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my time here grows shorter by the minute... | by *Starbuck*
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my time here grows shorter by the minute...

While coming up with photos for my three year flickrversary I spent an afternoon at Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough, NH. This is known as "Falls of the Songs" and is about 50 feet. Unfortunately, there's no real good vantage point to see the thing, and this woodsy area was still swarming with black flies weeks ago and I left sporting a large welt on my temple.

The shot was a total accident, and in fact I hated every other shot I took there that day. The falls are really tucked away behind a craggy area and narrow and dark, and god forbid you crawl over a fence out there.

 

It is now officially July.

I have 54 days in NH left.

That is roughly 8 weeks.

I have 32 days left in the office.

I have 1 wedding to photograph.

1 vacation to Portland left.

1 more trip to Lubec, ME.

1 more trip to Storyland.

1 more trip to Clark's Trading Post.

I have 1 week left until I'm 29.

I have 2 shitty anniversaries this month.

 

And my going away party is planned.

 

So in honor of my leaving NH I came up with a list of 100 things I'm leaving behind. It's not your typical 100 list, and not everything that made this list is a positive. In fact, some of the following items contribute to my hightailing it out of this state!

Good, bad, or otherwise, I have spent 20 years here, and not all of it loathesome. I will say my opinion as a non-native is that the difference between a trailer park in NH and one in Alabama can be answered with one word: SNOW. The jokes about NH are plentiful, from racially motivated cracks about "The White Mountains", to a bit of humor stolen from a Maine comedian, "you can't get there from here," to commentary on the weather, "Don't like it? Wait a minute." I have spent a great deal of time trying to run away. 11 years in fact.

But in my adult life I have also made truly irreplaceable friendships, and that makes it harder to leave than anything else. But just like me in this photo, my time here is fading quickly, but the tattoos and memories are permanent.

 

I now present to you, 100 things in NH I am leaving behind:

 

my second home, the Scenic Theatre in Pittsfield, and my second favorite theatre, the Village Players home in Wolfeboro

 

drives along the Kanc

 

my favorite Magnolia tree across the street from the Wentworth by the Sea

 

my crazy extended family: The Del Valle family, Auntie Bea, Maye and Jim who secretly love Gromit, Dee Dee, and Angel, not to mention Briana and Tammy

 

potholes the size of Dodge Omnis

 

Storyland

 

hikes to Devil’s Den

 

13 miles of freezing cold ocean I have never done more than wade in

 

slush floats and brownie sundaes at Frekey’s Dairy Freeze in Chichester

 

the strange way strangers wave and say hi to each other, in the car, on the sidewalk, you name it

 

Tea Garden, home of the best sesame chicken in the world and a midori sour that will kick your ass

 

moose, although I’ve still never seen one and think they’re a myth, like unicorns

 

the first whiff of wood-smoke in the fall

 

Gaucho’s

 

days on the big lake with friends

 

my stylist at Capelli’s Salon

 

DeeDee’s superbowl parties

 

the ungodly amounts of snow from September-May

 

outrageous rents

 

the Clark Family and their trained bears at Clark’s Trading Post, a tourist spot I hit every summer, sometimes twice

 

the sense of dread I have every time I drive the stretch of road where I was hit by a drunk driver

 

the Lupine Festival

 

other people who spent too much time in their youth at the Elvis Room, long live memories of the Elvis Room!

 

nights in Amy’s dining room

 

Muddy River Smokehouse

 

parties around the fire pit in my backyard featuring spontaneous drum circles

 

the ’72 Cadillac Eldorado convertible

 

curly fries from the Tavern

 

insane vehicle registration fees paid to the town AND the state

 

lack of income tax

 

Lynn, the best esthetician ever, at Mirabella

 

farm fresh eggs $1 a dozen on the side of the road

 

the best vet ever, Kevin, and his staff who love my dogs and know them by name, at Central NH Animal Care in Chichester

