Maryland My Maryland


Please feel free to hum along to the tune of Maryland My Maryland while reading.


Dear Virginia,

Sorry Virginia.  I’m just not that into you.  It’s not you – it’s me.  There are parts of you I love.  Seriously. But the parts that genuinely make a difference…the ones that can make or break a relationship.  Well. They are what makes you.  YOU.  And being the realist that I am – I would never ask you to change what ultimately cannot be changed.  My husband’s Hokie roots will always have us coming back for football games and tailgates with friends.  And I suppose that’s what it’s come down to, Virginia.  We can still visit each other but we can no longer live together.  It’s just not working.

It turns out that I’m allergic to your tall pines that surround our house.  Ironically, one of the traits I found charming about you at first.  And every time my husband or I step outside, your most vile “no-see-um mosquitos,” or as I like to call them…vampires from hell – attack us through our clothing.  The first mosquito bite sent me to the doctor’s office, certain that the flaming hot boulder on my leg was a horrible spider bite.  Only to be told, quite matter of factly, that – nope: it’s nothing but a mosquito bite.  Not classy Virginia, not classy!

Maryland, as polite as she is, has been dropping hints for awhile; sending her proverbial messages into the universe for us to see.  Initially, I was too blinded by your beauty, Virginia.  But now, with my rose-colored glasses off: after having spent much time with you and your nasty mood swings, after I’ve seen you in the harsh light of dawn – I must admit…Maryland’s beauty and charm is undeniable.

My husband recently asked me what Virginia taught me.  Hmmmmm.  (Note to self – keep it classy).  Got it.  Virginia taught me that building mini Saks and Nordstrom “stores” is a senseless act that needs to be stopped!  I’ll never forget how traumatized this city girl was the first time I began “shopping” in this mockery of a store, only to realize that the walls were closing in on me as there really was no where to go. Nowhere!!  This is cruel, Virginia.  Really cruel.  Virginia also taught me that, as much as I complained about Maryland snow at times – I missed it terribly.  I missed looking out my window at the pure untouched beauty of a world blanketed in snow.  I craved making hot chocolate and sitting by the fire after coming in from a walk in the snow.  Virginia absoposilutely taught me that this neck of the woods IS the south and without a doubt y’all, things really do move sloowww down heaah!  One word prompt: HOUSE.  As for the house, please refer to the quote at the bottom that best encapsulates our particular house story.  (Still keeping it classy).  And lastly, the most important lesson of all. I miss our family and friends.  I realized that the preciousness of our history together is invaluable.    I can’t make enough trips up the road, nor they here, to keep on creating enough new memories.  I’ve often questioned why we continued to make new Maryland friends that fit while Miss Virginia thang surely seemed to be an utter MISfit.  Insert lesson here… The universe speaks and eventually we learn to listen.

And due to the fact that you are so. big. (and by big I mean beautiful and grandeous in stature), we are forced to travel hours in between many of the places we do like to visit.  And don’t EVEN get me started about my husband’s commute.

Maybe you’re just too big for your britches, Virginia.  Or for ours…

We like little Maryland.  She has such an endearing quality, what with her quaint little towns that beckon you in, her seaside villages, her inner harbor, antique shops, her blue crabs, her lakes and rivers, her rolling farm fields and mountains, and her Ravens who we love.  I know what you’re going to say, Virginia.  While, yes, you do have some of these attributes – it’s simply the remarkably, impressive way Maryland presents herself in one tiny package that makes her glisten so splendidly in our eyes.

I suppose there’s a reason the Black Eyed Susan has always been one of my favorite flowers.  I’m just a Maryland girl at heart.

I hope we can remain friends, Virginia.  It’s not that I don’t like you – it’s just that I like Maryland more.  We get each other.

It took us moving away to realize that the ordinary, the mundane everydayness of Maryland is exactly the stuff that extraordinary is made of.  So thank you, Virginia, for pointing that out to us.

I honestly did leave my heart in Maryland.  And now it’s time to go back and reclaim it.

So I guess for now, there’s only one thing left to do.  If you listen closely you will hear my heels click together three times as I say.


“There’s no place like home…there’s no place like home…there’s no place like home.”


“Life is infinitely stranger than anything the mind could invent.”

22 thoughts on “Maryland My Maryland

  1. Oh, my darling blog friend… this was classy indeed! I am certain Virginia never had such an eloquent Dear John letter in her long and illustrious history. Well done. As for your love affair with Maryland, I get it. People ask me often why I relocated back to England from sunny Texas. I have a great love for all things Texas (my butt is parked here for a few days, as it happens… bring on the margaritas and college football, baby!). But, much as I love my free tortilla chips, that daily shot of sunshine and warm, Texas hospitality, my heart has resided firmly in England since 1993. As big and beautiful as my Houston home was (and it WAS), my tiny tumbledown cottage in the middle of nowhere, Buckinghamshire houses my true, chicken-loving heart.

