This recent move is my 23rd. I have lived in no less than 23 homes. I am not counting all the temporary/in-between houses I resided in as well…like the apartment my family lived in for the summer while we looked for housing in Hawaii, or the mobile home we lived in while my parents house hunted in San Antonio, or the times I lived with friends or in hotels or cottages…the impermanent places. One might argue that after 23 homes, there was no permanence really. But in my heart, each of these “places” became “homes.” This is the life of a child of a career military man.
With every move came packing and unpacking. Sometimes we stored our possessions only to recover them years later and find we had outgrown our stuff. It’s been three months that I have been without the majority of my possessions. They arrived from their hibernation in a storage unit and their long trek across the country just a few days ago. As I have unpacked I have rediscovered items I have carried with me one way or another since I was a child.
a deck of cards
my teddy bear and Raggedy Ann
various pins from races/events I entered as a kid
my Baptism dress
my green yoyo
a little blue plexiglass box with a bead, a dairy key, and small squares of fabric inside
my childhood rosaries( you really can’t get rid of a rosary can you?)
the very first crochet I ever owned, given to me by my Grandmother
an afghan I began as a kid and completed when I was in high college(crochet with the above mentioned hook)
my flokati rug doll from Turkey
my childhood scrapbook
I am sure I will find some more as I unpack. I cannot part with any of these things. Often I feel as if I am unconnected to any place on this earth, that I have never been in a place long enough to be noticed or remembered. These pieces of my past remind me that I have an identity and presence, they are tangible reminders that I am connected to my own history.
It’s glorious. I love everything about my new home. Really, everything!
The beautiful wood floors, the stain glass windows( see the previous post), the large yard, the once barn/now garage/soon to be art studio, the window seats in the living room (my favorite place to sit) my doorbell, the lovely perfectly sized kitchen(not too small..not too big), three bedrooms, the ceiling fans (so nice here), the lilac bush and the giant maple, the front porch…the back porch, the neighborhood, the next door neighbor, the town, the beautiful White Mountains that surround us…
Chris took me on a drive last night to see moose, still elusive. As we were heading home he said something to the effect that we had sacrificed a lot to get here. It’s true. We’d talked and planned and acted on a dream of coming east for about a year and half. We gave up the security of jobs and friends and a known way of living for a giant unknown. We have spent a lot of money and energy to realize our dream, our scheme, our plan for a different kind of life. We have been each other’s sole companion and confident, cheerleader and best friend. More than a few judged what we were doing. They thought us fool hearty…that we needed to be careful..have more of a definite plan. We did what we did. Sometimes you have to take a chance and leap. We’re still leaping, there are still some unknowns, but what happens tomorrow is always unknown.
Today, I know that I love where I am living. For the first time, truly, I feel home. I am in a place of my own choosing. Today, there is no place else I’d rather be.
We moved into our new home yesterday. After 77 days of travel and motel living, we are settling.
I’m in love with our new home. It’s a 1910 Victorian. The pictures above are of some of the windows. The couple who owned the home before us restored it beautifully. The windows are original; they were lovingly returned to working condition and are such a treasure.
More pictures to come … after much unpacking, laundry and cleaning.
1. covered bridges
2. so many lakes and streams and rivers and ponds and creeks
3. the friendly people
4. the beautiful White Mountains
5. the history of the place
6. old houses
7. Inn and Pubs…Inns that have pubs
8. the wildlife
9. the night sky..so many stars to see
10. small towns
12. the history and traditions
13. town fairs
14. maple walnut ice cream, okay I can get that anywhere, its’ just especially good here
15. hiking trails
16. incredibly beautiful libraries, every town has its own library
….and things I have yet to discover
Franconia Notch in my humble opinion is the jewel of New Hampshire…but give me a week and I’ll find other jewels, enough to string into a necklace, of other remarkably beautiful places in this state. The first images are of from the the tram that takes one up to Cannon Mtn. There were teases that we might see bear on the trails below us, but this was not the case. In fact, in the three weeks we have been here, I have yet to see a bear or a moose. I wouldn’t be so anxious about it, except there are signs for moose everywhere warning us that they are ever present and ready to launch themselves from the woods and onto our car…not one moose sighting yet. I digress. The views were spectacular, visibility up to 100 miles. We could see Canada, Maine, Vermont, and New York. We paid for that visibility with wind and chilly air. It was so cold and I had come so unprepared that I had to buy a fleece lined jacket from the gift store, seriously. It was a bargain though and kept me warm all day. Here’s a sighting of the another tram making it’s way down. The trams move in coordination with each other, when one slows down, they both slow down. The season just opened for parks in Franconia Notch