I'll be honest, I never thought I'd live in Portsmouth as an adult.
As a child and young teenager, Portsmouth was smaller than it is now and all I dreamed of was "the big city." I yearned to live in a town with a movie theater or a music store or, heaven forbid, a mall.
I swore that the moment I was old enough, I'd leave and never look back. Portsmouth was just a town in which you grew up. I'm not the only one.
I grew up in a time in Portsmouth's history where the post office was next door to Nedeau's and everyone's parents seemed to work for Raytheon, Transcom or the military.
Kal's was a family restaurant and Kaufman's Hardware always had the part you needed. Everybody knew you or your parents.
The truth is, Portsmouth does have a strong, rich history that played a major role in the shaping of our nation, several times.
Portsmouth was the first town in the New World founded by a woman. One of the most significant captures of the American Revolution happened in Portsmouth.
The First Rhode Island Regiment, formed exclusively with slaves and free African-Americans, defeated a major Hessian and British force during The Battle of Rhode Island right here in Portsmouth.
The boat basin near Melville School held the Navy's first PT- boat training facility in the United States.
As I've grown up, I've grown to appreciate and love this town. All the reasons I had for criticizing Portsmouth are now all the reasons I love it.
I'd be hard pressed to think of another area with as much natural beauty. From its gorgeous coastline to its rich history, Portsmouth has something for everyone.
We have unique locally-owned stores where the owners and employees treat you like more than an account number.
Portsmouth is able to maintain its small town American charm in a growing global economy. Whether it is for the sense of community, the quality of the schools, or our rich history, something keeps bringing us back to Portsmouth.
Portsmouth is not only a place where you grow up as a child, but where you grow as an adult.
Some say there is no place like home. I say, there is no place like Portsmouth.