    1. Aw, thanks, my dear! The heart knows what it knows…and home is where the heart is. Virginia is lovely (I hope ‘she’ wasn’t offended) haha, but it’s not for us! While I don’t know if I could live without college football, your tiny tumbledown cottage sounds AMAZING! Perhaps one day I will visit! ❤

  2. Ah, like me, you are changing directions, going back ‘home.’ Best of luck! I attending college for one year in Virginia and was impressed with its beauty, but surprised by how ‘southern’ it was. My new roomies taught me all about the Civil War, things I never appreciated, being from NJ. My brother lives in MD and I love visiting him there – so easy to get to D.C. and Baltimore and further north. He probably has mosquitoes, but one hasn’t bitten me yet. 🙂 Good luck in your move!

    1. Yes, we are both happily changing directions! It’s exciting, isn’t it? And bless your heart- it is indeed the South! Where in MD does your brother live? I’m thinking a meet-up one of these days! Good luck with your move, as well! xo

      1. My brother lives in Brookeville, MD (near Olney). A meet-up would be terrific! I’m moving just outside Boston – a good place to visit. 🙂

      2. Looking forward to meeting you once we settle down. And Boston has always been a city that I’ve wanted to visit! 🙂

  3. This is written amusingly, and it does make one smile. But I know what’s going on in your head, Karen; and I know that you are, whilst politely excusing yourself to Va, DESPERATE to go home to Md. Desperate to go home.
    I missed how long ago it was that you went to Virginia: tell me …?

    1. Thanks! How did you get inside my head? 🙂 YES I am desperate to get back to MD! We’ve been here for 2 1/2 years and the universe has been trying to tell us to leave since we arrived.
      I do think Virginia served her purpose – for me to get away to write & for my husband to find a new career path that he loves. So all our frustration wasn’t in vain.
      Hope this finds you well. xo

      1. But Karen – will you not go back ?
        Or is your husband’s career path the sticking point …?

      2. We are definitely moving back…house goes on the market mid October. Husband transfers to the Baltimore, MD market third week in Oct. His career path is what is getting us back to MD. All is well. 🙂

      3. Bloody great news !!! And just think – apart from repairing your two hearts, you’ll have so much to tell us all about ! 🙂

  4. I do not know of either States, but you have described the likes and dislikes equally and eloquently, as only you can. You made me smile though at the most’s not you it’s me, that I have read for a while. Click those Dorothy heels, but I do hope at some point you can return, as you and your writing will be sorely missed my friend. ❤ ❤

    1. These Dorothy heels have been very busy managing the final phase of construction of the house, staging it, refinishing furniture and picking out all new lighting, plumbing fixtures etc, since we’re not going to live there. Next – finding a place to live in Maryland! I don’t think that I’ll be returning to blogging, Jen. Since I haven’t been blogging I’ve been writing up a storm for the book. But please, let’s stay in touch, my friend. LOVE LOVE ~Karen~

  5. Maryland….I think I could love you. How charming you sound. Virginia, well, I could probably love you too! I’m fickle like that. 🙂

    1. Haha Colleen! I hope Virginia’s feelings weren’t hurt! 🙂 They are both beautiful…truly. One has my heart though! xo

      1. Well, no one can live well with a divided heart. 🙂 Good to know where it lies.

  6. You must be referring to NOVA! It is quite different from the rest of the state. I live in NOVA now but grew up in a more rural part of VA. They couldn’t be more different! I really enjoyed your post and though I am a true Virginia girl, I will perhaps give MD a chance after reading your post. I’ve dismissed it in the past…but will give it another shot! Do you think the part of MD closest to DC is similar to NOVA?

    1. I’m actually referring to Central Virginia – we live about 45 minutes south of Richmond. While I like Richmond, it’s so flat around our area. We miss the mountains. And I loathe driving such long distances to get to anything. Yes, I do think the part of MD closest to DC is similar to NOVA. Our daughter lives in Bethesda. We will be moving to an outlying community around Baltimore…the traffic is a little better there than DC. I do think that parts of VA are beautiful but so is MD!!! Try it, you’ll like it! Frederick has a great downtown. 🙂

  7. I’ll be interested to see what you do. We moved to Arizona a year and a half ago after living a life in Utah and though I don’t really know about going back there, though I do miss my friends, I don’t know where to move.

    1. It’s difficult when you feel betwixt and between, isn’t it? But when you know…YOU KNOW! Good luck with figuring it out! 🙂

  8. Does this mean……? 🙂

    1. YES! YES! YES! We’ll catch up over coffee soon! 🙂

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