I’ve lived and worked on Long Island my entire life and retired several years ago. Considering our high taxes, corrupt government, traffic and congestion, not to mention superstorm Sandy, I decided to finally make the move off Long Island.
I drove south, looking at retirement communities in North Carolina and Florida. The homes are beautiful, the people friendly and the list of things to do — tennis, golf, book clubs, art theater — seemed endless and exciting. Taxes are lower, the weather is great, and again, I found the people welcoming and fun-loving.
However, during my three-week, fact-finding journey, I was still connected to Facebook and email. I read the reports of the upcoming blizzard and was thrilled to be in the Sunshine State where no one owns a snow shovel. Then, for a brief moment, I missed the excitement of the oncoming storm. Believe me, it was a very brief moment. But I really would miss the camaraderie of my neighbors as we helped each other dig out.
I saw postings of meetings I usually attend — my mahjong group, my writing club, the zoning board and Long Beach City Council meetings. I saw rallies against another high rise, about another tax abatement for a large corporation, about the lack of a hospital in my city. I thought that I should be at those meetings. I should be at the microphone!
I viewed the pictures of my running club’s annual dance, knowing I should be in those pictures, too. I missed the Winter Series, road races run in various parks of Long Island. I saw pictures of a family birthday party. I should have been there.
I started to miss my own bed. My house. My family. My town.
I took the auto train home. It was faster.
Eileen Melia Hession,
YOUR STORY “Casablanca” is hardly the same old story of love and glory. As the movie classic returns to theaters for its 75th anniversary, we want to hear your “Casablanca” memories. Did you see it on a first date? Have you shared your love of “Casablanca” with your children or grandchildren? Do you own “Casablanca” memorabilia? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Act 2 Editor, Newsday Newsroom, 235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville, NY 11747. Include name, address and phone numbers. Photos if available.