So.. I was in the City and Donna asked me what we “do” in New Hampshire and I gave some off-hand comment about working and sleeping and then escaping to the City. I’ve been bothered by that since I said it and spent nearly every day since going over it in my head. It kinda morphed into “Why do I love New Hampshire.” Because if nothing else I’ve discovered in my mental ramblings that I really do love this state. So, let me count the ways and that will likely answer both questions…
So why do I loveNew Hampshire? This is where I went to college and where I’ve raised my family and where I’ve built my own family of my closest friends.
It’s culturally rich. TheCurrierMuseumhas been often voted the best museum of its size in the country. The NH Symphony is lovely and we get every big name act that every other state gets, but in marginally smaller venues. We have a million bookstores – independent and chains. Theater life is abundant and while we don’t often get Broadway shows we’re only an hour fromBostonwhich does. We have a large number of colleges and technical schools. We birthed quite a few authors – Dan Brown, Tomie dePaolo and Beth Krommes (illustrator) and painters – James Aponovich and Monique Sakellarios (my two favorites). St Anselm’s collegeDanaCenterseries, but particularly the Nebraska Touring Caravan’s version of A Christmas Carol.
It’s quiet. It bothered me originally to move out ofManchester(small city though it may be) and out to the country, but now I don’t see how I could live anywhere else. I love waking up in the morning and I’ll walk out to watch the sunrise and hear squirrels yelling at me to go back inside, watch the deer hustling to get further into the woods, or lie in bed at night listening to the coy dogs howl.
There are farmer’s markets in abundance and many many people who just plop their abundance on a table roadside with a honor box for payment. We have the Lakes Region outlets and we’re very close to the outlets inKittery,Maine. We have large numbers of independent store owners with unique products from around the world, and we’re only 40 minutes or so from theBurlingtonmall for the very few big name stores not in the state.
We are close to nearly every major American historical event up through the Civil War. There are not sales or state taxes. Okay, yeah they tend to make up the difference with property tax and gasoline and oil tax, but frankly I’m not seeing those as being any higher than other places around the country.
We are the most represented state in the union. Every little nook and hamlet has a state ofNew Hampshirerepresentative. We are the first in the nation. We have the world’s best motto (Live Free of Die) and the attitude remains to this day. I love that we get all the politicians running through trying to curry favor. It becomes even more important in a year where we’re moving our elections up so far that we’ll have precious little time to really look at the candidates positions on things
There’s so much scope for photography — from the cities to the small towns to the oceans and the mountains. Okay, we lost our dedicated scrapbook shops, but we gained a Hobby Lobby, and doesn’t it make sense to knit and make quilts in a place where you get snow and cold?.
NH Public Television has Fritz Wetherbee on New Hampshire Crossroads which “celebrates the people, places, character and ingenuity that makesNew Hampshire–New Hampshire!” and NH Public Radio has The Folk Show and Fresh Air.
We have all four seasons and fun things to do in every one of them! Mountains for the snow and sun (skiing and hiking – not that I’ve done either in years mind you, but I’m definitely going to try to get in some tubing this year!), the trees and pumpkins of Autumn, the lilacs of spring and the beach for summer.
I’m sure there’s more if I give it more thought, but most of all it’s home.