As of today, my two children and I have been in the “Shire” for four whole weeks. We conveniently landed in our new home after the last snowfall and before the hot humid summer. Mostly I’m buttering my kids up for what I know is ahead of us. Ticks. Mosquitoes. Blizzards. My son has promised to shovel snow. He thinks it’ll be no big deal… Score!
We left California--where I spent my entire life--for good on February 24, the day after the judge let me off of formal probation for a felony I was given for attending a birth in 2007 while I was a midwifery student. I was not allowed to leave Los Angeles County while I was on probation and was restricted from my work as a midwife. Because of my felony, I was unable to find work in a county with a nearly 20% unemployment rate. My income had decreased to one-tenth of what it had been before my arrest. I cleaned toilets, babysat, washed cars, ran errands... all for friends, because strangers ran criminal background checks.
Many “Free Staters” have two concerns when considering their move to New Hampshire: a job and housing. There is a free market solution to both of these problems which might be a good fit for some. This opportunity involves private education, which is alive and well in New Hampshire. You might even get a free lunch!
According to The Boarding School Review there are 435 private schools in New Hampshire serving 35,481 students and ranging from small daycares to large college-prep boarding schools. In general, private schools do not require teacher certification and, importantly, have many employees that are not teachers. Some schools hire dormitory staff, tutors, coaches, chaperones, accountants, landscapers, IT techs, and more.
After the winds of Winter Storm Nemo had subsided and the raspy protests of shovels scraping pavement commingled with the mechanized purr of snow blowers moving mounds of nature’s frozen tears, we took a much needed respite from our participation in the clearing activities to reflect on our new life in the Granite State. The two of us have been through our share of winter storms, but Jeremy, our teenage son who made the move with us, left New England before he had developed a full appreciation for some of the nastier offspring Old Man Winter and Mother Nature can create. For the better part of the past decade, and hence the majority of his life, we had lived in the balmier climes of North Carolina. Freezing temperatures weren’t foreign, but their stay was usually brief and rarely were they accompanied by more than a dusting of the white stuff. That said, you might suspect that a generational storm would dampen our enthusiasm as one of the newest families to officially move to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project. On the contrary, we found Nemo to be a welcome challenge, telling us it‘s time to put up or shut up.
Making the move to New Hampshire for the Free State Project was an easy decision. At the time, I was in the process of separating from the Navy and looking for options on where to start my new life. My other half mentioned New Hampshire and the FSP when I was in the thick of discovering what freedom and liberty means. I immediately signed up and decided to move there in six months.
I moved on December 17, 2011 from San Diego and was greeted by a large group of Porcupines who helped me move in and welcomed me with open arms. So far, I have gotten involved in several activism events. In January, I campaigned for Ron Paul in the New Hampshire primary and met hundreds of students from around the country who share my passion for liberty. I also started a Young Americans for Liberty Chapter at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester, where I major in Politics and Society using my post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. Last year I helped Emily Sandblade with her winning campaign for State Representative.