from where I stand

It always puzzled me, those people who checked the weather in states other than their own.  My father checks the weather in Austin and Montana (where his two girls live now).  I suppose it makes him feel closer, knowing what the weather is here, imagining me happy if it’s a crappy rainy day.  “I saw it has been raining,” he’ll say, “you must be in all your glory.”   And maybe it’s easier to imagine us knowing the temperature and climate conditions, bringing us closer to him, even if it’s his imagination.  Picturing Lea scraping snow off her windshield, muttering to herself. "It’s damn cold.  Son of a bitch."  Though if I were imagining her it’d be closer to "damn shit fuck crap it’s colder than a witch’s tit," which makes no sense at all.  Who the hell came up with that saying anyway?

I keep close with my New York family and friends, not through weather reports, but food reviews. Down the street from where I live, they’re selling stacks of firewood.  Road kill, firewood, and jerky can all be found on the side of the road, and I actually live here.  By choice.  People eat fast food here.  People get in their cars, not cabs, here.  We go to the mall and Costco.  It’s not what I’d imagined, exactly, but I wouldn’t trade it… well except maybe when I read about the latest New York restaurant opening. 

I still get updates on the newest restaurant openings, and my God, I even receive, and actually open, emails about sample sales.  I haven’t had the heart to unsubscribe.  I scroll through the emails and sigh.  “That’d be nice.”  Then I shrug.  Because it wasn’t all that long ago when I wanted this life, a life with space and a yard, steps, and storage.  A life as a mother who is busy creating her own restaurant in single servings with a pump.  It’s easier this way, as a mother, to visit another life.  I couldn’t pretend to be married with children once upon a time, but I can, from this angle see what it’s like to be living in New York with a meter running, hoping to find something that will outlast the season. And that I do and I don’t miss at all.



  1. totally off subject, but while looking through the pictures of you i was amazed at how much Abigail really looks like you did as a little girl already. They are both getting so big and strong. You are obviously doing a beautiful job as a mother already.

  2. Just thought it was neat that someone else's father does that, my dad is in Indiana and always, always knows the weather in Texas where two of his daughters live.:)

  3. I can go you one better on this. I moved from NYC more than 2 years ago and recently found …ready… a webcam that's trained on the corner where I used to live. I check it occasionally – what am I waiting for, to see someone I know?

    I love your 2nd-to-last sentence in this piece, btw. Great words.

  4. I hear you about missing it and not missing it. I've been here for my entire life and thank goodness I get away in spates for work and once in a while, personal travel.

    I Love New York…. I hesitate to say it lest anyone think I was losing my edge, but sometimes it just makes me tired. So, so tired.

  5. Fellow Barnard alumn here. Been in Northern Virginia (DC suburb) for a year and a half and still haven't unsubscribed to Daily Candy NYC.

  6. My grandmother checks the weather where her kids AND grandkids live: Tel Aviv, Omaha, Seattle, New York, and Washington DC!

  7. Road kill, firewood, and jerky can all be found on the side of the road, and I actually live here. By choice.


    You also have blue skies, fresh air, birds chirping, and the sounds of silence. Isn't it wonderful?

  8. I keep weather updates on my desk for New York and I read the NY Daily News every-freakin-day online. I just happen to be in Nowheresville,RI. What's happening here? I have no idea, didn't even know it was raining until I went outside. I try to remember your advice "to be where you are and appreciate it" but then I shrug and go back to watching Everybody Loves Raymond.

  9. I live in Greece and check the weather for NY. Is there sth wrong with me?

  10. Cynda –
    According to yesterday's Austin reports, the birds were hardly chirping. Stephanie – what happened there yesterday?

  11. You are slowly saying goodbye to your old life and embracing your new one. I guess that is life, constantly changing and maybe longing for the old life less and less, but it is still good to have those memories. Enjoy your day today in beautiful Texas.

  12. My mother does the same thing! From Maine, she'll constantly check the weather in Denver. The news always screws up though, and makes it sound as if the weather they're getting in Aspen is the same as the weather we're getting on the prairie. It's as if she thinks the wildfires and 12 foot snow drifts are right outside my downtown house.

  13. I was wondering if you are feeling more at home, now with the babies born. I think you made the right decision moving out of NY. Thank you for the new beautiful Texans.

  14. My son is stationed at Fort Hood, TX and I check the weather for him every day. I want to imagine him warm and safe and happy. I will soon be checking the weather for Iraq and praying he is warm and safe and happy. As a parent, it keeps me closer without smothering.

  15. My Mom does the same thing your Dad does, checks the weather every day for where her daughters are (her son lives in the same town) and then checks the weather for her Dad, sister and friends. I always thought it was funny but I see now that it is her way of checking up on us. I'll call her sometimes and say "It is cold" or "it is snowing" and she almost always says, "I know, I saw that!" Kind of fun. I suppose I will be doing that once my daughter goes her own way into the world.

  16. It's understandable that you have a certain amount of homesickness. Something I was curious about is how Phil's feels about life in Austin. What, if anything, does he miss about N.Y.?

  17. In the deep South, the full saying is "colder than a witches titty in a brass brassiere." That doesn't make any more sense, frankly, just an FYI.

  18. Your heart is breaking for your old life while you are simultaneously falling in love with your new one. It sucks that we can't have everything both ways. This is what I've fought with my entire life.

  19. If I could check the weather in the house down the street that my firstborn son has recently moved in to, I would.

  20. Stephanie:

    Have you ever thought of moving back to NY? Maybe not Manhattan, but Brooklyn or Westchester, or perhaps Connecticut?

  21. Have you been to Le Reve in San Antonio yet? Ranked by Gourmet as one of 6 best restaurants in the country and NYT gave it one of the most glowing reviews I've ever read. I am going in a few weeks for only my second time. The first time was divine. No pretense, just a fantastic culinary experience. Maybe you should make the trip to celebrate after the babies come home.

  22. From where you stand is where I'm thinking about standing. I'm wondering if what you have is what I want. My husband & I live in NYC and are on the verge of either buying a home in Brooklyn or finding somewhere else to start a family. Congrats on motherhood & finding comfort in your new life.

  23. i live an hour's drive away from my parents, and my dad always asks me what the weather is like. the funny thing is that it can sometimes be completely different from the weather in my hometown … i live closer to the ocean, and we are plagued by fog in the summer and can get rain when up north gets snow. but i think it is sweet that he watches the weather and pays attention to the conditions where i am … it makes me seem closer, i think.

  24. Stephanie, I'm a born-and-bred New Yorker who moved to Austin 3 years ago, seeking many of the same thngs that you describe. This post really hit home. I love the pace of Austin, leaving work at 5pm on-the-dot, driving my errands instead of walking them.. but I miss all the wonders of NYC, too. I still receive AND read the Clothingline emails (and am always tempted to hop that Jet Blue flight for Tocca or Theory!), and today got the lineup for Restaurant Week from BR Guest… it was about a year before I stopped taking my latest copy of The New Yorker in the car with me, so accustomed I was to reading on my morning subway commute! Luckily I still have a Mom and my old bedroom in NYC for frequent visits.

    I'm sure you've discovered the Jet Blue Direct flight to JFK?

    All best to you and your beautiful babies.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.