The Puget Sound area is my adopted home. I wasn’t born or raised there. I moved to the area in November of 1992, after living in the Southwest (Tucson and later San Diego) for 13 or so years. After 15 years, I left in October of 2007. The reasons why I left my “home” were really quite simple. While I adore Washington State in the spring, summer and fall, the winters weighed heavily on my psyche. The darkening skies, the lack of any color beyond shades of gray for five to six months at a time was getting to me. After 14 of those winters, I began in August to dread the coming clouds and drizzle.
I moved to Florida and over the course of four years tried getting along down there. The worst part was, the economy had just tanked when I arrived, and so I put a lot of effort into looking for work. I was gainfully employed about half the time. I ended up in North Carolina because it was similar to Washington, but sunnier. I’ll have been here two years come January. While I love NC, Washington will always be the place I call home.
I got the chance to go home, courtesy of Allrecipes.com. They invited all the Allrecipes Allstars (affectionately referred to as Allrecipeeps) to celebrate their 15thanniversary at their headquarters in Seattle. What an honor! I had been a member of AR for a number of years, but I didn’t even know that they started as a modest cookie recipe exchange site in 1997. My, how they have grown! Early in my membership, I remember wishing that I could work there. Had I pursued that wish, I might not have left Seattle.
I still shake my head at the reality of it all. What a brilliant, generous and lovely thing this company did for us all. But, for me, the effect was profound. I had wanted to go back home for a visit for some time. I still kept in touch with many of my friends, and missed them terribly. The opportunity that AR presented to me was seen as an incredible stroke of luck – as if I won the lottery.
The details of the trip, in my opinion, are not as important as my feelings about it: The preparation, the flight, the anticipation of seeing friends after an almost six-year separation. I’d flown into and out of SeaTac airport many times. I was comforted knowing that I remembered almost everything about it. Driving in from the airport to my friend’s house, where I would stay the first and last nights there, I didn’t need much in the way of GPS guidance. The memories of places I had lived, worked and played came flooding in a torrent, putting a stupid grin on my face and tears in my eyes.
While there, we were busy with Allrecipes celebrations, for which I am so grateful. I got to see how they operate here, and met some absolutely wonderful people – those who worked there and those who I had been interacting with for several months, but hadn’t met. People who had become my friends on Facebook and AR greeted me as if we had known each other for years.
Walking down the streets of Seattle, and remembering where things were and noting what was no longer there was such a treat. I walked through Pike Place Market with one goal on my mind: Buy a salmon from Pike Place Seafood and watch them throw my fish. I even took a video of it, but sadly, it got lost somehow.
As I flew home, I reflected on my experiences in Seattle. I didn’t get to do all the things I wanted to, or see all my wonderful friends, but it was enough to help me feel the connection with my home again. And, it put the thought in my head that the winters in Washington weren’t so bad, after all.
Maybe I’ll consider a move back.
I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and am not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com. Products received from any advertisers are only used for experience-based reviews on My life with Noofs. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the blog author (Danielle Bingham) and are not reflected by Allrecipes.com, its advertisers or any other entity.