We just got back from a road trip to New Hampshire and where we visited my daughter’s friend who goes to school in New Hampton where she plays hockey for the school. It was a good trip.
We took nice drives through Squam lake where they hold those art retreats that I have read about in all kinds of books and imagined just how lovely they must be. My goodness it is a lovely place. We did a little shopping. Mostly we ate and laughed and carried on with three teenaged girls. We loved the license plates, and found ourselves saying “Live Free or Die” over and over again. One night we had supper at The Common Man Restaurant in Ashland, NH . It was in this great old gorgeous barn and house and there was a tiny staircase leading up the stairs and it was full of people, and there was a huge block of cheese out for you to help yourself from. It was all really nice. I could not help but think about how regulated we are in Nova Scotia. The building inspector would tell us we needed three sets of stairs. The fire inspector would tell us we needed really big ugly exit signs and extra doors upstairs, and then the health inspector would come and tell us to wrap that cheese and put it in the fridge. I told this to Mal, my daughter’s friend, who herself is the daughter of our local meat inspector, and she said, “Welcome to New Hampshire, live free or die, and they mean it.” Right away I got the idea. No seat belt law. People let the wind blow in their hair as they rode their motorcycles on the first day of spring.
On our morning walk down a country road outside of Tilton, a man in a red pick up stopped and asked my husband and I , “Are you walking cause you wanna? or can I give you a ride.” Then we asked about an abandoned house up the road and he pulled over and told us a good but sad story about a man and house and a hope and a dream that never came to be. As he drove off, He yelled, “Buy it we’ll have some fun.” It felt like home.
After we dropped the girls off at Mal’s school for the day we took a long drive through the country and stopped at an old red and white general store and had a bag of chips with the proprietor standing out by the gas pumps and yakked for half hour like we had no where to go because we didn’t really. It was eat a bag of chips at the General Store Day. No where to be. No one to meet. Meander down a road and see where you end up.
You see I like to travel like that. I like to decide on Tuesday or Wednesday, go on Friday, and mozy. I like to be back in my room by nine or ten o’clock with my book after a long day of seeing and being. I eat a little too much but I never drink too much because my days are as important as my nights. Maybe a glass of wine, but maybe not. . I like to end up places I did not know I was going too. I like to visit someone.
I like to stop and look at all the American snacks in the convenience stores then I like to eat chips and candy in the car.
I love the sounds of girls laughing and crunching on chex mix and saying inappropriate things in the back seat. I love how they make me quietly smile to myself in the front seat. I also love how they make me laugh out loud.
I actually like to travel….sometimes.
And then I love the way back when you think about what you saw and did. When you start to remember how your house was when you left it. I love remembering how much I love home and work. I love how on the way back I always get new ideas for my art and my business, and I start to plan what I am going to tomorrow and next week now that I am home. Home Again.
I think New Hampshire has got it goin’ on , sorta like A Buffalo Springfield tune, easy goin’ but rocking it a little at the same time. Nice State, glad you were there.
Thanks for being kind, and pretty, and woodsy, and down to earth.