (new moms). So, I can imagine how special that group of ladies are to you. Ice cream, moose, rainbows…ahhhh. We have a wonderful Pride parade in our city too. Not that I’m trying to one up you LOL. Great photos!! <3

    1. New moms definitely need support and friendship! Sadly, I couldn’t do much with Des because I had Scarlet around – but I already felt well-supported with friends, so I guess it was ok. Des made his own friends at daycare and will at preschool and kindergarten, just the way Scarlet did!
      There’s nothing like those first baby friends, though..
      Awesome about the Pride Parade! Any city that has one has a special place in my heart.

  8. Aw, saying goodbye is so hard, but you will say hello again to “Rue” and mama Rue……I’m a little sad just knowing it because we have the same heart and I remember Rue as a little baby! People come and go, but they come when you need them most….xo

  9. Your stories always move me so much! I really wish that I could visit Northampton and I also wish we had songs. There was no music when my kids were born. However, Adam has a song for me!

  10. Now about moose,today I was in Zions National Park and there was this family of deer so close I was scared if I moved to take a picture they would jet. It’s ok I missed it, it was magical so it’s burned in my brain. Life, loss, living ice cream,good friends, doughnuts, great towns and cities, it’s just all that makes us who we are. In Jennifer logic at least πŸ™‚

    1. Sometimes the most magical times cannot even be photographed – just remembered!
      Zion is AWESOME. I haven’t been back in six years.. maybe even more.
      Jennifer Logic is my kind of logic!

  11. I would LOVE to see Northampton!! It sounds AMAZING, seriously with all that good food and those good people, and the beautiful seasons. Not to mention your amazing cabin looking house in the woods, yes please! I’m jelly. Now I’m craving some homemade icecream.

    1. Come visit!
      I’d love to see where you live, but more in the winter because I’m already done with heat – although it hasn’t been bad. And the humidity is the real problem, actually. So come in the fall!
      Pumpkin ice cream!

    1. So true!
      And it’s a wonderful place. We often call it “The Bubble” because the rest of the world isn’t quite this way. Every place has its gifts, though. This one has the ones I crave.

  12. I laughed when you wrote about the last show for The Grateful Dead (in theory) – I wonder if it will really be the last? I hope I’m a blogging friend :)!. “You don’t feel lost if you don’t feel love” and “I felt overjoyed and destroyed at the passage of time” – such beautiful writing Tamara. Those words started me thinking about a post I want to write, and I may use your words (quoted and attributed to you, of course).

    1. You’re totally a blogging friend!
      I do wonder if they’ll play together again. Phish broke up twice and now they tour. So I won’t give up hope! In the meantime, Bruce Hornsby is still the love of my life.
      I would love to see the post you want to write!

    1. Yup!! The man who married us is named Blase. I liked that spelling but Cassidy didn’t. Then I suggested Blaise – the French spelling – and he hated that more. Blaze is my mom’s horse’s name which is why I resisted at first! ha!

  13. It is so hard to say goodbye to friends. One of my best friends just moved to Atlanta… I couldn’t even talk about it until the event was upon us, and even then, I wrote it all down in a note. On the positive side, thanks to technology, we are still doing yoga together twice a week via Skype. I have never been to Northampton.. maybe someday:)

    1. Aw! That sounds a lot like me, actually. Instead of a note in this case, I wrote a blog post. And she did see it..
      Skype yoga is awesome.
      And I absolutely recommend Northampton as a good getaway – just you and the husband, or just you and one of the kids, or a whole family thing. Or just you. There’s something for everyone.

  14. Our yesterdays had this in common: Yesterday my friends were driving from Austin to Yonkers and we had breakfast together on their way through. They stopped and spent the night before in my little town. (We all used to live in Austin – I went to high school with one of them there, and she went to get her sister and bring her to live with her in Yonkers)

    Three girls who knew each other from Austin, sitting in a cafe in Wadsworth, Ohio for a brief time and releasing each other back into the wild.

