After these last few weeks, I thought it was time to take a break from sharing what else is going on in the online realm of writing, and go back to Aviario. What better way to start than by showing how the town came to be?
Some of my strongest memories from my childhood are of long road trips to visit my father's side of the family. To get to south-western Connecticut from central New Hampshire in time for Thanksgiving dinner, I'd be woken up before sunrise, and stagger out to the family car clutching my pillow under one arm and a tote bag full of amusements under the other. I'd nap in the back seat until the sun rose up through my window and woke me, and then I'd busy myself with books and sketchbooks and toys until we finally rolled up in front of my Uncle's three-story Victorian. It turned 100 in the year 2000, and we rang the new century in there to wish it happy birthday. That house embedded itself in my soul. I loved everything about it: from the tiny little sink in the dining room pantry, to the narrow, winding staircase from the kitchen to the back of the upstairs hallway that felt like a secret passage. It has a place in Aviario, though I've melded it with another house that captured my imagination. I can't tell you about it, yet, though: that would be spoiling a great deal of my fun.
I loved the towns we stayed in during those holiday and wedding visits: they were such a far cry from the tiny little town we lived in, with sprawling main streets full of ancient brick buildings and beautiful architecture. Sadly, time and tide have taken away a lot of those buildings, or changed them from their former splendor, but they remain in my memory, and I have chosen to preserve them by lifting them up and placing them in a town that I've nestled in between them, right on the banks of the Housatonic River.
There are other favorite places that have found a home in Aviario, too: the town where I spent many an afternoon visiting my Gram had a similar charm, on a smaller scale, and its library, in particular, stole my heart. Back in May, I was lucky enough to finally be able to live there, myself: close enough to my childhood yen to live in Connecticut with my family without having to grapple with the high cost of living.
I've been taking my camera around and slowly collecting pictures of places, so that I can take you all on a virtual tour. But that's something that will come later. For now, I just wanted to give you a taste of the town's origins.
As for the name, Aviario (say "AY-vee-uh-REE-oh")... well. Originally, things were a lot different. Let's just say that many, many birds were involved, and I had this M.O. in the bag long before E.L James. Wink wink.
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