Confession time: I grew up in Massachusetts, spending the first 18 years of my life in Danvers. Haters are going to hate, but, like the Dreamers, I had no control over where my parents decided to raise me.

Two weeks after graduating from Danvers High School, I chose to move to Northern New England, where I have lived my entire adult life. I was a young bride and a full-time college student in rural Vermont, learning country ways from our wonderful neighbors. (A few of whom I’m still in touch with after all these years!) Then I was a young mother in rural Maine, before my family moved to New Hampshire in 1983, settling in the Lakes Region. Life happened, and I found myself to be a single mom, struggling to raise two great kids. Skip ahead a few more years, and then I met Wayne. [I often joke that it took a long time, but I finally found “Mr. (W)right!”] After dating for a few years, we were married eleven years ago, and I moved to his house in Litchfield. After we sold my house in Laconia, we went looking for “OUR” home, and we made the choice to move to Salem. We purchased our home the day the stock market crashed in 2008. It took a while to settle in, but we are here, and here we intend to stay.

But that’s not the reason I’m writing this. Today, I went back to Danvers for an appointment, and then took a tour of the town. I stopped at my childhood home, and made a new friend. The house had just been sold, and the new owner, Tara, was outside. When I explained that this was my childhood home, she invited me in to look around. I was surprised to find many things were still the same as when I was growing up. It still had the same kitchen cabinets and hardware that I remember; still the same stereo cabinet in the living room, and still had the same green tiles in the bathroom!

My parents left around 1977, so I haven’t been back much. While my parents’ old house still felt very familiar, I was shocked at the town. It has changed so much!

In my childhood, we had an empty field as our right “neighbor,” and a forest behind our house. The day we moved there, the last day of my 1st grade, the previous owner told me she saw a deer in the yard. We never saw deer, although the previous owner did. We regularly had birds, including a number of ringed-neck pheasants in our yard. When I was in high school, I saw the field and forest disappear, and a development was built.

Our the left side neighbor was a horse farm, where they raised, bred and trained internationally-recognized polo ponies. Now the horse farm is gone, and there is another development. My once quiet neighborhood now has a yellow stripe down the middle of the road. I had to wait to pull out of the driveway.

I didn’t recognize my town, which was a bit difficult for someone who tends to be a bit nostalgic. It is certainly bigger, more congested, more confusing, and definitely different. It has changed. And, frankly, I’m not sure if the changes make Danvers better or worse. But I do know one thing: when I hear people complaining about how Salem has changed, and is changing, I will have a far greater understanding.

Change is difficult, and sometimes hard to accept. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes not. Sometimes it a mixed bag. Sometimes we can reject the change (or try to), and other times we can embrace it.

Change. Sometimes it’s our physical environment, like the changes I saw in Danvers. But there are other kinds of changes, too. Sometimes the changes we have to deal with have to do with the people in our lives, or those people that affect our lives.

Last thoughts: I thought I was going home today. And I did. Or rather, I came home. To Salem.

That’s why I’m Bonnie For Salem. I’m looking forward to watching my town as it grows, and hope that I will see good changes. And I look forward to seeing some good changes take place here on election day, November 6, 2018! Join me and help keep Salem a great place to call home.