    It was hard to let them go so quickly, but there was no other option. I love October – the leaves turn and it’s no more hot!

  15. Wow! Sounds like a great place to live, although I’m not sure I could survive our winters. You hit the nail on the head by mentioning people, though. The people around you can really make or break a place!

    1. The winters are very tough, but as I’ve learned in the last few years, not terribly worse than the rest of the northeast. Probably on par. So maybe Virginia is more my speed in the winter anyway, because this isn’t!

  16. Such an awesome tribute to Northampton and your friends Tamara. Yes, friendship can be unpredictable sometimes. I do love though the ones that stick around for years. Doesn’t mean you have to live in the same place, but when you meet again, it’s as if you picked up right where you left off.

    1. I love that! I met up with my high school best friend in my town a few weeks ago. It was like.. no time had passed. And yet, we were sitting with four out of our collective five kids.

  17. Such an amazing and heartfelt post, Tamara! I would love to go to a Pride Parade! I would love to live where you live…but I would have to vacation in the tropics for the winter! LOL! I have a few of those life long friends, old school friends, which is kind of a cool thing about being in the same place for so many years. I wish we had more fresh and local foods, they are definitely easier to find in the summer. Have a great week, Tamara!

    1. I hope you do visit me at some point, and then we can go to Salem. I’ve never been! Halloween time would be amazing.
      And yes.. I need to go to the tropics for all of winter. I lose patience with it every year.

  18. My daughter learned that Beatles song for her chorus concert this year, along with a lot of other Beatles songs. It was a fun concert! I also know a couple of people who went to the Grateful Dead concert and were posting pictures on Facebook. It looked epic!

    1. That sounds like an amazing concert! I remember I used to go to my sister’s pops choir concerts and I loved the rush I felt from knowing and loving the music they sang.

  19. That is so cool that your kids came into this world with songs! I love that! It is always hard when friends move away, but some will still be there for a long time and new ones will come into your life. I hope to see Northampton some time.

  20. I would love to visit Northampton just so I could eat lots of healthy food. It sounds like an awesome place to live and raise your kids in.

  21. Friends! Support groups! SO important. Our posts are similar in that way today. This is my first intro to the 10 things about where I live. You seem to know where all the good parties are.

  22. Looks like such beautiful place to live. I hope you see moose though. Would make it so perfect, The photos in this post are stunning too!

  23. Sounds pretty much like the perfect place to live! And that you got to hear all of ‘your’ songs at once…sounds like a pretty perfect moment. Except for your friend leaving. Goodbyes are always hard. At least you’re pretty confident that it’s not permanent. That’s something to look forward to. In the meantime, October is less than 3 months away!

  24. I am feeling a need to change location, and you make me want to move to Northampton. While at heart I am a warm weather girl, you can’t beat a place full of good people and celebration πŸ™‚

  25. I’m sorry your friend is moving away – that is always hard. Being a Southerner, I’m not sure I would quite fit in there in Northampton, but it sounds like a lovely, friendly, welcoming place. In the end, though, as you said, I think home is all about the people and the feelings as much as it is about anything else.

  26. Tamara,

    Your writing style is so beautiful and I think you captured the feeling of fleeting time so well. I was so absorbed in your writing that I forgot to look at the beautiful photos of Scarlet and Des! You captured their beauty and innocences so perfectly.


  27. I’ve always hatedcwhwn someone moves on, whether it’s a new w job or a new town. I always feel left behind. I love number one in you list and desperately wish I had the same where I live.

    1. No good food there?? I just think there’s an overwhelming amount of emphasis on local and organic around here. Sometimes it’s too much. Like a gluten-free cookie store opened. I can understand a cookie store with a gluten section… but that seems obscene.
      And there’s a whole vegan restaurant and it’s popular!

