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
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
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
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”
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
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
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
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
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
Great Waters Music Festival
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
a yard full of deer and wild turkey and even mink
the ridiculous Red Sox/Yankees rivalry