 

the Palermo Mine

 

late nights cooking random things and drinking cold cream soda with Tamara

 

tivo’d episodes of Men in Trees with Tamara and Nikki

 

coffee at Mandy’s café, which is actually named "Lydia's, while we gossip, now I’ll have to pay for my girlie coffees when I want one, which sucks because she knows I prefer soy and I'll have to retrain someone to get my order correct

 

everything closing at 6 pm during the “off season”

 

masshole drivers

 

night swimming

 

white chocolate ice cream at Summer Freeze in Penacook

 

the annual night out in the limo (bite us, NHTAs! But damn, Angel WAS fabulous in the Hot Mikado...haha)

 

the ghosts in Tim’s apartment in Pittsfield

 

frost heaves

 

231 mph winds on Mt Washington

 

the amazing parade of motorcycles during Bike Week

 

mornings you can’t touch your steering wheel with bare hands because it’s 40 below zero outside

 

Maye’s dinners, which are TRULY events

 

days it takes an hour to get the ice off your car

 

spring flooding

 

the “food court druids” at the Mall of NH who have been there since 1998 but now at least hold jobs at Hudson News

 

the white trash who trick out their cars with plastic accessories from Wal Mart

 

the way people add an “s” to the end of words for no apparent reason: Wal Mart becomes “Wal-Mahts”, and the way people still miss that fabulous department store, “Ameses”

 

people who have lived in the same county their entire lives

 

the need for LL Bean waterproof down parkas with not just a waist cinch but a cinch at the bottom for those windy days

 

the lack of dog-friendly rentals

 

everyone knowing your name at the local IGA and what sort of muffin you’re going to have for breakfast

 

roads that close for the winter

 

the fact that regardless of how lost you appear to be if you keep driving down a road, even if it turns to dirt for several miles, you will eventually come out somewhere you recognize

 

asshole drivers in white work vans and red pick up trucks who drive at 60 mph in 50 mph zones even during the worst blizzards

 

Mat Clarke at Midnight Moon in Chichester; when I want a new tattoo I will fly home just for him, he’s that good

 

trips to “Marshall’s Grande”

 

Gold Fever Wings at the 99 with Melissa

 

the best part time job ever, at Mattson Photography

 

the amazing smell of lilacs every June that permeates the state

 

Polar soda

 

the whipped cheddar from Camelot Books in Wolfeboro

 

Sherman Farms orange flavored milk, the only cows’ milk I’ll touch

 

“redneck weddings” with pig roasts

 

chipmunks

 

Monty’s pet store in Epsom NH

 

playing pool in my basement until 2 am with Bri

 

measuring distance by time, not mileage

 

Robb’s new wine and cheese shop in Wolfeboro

 

getting in trouble with Angel and/or Bea at the theatre

 

the Capital Center for the Arts

 

Balloon Rally in Pittsfield the first weekend of August

 

where my cat Kitty is buried in Barnstead

 

professional theatre starring the talented Billy Butler

 

Fatty McNutnibbler

 

Great Waters Music Festival

 

black flies

 

NHPR

 

the first in the nation primary and meeting candidates in person

 

the lack of a really great pizza anywhere in the damned state

 

how swimming season is really only a week long

 

mosquitoes the size of humming birds

 

recognizing the names of all the people in the police log because the town is just that damned small

 

how there’s never any real news in NH except the weather

 

how it seems to be an hour to get just about anywhere

 

our hilarious local news anchors who are apparently in charge of their own hair and make up

 

the greatest prank in NH- America’s Stonehenge

 

road salt eating your exhaust all winter and yet it’s so hard to find an open car wash because of the insane temperatures

 

how if you address a letter to a person in a small town, even without their street address or PO Box #, it will still arrive

 

ice out…I still can’t believe it’s a real event

 

all the old trucks on the side of the road, which people will never restore NOR sell

 

covered bridges

 

a yard full of deer and wild turkey and even mink

 

town meetings

 

the ridiculous Red Sox/Yankees rivalry

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Taken on June 14, 2008