I live in a wonderful place. I feel blessed to live in New England, and although there are many places I would like to visit, there is no place I would rather live than here. Especially the Connecticut River Valley where it cuts through the Appalachian Mountains. Technically, I live in the foothills of the mountains, and it is a very wonderful place to live. Cheshire County will always be the home of my heart.
Before New Hampshire
I have lived in New Hampshire for nearly my whole life. I have a few memories of living outside Boston until I was 4 years old, but they are child memories. Nothing monumental happened there. Well, except when I burned a little hole in my blankey by leaving it on the radiator at my dad’s watch repair shop. That was pretty tragic to a small child. And my brother was born while we lived there, too.
So aside from a lifetime of memories here, what makes this part of New England so special? This corner of New Hampshire has a slightly different philosophy than the rest of the state. We are cut off from the majority of the state’s population by the mountains. Most of the population of New Hampshire lives on the coastal plains of the southeast, where they can more easily commute to Boston. I spent my childhood and teenage years there. Nineteen of the twenty largest cities/towns (source) in New Hampshire are within a 90 minute drive of Boston.
Once you get further west, past the mountains the attitude seems to change. At least in the south. I’m not sure about going north past the mountains. Having never lived there, and rarely visited, I can’t speak to their general way of thinking. For almost a year in the late 18th Century, this section of New Hampshire decided to join Vermont instead, and although George Washington ended the dispute, I think we still can relate better to Vermont than the rest of New Hampshire on several political topics. If I were to choose anywhere else to live, it would be to simply hop over the river to the near side of Vermont.
The natural beauty here is amazing. We have breathtaking fall foliage, glorious mountains, and powerful rivers. Nearby Mount Monadnock is the second most frequently climbed mountain in the world, trailing only Mt. Fuji. (“Trail”ing, get it? lol) Our forests are a mix of deciduous and evergreens, so after the deciduous trees have dropped their leaves in the autumn, the evergreens remain to look majestic after snowstorms. Looking through my photos, I don’t find very many of these things. Apparently I have come to take them for granted and not taken photos of them, knowing that I will see them again next year.
We have a great variety of wildlife here, from turkeys that hold up traffic, to moose that stroll down the lane, to snapping turtles that decide to nest in your backyard, to toads that think your driveway puddle is a good place to relax.
Good food is very easy to find here, too. There are many farms in this region, raising fruits and vegetables, livestock, and dairy and eggs, often on the same farm. Just within my town and the immediately surrounding towns, we have rabbit meat, chickens, turkeys, beef, beefalo, and pork. Their is a very popular orchard with PYO apples, pears, peaches, plums and berries. The local state parks have blueberry fields on the mountain tops. There were wild blueberries growing at the public beach in the last town we lived in. All of these farms are family farms, not corporate farms. You can go there and meet the farmers who live and work there. One of these farms has been in the same family for 9 generations, since before there even was a United States of America.
Safe and quiet
There is no wild nightlife around here. All the towns roll up their streets by 10:00. It feels safe here. Our crime rates are lower than the national average, and when something does happen, it is big news. We do have crime, but most of it is non-violent, such as property crime and drug crime.
All these things make me so grateful to live in my little corner of New England. What are you grateful for about your home?