My adventure to Western Maine was so much fun. I started the drive east through Wolfeboro, which I’ve never driven through and then into Ossipee and small towns in western Maine I’ve never seen. My GPS offered the fastest route which included small town roads off the beaten path that at times scared me so much with the thought of losing service and not knowing where the heck I was.
The initial destination was the Norway Brewing Company but when we got there at noon they were serving brunch and had no vegetarian options so the second (and best) choice was Cafe Nomad just down the street. We stopped in to the bike shop where Brad used to work and they were busy! The Green Machine Bike Shop on Main St.
Cafe Nomad had the best beer (Maine Beer Company, Lunch) and I had Nomad burger, a bean veggie burger – delicious combination. Brad had the cuban sandwich.
Then we drove north to see Brad’s new house and snowshoed around his property.
It is such a great feeling to connect with friends that you haven’t seen in so long. Brad is his same silly self and still loves to walk slowly in the woods and see everything.
There was still so much snow in the woods and snow squalls came in from the east as we hiked around. Winnie loved running around the steep snow and was exhausted, sleeping the entire ride home.
I drove home the northern route, through Gorham and Jefferson, down through Franconia Notch. Northern New Hampshire is so beautiful and I want to get to know it again after being away for so long. I still have some mountains to climb.
This morning I went on a hike with Winnie and wanted to take a picture to capture the day. In the past I would have posted on Facebook. But now, I just want to remember this morning, for me, so I will post the photo and write my thoughts here.
The snow is starting to melt and parts of the trail are finally peeking through. The temps are still in the 30s in the morning and I didn’t see a single person on the trail. Winnie loves running free and smelling all the earthy smells that have been hidden all winter.
If anyone cares to read about my morning adventure they will have to do a little more work than view their Facebook Feed. I’m guessing no one really cares about my hike but me.
Before I deleted all my social media accounts I saved a few photos to my phone. Here are a few I like to remember:
After being off social media for a few days now, I understand how easy it was to know what was going on in the world, and in my friends’ lives. It was easy to know what events were happening nearby because businesses created their events on Facebook.
Now I have to figure out a way to stay in touch with my friends. I decided that I will write letters, print photos and call my friends. I will subscribe to blogs and sign up for newsletters – that’s how I’ll get my news.
It’s old-school, baby. Just like my friend Mark who still uses an alarm clock to wake up in the morning.
I think there is some value to changing the way you do things instead of doing what everyone else is doing. I know that I’m going to miss out on some things but I think I’ll have much more free time to read and think and do.
Daisy-dog went to dog heaven this morning. I still can’t believe it even though I was the one who made the call. I feel so badly about making the call. She had a great morning: special wet dog food, a long walk and then a short off-leash run near the Merrimack River.
I adopted Daisy in 2007 through a German Shepherd rescue organization and brought her home to my condo in Granby from Castlerock in the middle of the night. Abbey came with me to make sure she liked her; she loved Daisy. Abbey and Daisy had the best dog-life, chasing wildlife all over the Colorado mountains. Daisy tried to chase a porcupine on one walk and that didn’t end well. I held her in my arms, under anesthesia, as the vet pulled out each quill.
When it was time to move to Tucson Daisy and Abbey drove south with me on the two-day journey. I’m sure neither of them liked Tucson much: it was so hot in the summer and all walks were on-leash. Abbey was put-down there and Daisy became an only-dog for about eight months. Daisy was bit by a rattlesnake one month after Winnie joined the family.
I think Daisy was happy being the only-dog but she came to love Winnie, and would oftentimes rest her head on Winnie just like she did with Abbey.
Then the great day came when we moved back to Colorado and the off-leash hikes started back up and everyone was happy. Long runs up the hill in Hot Sulphur Springs and running around Pole Creek Golf Course. So much fun.
Daisy started to have issues once we moved back to New Hampshire. She had some health and behavior issues that kept coming up. At 10-years-old, I was prepared for anything. The past two month, more health problems and she started looking different; she look sad. I felt like something was wrong. I had to entice her to eat most days but she did eat. She loved any kind of food that wasn’t dog food.
And now she is gone. I keep questioning my decision and wondering if I did the right thing. Ultimately I knew that she was going to keep going downhill with more vet visits, which she hated, and more soiling inside, which I know she hated.
I love you Daisy-girl and I was with you until the end. I’ll never, ever forget you. I’ll never forget our adventures across the country and in the woods. You are the best dog in the world.
She was the second love of my life after Abbey-dog. I miss you, girl. I’m so sad without you.
My lease is up next month and the last thing on my mind is moving; for once.
I like this house. I really like the neighborhood and I walk everywhere. Everything I need is walking distance: groceries, restaurants, library and YMCA.
I want to stay. I want to stay because while the house is too big for me if offers everything I need. I love the kitchen where I write, a living room and entryway, two entrances, several windows for the dogs to watch squirrels and bark at the mailman, two staircases, two bedrooms, two bathrooms and two sunrooms. If I was going to stay longer than a year I would consider buying plants for the sunroom but I’m not that long-term committed – I think.
Since moving back to NH a year ago, I still have commitment issues with place. I still need a few more things in my life to feel committed to staying in Concord. However, New Hampshire, I’m staying. The long-term question is which city since there are so many great regions: seacoast, mountains, lakes region and the south western area.
In the past, each move I made was about hope, change and the possibilities associated with a new place such as better job, new friends and exploring the mountains and trails of a new area.
When I moved to the Maine mountains when I was 29 I was in the older category of people moving to a resort town and living the mountain lifestyle. Most people did that right out of college. However, I was just out of college but took a different path to a college degree; taking classes off and on for 10 years while working and traveling to Europe and the West. I have always felt I was 10 years behind everyone else my age. Additionally, not being married and not having kids probably kept me in the younger crowd.
When I moved to Steamboat Springs, Colo. from Maine I wanted a new life in a new place but still in the mountains and living rural. I wanted a small town with access to the outdoor life. Later moving to Grand County, an even smaller rural community, I loved being surrounded by wilderness and beauty.
After living the mountain lifestyle I was ready for Tucson. I knew that I wanted something new, something I’ve never done before: to live in a big city and have a great job. Tucson and Phoenix surprised me since I didn’t realize before arriving that they were surrounded by big mountains with amazing hiking, trail running and mountain biking. Now I had the best of both worlds: mountains and a big city.
Now, I live back in the state I grew up in and thought I knew it pretty well. Things change after 15 years and now I’m re-learning the mountains and trails that I loved so long ago.
Moving back to New Hampshire and the process of leaving Colorado and The West was a feeling, at the time, I couldn’t express and didn’t fully realize. As I drove across country I was excited to see my parents and live close to them, but I wasn’t sad and I wasn’t completely happy. It is only now that I feel the sense of loss. I truly miss the familiar spaces of Colorado and the self I left behind. That self – that adventurous, always-planning-the-next-trip me who was always surrounded by mountains, wilderness and friends.
There was something about crossing the imaginary line from east to west that changed me, and I’m still trying to process what it all means. As a writer, I’m still trying to find the story, find the meaning and write about it.
I look at the photos, posters, coffee mugs and books all bought in Colorado or Arizona. I remember all the great people and good times. Nothing here seems that familiar yet and I know that it takes times.
I don’t want to be anywhere else right now. I want to be here.
I am not seeking a new place. I’m staying put.
I’m ready to get into a new routine and find new spaces that will eventually become familiar all while creating a new self that is engaged in place and welcoming the new people who show up to share their life with me.