We drove to Quincy yesterday, to check out the neighborhood around The House again, to see if I could cobble together enough of a village" for myself to avoid becoming a recluse. We parked by the Wollaston branch of the Quincy library, an old-fashioned building that's open for a few hours on certain weekday afternoons. It's a third of a mile from the house. Considering that there are no bookstores in all of Quincy, it's a gem. In the vicinity, there's also a huge CVS and a small Friendly's (I'd never seen booths designed for one person before), where we tried the frozen yogurt (meh). There is also a coffee shop that gets good reviews. Five bagels and four donuts were sitting in the case by mid afternoon; it must be more exciting in the morning.
There are many fast-food places, from Wendy's to KFC to Papa Gino's. But we don't eat fast food and don't plan to start.
We walked to the Hannaford supermarket, which is compact and sparkling clean. It carries two of my favorite bread brands (When Pigs Fly and Nashoba Brook) but no Iggy's. We were drawn magnetically to the tall Hannaford cupcakes, so piled with psychedelic frosting that resistance was futile. We bought one to share after dinner. (It was moist and rich, with more than a 1:1 frosting:cake ratio, and much better than the fancy one I'd gotten from the cupcake shop nearer the house on a previous visit.)
I carried two heavy bags of groceries most of the way back to the house before I gave up and we headed to the car instead. It's a long, dreary walk "home" from the supermarket, with steep hills at the end. So it seems that almost all of the shopping and errands I normally do myself, on foot, during the day, would need to be done in our car, with my husband, when he's not working.
Is a great cupcake, a sometime library, and a CVS enough to help me make a move to Quincy?
I still don't know. While I think I need much more "village" than we found, the house is still calling to us. The beeches on one side of the yard have their copper-penny leaves now and look fantastic. But someone was yakking loudly on a phone from one of the 12 porches facing the other side of the house, where there's a large apartment building very close by. That was the opposite of fantastic.
And nothing else more suitable for us has come on the market in months, although I'm hunting relentlessly. So the dilemma continues.