Sunday, May 17, 2009

5 Years in Acton

Acton has changed a lot since I moved here 5 years ago. Coming from the big smoke with its ever changing skyline I don’t find Acton’s transformation to be exactly explosive. The face of “downtown” (I still smile at that term) Acton has in my opinion become more gracious, inviting and genteel through the many thoughtful touches and embellishments made by the B.I.A., the Horticultural society, the municipality and the local businesses; things like the new sidewalks at the four corners, the vibrant planters along the main thoroughfare in summer, the festive lighting arrangements in winter and the ongoing storefront makeovers.

I like Acton very much. My closest family live here so when my 3 sons and I needed refuge from “an abusive domestic situation”, Acton was the logical choice. I must admit however that, at least initially, I did not like it - not one little bit. The turn-a-round for me was gradual, much like the evolution of the town itself. Over the past couple of years I’ve loosened up a bit. I’ve lost or consciously dropped that bit of urban edge that left me indifferent to the many charms of our very charming town. No longer do I take for granted the brilliant beauty of the town, its parks and its lake in the fall, nor do I steel myself to the silvery lustre of a frosty winter’s dawn viewed from high up on the escarpment.

“Why the change of heart” you may ask? I think the people of Acton had a great deal to do with it. They pummelled me mercilessly with their (pardon my triteness) “niceness” and wore me down with their friendliness! We were here for only 1 month when I registered my teenaged son for high school. What a shock it was to walk into Acton High and receive smiling, full-frontal eye contact from teenaged students – not to mention cheerful greetings and genuine offers of assistance and friendship! As city dwellers, these things were totally beyond our realm of experience. When we walked out of the school, Donnie turned to me, stunned, and said, “Mom, that was freakishly friendly!” I could only agree.

Since then, I’ve been the regular recipient of public hugs, greetings and exuberant hand-waving and horn-tooting as I drive through town. I do business here and my youngest son, 10 year old Kyle, is happy and content with his tight circle of good friends, his soccer team and his Navy Cadet’s group. I have friends with whom I get together for good times and usually really good food. They share the same opinion I have of our little berg – that it's Norman Rockwell come to life and, believe me; none of us take that for granted! So on the eve of my 5th anniversary as an Acton resident I would like to state for the record that I am happy that Necessity conspired with Serendipity to place me where I am today and to thank my lucky stars for a soft landing after a turbulent ride!