  28. So sad when friends move. This happened to me after college, where everyone went their separate ways and it was hard! Most of us had been together since Kindergarten! Northhampton sounds amazing. Hope to visit one day!!

  29. sounds like you love your town! sorry your friend s moving – hopefully you can visit with them again sometime πŸ™‚

  30. Love this!

    I never made big connections as a new mom. It’s one of my regrets. My first daughter was born in January and I didn’t leave the house until it was April. I only ventured out for the required doctor appointments. With my second, I was so busy with the two of them, I never went to any groups. Now that we’re homeschooling though, we’ve made loads of connections in the homeschool community. Funny how things work out.

    You live in a pretty fantastic place. I would love to visit there sometime.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. It must be so different with winter babies. Mine are both summer babies and I’m a summer baby!
      I didn’t get out much with Des, but he’s met friends through daycare, which is an opportunity Scarlet didn’t have at his age.

  31. Oh I love all your songs and their connections to you! I know what you mean about feeling so lost in motherhood but then being so found by this group of women also going through the same thing. My new moms group most definitely was my lifeline and they got me out of the house and supported me when I felt like I was floundering. And you do live in a pretty amazing place

  32. Hello Hello… πŸ˜‰ I love the Beatles! I love Austin, and I’m sure I would love Northampton!
    I’m sorry your friends are moving, but hey, now you have a place to visit. Austin is somewhat like Northampton open, organic, and fun. There’s the heat, though.
    Boston has always been on my travel list, I’ll need to check out Northampton when I finally get there.

  33. Hello Hello πŸ˜‰ I love the Beatles, I love Austin, and I’m sure I would love Northampton!
    I’m sorry your friends are moving away, but the bright side is you have a new place to visit. πŸ™‚ Northampton seems similar to Austin: open, natural, good food, and FUN.
    Boston has always been on my travel list, I’ll have to stop in Northampton when I finally get there. πŸ™‚

    1. So true. I can’t wait to visit Austin this winter. I think we’ll have such a blast! And a new fun place!
      Come to Northampton anytime and we’ll go to cookie stores!

  34. I can see how beautiful your town is! It’s amazing!! I’ve been wanting to move back to my hometown but I still love where I am now. Like you, I’ve also made connections and they just grow bigger and bigger each day. It’s gonna be so hard to leave!

    1. Maybe you’ll stay! Luckily social media makes the world smaller because I have trouble being away from loved ones, but it’s just the way life works sometimes.

  35. I have an urge to find my old tye dye shirt, put on some Dead – Ripple is my tune. maybe I’ll climb a tree and read a good book nestled in it’s wooden arms. I don’t know… I’m just in the zone suddenly. I seem to always be in the zone when I come here. You’re my Zen away from home. πŸ™‚

    1. Did you do it? Did you climb a tree with a nestled book?
      I feel the same way when I go to your new posts. I’m all like, “These are my people!!”

      1. I kinda remembered that I am old and just getting out of bed in the morning makes various clicking sounds. but you know, I am working out… so.. Goals! haha

  36. What a wonderful place to live!
    I love in “festival city” where we have festival after festival pretty much year round. The summer ones are the best… Especially “taste of edmonton” with all the food trucks πŸ™‚

  37. I love meeting up with other bloggers. Lucky for me, there are usually lots of blogging events in Boston, so we all know each other around here.

  38. Your neighborhood sounds great! Mine is quiet, but I don’t care for it too much. The city I live though – its full of culture and energy. I just adore it!

  39. Being around like minded people is always great. New Moms def needs to be around other moms for motivation and also o share tips etc. P.S I like the intro πŸ™‚

  40. It is hard to find good friends. That is great that you have these friendships. I had a good friend move away 8 years ago and it has never been the same, I feel your pain.

  41. Your post was lovely. I can think back to of a few places that I have lived, and the special friends I had while I lived there. I had some wonderful friends in Michigan who will always remain very dear to me. Even though I moved away, there is still a friendship there.

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