I live in the real middle-of-nowhere part of New Hampshire. We can occasionally hear gunshots from our back porch, for instance. To note: guns produce a sound that our two dogs detest almost as much as the humans, as the entire house breaks out in a roaringly loud cacophony of shrieks and barks any time folks near us head to the woods for a casual afternoon of target practice.
But, anyway, to continue… further proof of our middle-of-nowhere-ness is the evidence of bear visitors in our yard. If anyone asks: Yes, a bear does shit in the woods. The woods behind our house, to be more precise. As one might imagine, the dogs are significantly more thrilled by bear crap than the sound of gunshots, as they have an intense affinity for all things poop (they are veritable scatologists).
We also find occasional bobcat or coyote footprints…creatures we greatly appreciate and respect, but regularly pray to stay under cover and not ingest said dogs.
I live in the sticks, and I adore it. True, I hate the echoing sounds of bullets, but there is too much else here for me to fall passionately, head-over-heels, in love with to want to live anywhere else.
My life in the country is different from anything I had imagined for myself. A city dweller most of my life, I had no idea how much urban chaos impacted me until I moved up North. It turns out that quiet country roads are more useful to my neural networks than Xanax. These days, after a decade of living in the woods, a day spent in city traffic is enough to make the organ between my ears spontaneously burst into flames.
I read articles about how rural populations are dwindling as more and more people are drawn to cities. Younger generations are most susceptible to this, it seems, as the millennial workforce insists upon being within walking distance of a hipster tapas restaurant staffed by bearded men in skinny jeans. While there are times I miss city conveniences and culture (and goodness gracious I am a self-professed sucker for tapas and hipster culture), I am much, much happier tucked between the hills up North.
To those who ask – and they ask often – no, I am not bored. Not in the least. To be honest, the entertainment here is limitless.
There are too many reasons to recount in one post.
Instead, I will start (what I hope to be) a series of posts with my #1:
The scenery makes my heart pound.
This week I found myself presented with that ever-elusive thing known as a “day off”. I woke, hell-bent on getting chore after chore accomplished, errand after errand checked off a list, and any lingering work responsibilities tidied up. I even decided I would start the day off right with a yoga class. Why not?
I threw on a semi-suitable yoga outfit that I found in the back of the closet, grabbed my bag and mat, and headed for the door. As I reached for the doorknob, I thought to myself – you know, it is a beautiful day. And the drive to yoga class is pretty darn nice. Let me bring my camera, just in case…
Five minutes later I found myself on a windy road heading deeper into the mountains. I never stopped for class. I just kept going, I couldn’t bring myself to turn around or do anything else but stare in awe at my surroundings.
It is autumn in New Hampshire. On that gift of a “day off” I found that I had an opportunity to become an eye-witness to peak fall color. No way I would toss that aside. So the yoga pants, camera, and I found ourselves on an unexpected 9 hour road trip through the state of New Hampshire. We traveled west, then east again, and then eventually found ourselves traveling due north to the tippity top of the white mountains.
It was stunning. Here is some evidence of the natural wonder that is New Hampshire… Reason # 1, of many, that I love my home so very much.