so there weren’t a lot of people on the tram the morning we went up. It was nice, I could move around and see from all sides with ease. As we reached the top, the tram got a little bumpy; we were warned, but it was still a bit of a surprise. A the top, there were trails and a cafe, bathrooms, and seating. Chris and I made it to the observation tower, but it was so windy it was unpleasant enough to cause us leave as soon we got there. One of the tram operators told us that the wind keeps the bugs off of you; this was true and I was appreciating that. In the same turn off as the tram was the Old Man of the Mountain Memorial sight. The “OMOTM” was New Hampshire’s most iconic symbol, until it fell off the side of the cliff. The image above shows what remains. After it fell apart, New Hampshirites had a contest to build a memorial. An artist won, she created a sculpture that allows one to stand in specific places according to one’s height, and have the image of the OMOTM reappear. It’s very cool. The lake below the OMOTM is worth the trip as well. It’s absolutely stunning and the NH Tourism Board planted a fly fisherman while we were there who was just as cool to watch.We headed next to the Flume Gorge. This park was amazing and I would and will come back here over and over again. The pictures included don’t seem to be any order, I apologize for that; I’m having media difficulties. But regardless, the place was spectacular. The pictures really do no justice and it was probably a good thing that my camera battery died and I just had to walk and enjoy the sights without the pressure of having to document everything. There weren’t many people on the trail the day we went, but the path gets narrow and it’s a “one person at a time path” in places which can make the trail seem crowded even when there are few actually on it. It was nice that we able to get pictures without lots of extra people in the background. On a busier day, it would be impossible. We found this little guy on the trail; he was completely unaware of the foot traffic.Once you get passed the flume part of the trail you have the option of heading back to visitor’s center or going on an extended loop. we opted for the extended loop, which was just as spectacular, but different. It was really one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. There were more falls and pools of water, amazing boulders and geology. It was just lovely. Definitely a spot I will take visitors. The season run from May to October so visitors will have to come in the warmer months!
Chris and I have been making day trips the last couple of days. First a drive around the NH border of Maine–Bethel,Center Lovell, Fryeburg, then thru North Conway where we watched the US v Ghana soccer game. Today we drove north, skirting the Vermont border and ultimately hitting the Canadian border and back down. Both days were filled with beauty. It seems I think I’ve found the most beautiful spot on earth only to discover yet another beautiful place the next day.
Today in Lancaster I spoke with a shop keeper and we agreed that people can handle the New Hampshire winters because the summers are such a reward.
I’m feel so fortunate to be living here. My soul is at peace in the natural world and I have hit the jackpot.
I took too many pictures to count trying to capture all that I could see…then I gave up and just enjoyed the views. It was amazing. It was beautiful. I can’t explain it, you just have to go see for yourself.
Chris and I took a small drive today, antiquing, looking for furniture for our new home. We did get a dining room table, but it was hard commit to anything else. We aren’t moved in yet and we have no place put anything…it makes collecting things difficult. The store where we did buy the table is storing it for us “until.”
As we drove, we saw a sign that read “Robert Frost Museum and Home,” or something like that. We followed the road just long enough for me to believe that we might have made a mistake, when we came upon Frost’s lovely homestead. There was a small poetry trail, and a welcome center complete with a short movie of the man’s life, as well as his simple home. Frost only lived there 5 years with his family. While he loved the area, he realized it was too cold to grow a garden, so he moved someplace in Vermont that was warmer or sunnier. The home houses a poet every year, some lucky individual who gets to live and write in Frost’s sweet abode. My guess is that it is only a summer thing…the locale seems hard enough to reach in summer and the wood stove didn’t seem functioning. Nevertheless. three months in Frost’s home would be lovely.
A poem by Robert Frost
Happiness Makes Up In Height For What It lacks in Length
O stormy, stormy world,
The days you were not swirled
Around with mist and cloud,
Or wrapped as in a shroud,
And the sun’s brilliant ball
Was not in part or all
Obscured from mortal view–
Were days so very few
I can but wonder whence
I get the lasting sense
Of so much warmth and light.
If my mistrust is right
It may be altogether
From one day’s perfect weather,
When starting clear at dawn
The day swept clearly on
To finish clear at eve.
I verily believe
My fair impression may
Be all from that one day
No shadow crossed but ours
As through its blazing flowers
We went from house to wood
For change of solitude.
I took Luka to Dog Mountain today in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. We stayed for two hours; if I had packed a lunch I would’ve stayed all day. For the third day in a row, I felt I was in the most beautiful place I had ever been in and I didn’t want to be any where else.