Lifestyle Opinion

A Journey of Authenticity: New England, We Can be Friends Now

Courtesy of Jeannette Dardenne

Experiential stories that revolve around the importance of being authentic to not only yourself but to those around you. After years of never finding the time to ‘stop and smell the roses,’ Jeannette is unearthing many of her passions including writing, fashion, and thrifting through her online blog ‘The Vineyard Life’ – a creative outlet that allows her to share, learn, and grow with others. You can explore more of her stories at @jeannettepdardenne on Instagram or www.myvineyardlife.com.

By Jeannette Dardenne

As a kid, I loved the winter. We were an active family and always traveled from our home in New York to Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, even Canada to enjoy the snow. Summers were always my favorite, but what kid doesn’t look forward to summer vacation?!

<Insert 16-20 years>

In college, snow ball fights, “crazy” sleigh rides with refreshments, <ah-hem>, and long cold walks from class to class were fun. Once I entered the working world and had to arrive at work by a certain time, I started to lose interest in the cold weather. I could never understand <and still can’t comprehend> why people who grew up driving in the poor weather can’t seem to drive as soon as the snow starts to fall.

<Insert 25-30 years>

Insert young children in my life, <love them dearly> and the annoyance really settled in. I may have silently cursed New England a few times. Stuffing an unhappy child with octopus arms into a snow suit is never fun. Putting/Insisting that your children bundle up can be painful. More agonizing, having them come back in your just cleaned home with muddy boots, wet clothes, and tired bodies.

<Insert 6-8 years>

BUT, now that my kids can dress themselves in snow attire, clearly follow instruction on where to store their wet clothes, and settle themselves after a fun day out in the snow – life and my appreciation of all the beauty that New England offers is AGAIN noticeable.

<Insert fires by the Solo Stove with a glass of red>

Jeannette Punsoni Dardenne is an entrepreneur who started the popular Facebook group @eatinconnecticut – a community forum that connects foodies and the food and beverage industry for delicious conversations. She and her business partner now together run @eatinconnecticut and INGroup Creative – a public relations and marketing company that helps small businesses thrive. Jeannette is also a business advisor at the University of Hartford Entrepreneur Center & Women’s Business Center. When she isn’t helping others, she enjoys exploring the state and beyond with her husband and two children.

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