Three and half years ago I moved to Suffield to live with my fiancé, who has been a lifelong Suffield resident. He raised his kids here and has tremendous love and pride for his hometown. I grew up in Windsor and raised my kids in Newington. What I remember about growing up is that Suffield seemed so far away. Maybe it was just the perspective of a young child, but I distinctly remember we would take a “family drive” to Suffield Center, and it seemed like it took forever to get there. I also remember not liking the Indian statue at Suffield Village. It scared me. I see it today and do not know why, but to a 10-year-old, it was scary.
Back in the seventies, Windsor had farms, nothing like Suffield, but two of my sisters and myself worked the family tobacco farms. Windsor had shade tobacco rather than broadleaf and shade that Suffield had at the time. Some of my best memories were working those summers. I think it’s sad that today’s kids look down on that hard work. We were all the same age; we all knew each other, and it was plain fun. Yes, agricultural minimum wage was fairly low, but for 14- and 15-year olds who didn’t have a driver’s license, where could we really spend that money.
After college and a two-year stint in Florida, I settled in Newington for 22 years, raised my kids and really did enjoy the town. There’s a joke in town that anything you could need or want is somewhere on the Berlin Turnpike, but it doesn’t need to be in your backyard. I sort of feel the same way about “going over the river” into Enfield – anything you could need or want is there. One thing Newington doesn’t have are the farms. There is one family farm that recently was revitalized by a grandson, and I was so happy they opened a small farm stand with fresh produce. There is nothing like farm-fresh corn on the cob in the summer.
As I live here in town, starting my empty nester life, I love seeing the open space, the older homes, and the family farms. Suffield still has that small New England town charm. The center of town offers so many possibilities: a lovely walk on Main Street admiring the architecture of the older homes, a coffee or light lunch at Café Barista, a visit to the library or some grocery shopping at the Village Market. I have thoroughly enjoyed my short time in Suffield, and I look forward to many more years exploring the town and all it has to offer.