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Monday, January 26, 2009

A year ago today...

A year ago today we arrived in New Hampshire. Our movers moved 221 boxes and three trucks worth (two 24' and one 16' packed to the gills.) The enormous risk we took by uprooting our home of 15 years and moving to a part of the country that neither Dan nor I had any experience with has turned into a wonderful adventure and a big blessing in our lives. While we didn't know a soul here, and were a little fearful of the winters (turned out our first winter here was the second snowiest on record, the wettest year on record and we just survived what they are calling the "ice storm of the century"; so I think we have earned our winter stripes!) we knew that if we didn't make the move at that point, then we never would. I can't explain it, I just felt we were supposed to live here. If more than two days go by that Dan and/or I don't 'silly slap' each other's arm and say "Look where we live," I would be surprised. We are both constantly amazed by the beauty here. We feel like we are living on vacation.
I was born a Texan, raised a Texan and will always be a Texan, but it was just time for us to leave. There isn't much that we miss about Dallas. That said, I do miss two things. Mexican food and Michel. Oh my, how I miss Mexican food- that's all I can say on the subject, or I might start to cry! I also miss my friend Michel more than words can say (and that usually does make me cry!) She and her husband moved in across the street from us eleven days after we did. Over the years she became my dear friend and confidant. It would be impossible (and perhaps wrong!) to know how many bottles of wine/Veuve we went through over the years while solving the world's, and our own, problems! I miss my friend Michel every single day, and Ella misses her Auntie M.

Two of my favorite stories from the past year give you an idea of the spirit of the people and the part of New England that we now call home. Keep in mind New Hampshire is a very small state and we have only one television station for the whole state! (And yes, we have all the b.a.d. things happening here as the rest of the country, but they're fewer and lesser and definitely not the nightly body count that we moved from.) Last Spring during a broadcast of the 11 o'clock news there was a story about a found dog. They said it was obvious that the dog had just had puppies, but the puppies were not found with her, so the news station was asking if any one knew the whereabouts of the puppies to please contact them. The dog was found about 2 hours North of us, but again, since we only have one channel the whole state heard the call to arms to find the puppies of the found dog! That the story of some missing puppies made the nightly news warms my heart.

Then there is the story of our first trip to Maine to go antiquing. Do not be fooled, Maine has some fabulous antiques! We were in a wonderful shop and I found a pair of vintage concrete birds that I knighted my birthday present (makes life easier for Dan!) The shop didn't take cards and we had forgotten to refill the checks. The owner said (now mind you he had never laid eyes on us before) "Go ahead and take them, and just mail me a check!" This was several hundred dollars worth of merchandise and he was letting us walk out the door and trusted us to send payment? Sometimes we feel we have landed in Oz!

Life is a little slower and simpler here and that has brought us great joy. We have found that the slower pace is more to our natural cadence and fits us much better than the buzz of the city. Today I am very grateful that we took a chance, trusted our gut and followed our heart to our very own land of Oz.

Fall and Winter view of the river we drive by everyday.


  1. Hi! I just wanted to contact you and tell you how excited I am for you and your new home. It is and will be beautiful. My husband and I are in the middle of building our dream Farmhouse in KS. We were transfered back to KS in December of 2007 after spending 2.5 years in Aledo, TX. We are also in a rental house and much of my things are still in boxes! I am really glad to be back home in KS however I really enjoyed our time in TX too. We made some great friends that I miss. I truly loved the Mexican food! The weather was fabulous and so was the shopping! Since I was closer to FT. Worth I didn't make it to Dallas very often. I did get to take a trip to the Dallas Market and really loved that. I always wanted to go to all the great antiques shops but didn't get the chance. I had some favorite places to shop in Ft. Worth and plan on taking a trip back soon. It's comforting to see that someone else is going through some of the same things that we are. Oh and before I forget Texans really live up to there motto of being the friendly state. All the Best. Sherry

  2. Oh Joan...Just love this post and your clear passion and dedication to your new community! I happen to think that the New England small towns and villages are some of the most beautiful, authentic in the country. But I may be biased!

    What you describe is exactly our experience when we lived in the Catskills (right down to the send a check part!).

    You are lucky...and they are lucky to count you as one of them. Eyup.

  3. Sigh. I am green with envy. How fortunate you are to make such a wonderful move. You are in a beautiful part of the country. One of God's little gifts - four seasons. Enjoy them all!
    Maybe someday we'll get a cabin . . . who knows!

  4. what a lovely post. i love the northeast for all the reasons you describe.... and it sounds like you've definitely found yourself at home in new hampshire. i admire you for making such a great leap- to leave one home behind to follow a dream. happy anniversary of that bold move and i'm looking forward to more house updates!!

  5. I did a similar thing a few years ago. I just knew that it was time to move from the city where my family's lived for 300 years and go to the UK. I sold everything I owned and jumped, with no place to live or work. I have "right of abode" there, and so I didn't need permits.

    It was the best thing I've ever done, but unfortunately, I had to move to the states because my father was dying.

    New Hampshire's great - our family compound is on Lake Sunapee.

  6. ok,ok,-we Texans are jealous enough - no need to rub it in with gorgeous pictures of streams in the fall and the winter!!!!

  7. I love this post! Your pictures are beautiful and It is so true what you say about living in OZ. My husband and I are Canadian and he used to commute 100 miles each way to work near Toronto. We feel like he extended his life by changing his crazy bumper to bumper journey to a drive along stone walls.

    Oh! and you don't have to give up on Mexican food. There is an authentic (and very busy) Mexican restaurant in Nashua called La Carretta. You should try it.

    Living on vacation, too...

  8. What a beautiful story and I am so glad you are happy with your move. Your photographs are gorgeous and I can so understand why you have moved there. xv

  9. Sherry- I've heard of Aledo, but don't think I've ever been there. Hope your build is going well!

    Linda- I love that your NE experience was similar! Yes, the little towns & villages are really special. Until we started coming up here I thought places like that existed only on a movie set!

    Karen- We do indeed feel very fortunate to have been able to make this move. And to be able to 'live' the four seasons was one of the reasons we wanted to live in the NE!! We contemplated a cabin for years too!

    Hi Julia- Thank you!!

    Meg- Wow! I'm so impressed with your move to the UK! I'm sorry about your father. Lake Sunapee is a beautiful area, do you make it back often?

    Joni- you can get me back by going to eat Mexican food!!!

    Jen- 200 miles a day?!! Oh my, I can't imagine. Yes, I think you did extend his life. It's funny you say that, as when the owner of the moving company drove up to our first rent house a year ago (it had a great view) he said "By moving here, you'll live 20 years longer." He could just instantly feel the peace of the place.
    Yes, we frequent LaCarreta (usually stopping in when we make a Costco run!) The one in Keene was wonderful (they are indepently owned we were told) but sadly closed last month. It is good, but just not the Tex-Mex we left behind! No complaints though, I'm grateful to have it when I'm desperate for a fix!!

    Hi Vicki- nice to see you! Thank you for your sweet comment!

  10. Hello back again, please check out French Essence as I have included you in my post. Feel free to pass on the award or not. Have a lovely weekend, xv

  11. Having grown up in a small New England town from birth till I left for college I can totally appreciate this. Brings the small town feeling back all over again :)


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