We Made the Move: Kristine and Phil Boncer
Phil and I met in May 1999 and instantly connected, in large part because we are both lifelong instinctive libertarians. As we developed our relationship and our businesses, we knew we couldn’t stay in California. By early 2001, Phil was actively gathering data on a variety of factors to figure out which states were to be on our short list for consideration. One evening Phil showed me a tiny blurb on something called The Free State Project, our eyes lit up; we went to the website, read what was there, and signed on the spot. In the summer of 2004, we flew to Boston, rented a car, attended PorcFest for several days and explored the state on our way. We were both thrilled to have found a group of people where personal responsibility made sense, and were both very inspired and ready to start the process of relocating our lives and businesses. My business, Curious Creek Fibers, was fairly easy, as I produce hand-dyed yarn and sell it wholesale to specialty hand-knitting shops around the country but because Phil’s pharmaceutical engineering consulting business needs clients, that was a bigger consideration. At the same time, our lives began to take a bit of a detour. We had met, somewhat by chance, a young lady, age 14, who seemed bright and well-behaved, and whose family members were all meth addicts and/or alcoholics, and she was not getting proper care. By age 16, she had gotten into some trouble and then self corrected but needed a consistent home, so we took her in as she’d been living on the streets for over a year. We stayed in San Diego an additional five years to help her launch. She graduated high school well, and has continued to excel; has a good job, goes to community college, has become quite a remarkable motorcycle and scooter mechanic, and found a great roommate situation and moved out last year. She did not wish to move to NH, so she is still back in San Diego, but she’s coming “home” for Thanksgiving at her request. In 2008 Phil’s industry took a major dive in San Diego, so he had to travel for work, including most recently a project here in NH -- finally a chance for Phil to establish himself in the place we wanted to be. After working in Portsmouth for almost a year, we had saved enough to make it happen. By chance, on Craigslist, I found a wonderful farmhouse for rent in Northwood. We visited and within two days had signed the lease -- now I had exactly one month to pack our home of 13 years. I did my due diligence and found the best way for us to move would be with a reputable, big name moving company, and went with Mayflower after getting three proper quotes. As July drew to an end, Phil flew in before the move to help with the last packing, say goodbye to all the friends and family, and drive us across the country. Our daughter made the road trip with us, which was a great help. It was a long drive – 60 hours on the road in 5 days – whirlwind, stayed with friends or family all the way across the continent and arrived safe and sound. There were two things I really wanted for us when we got to New Hampshire. One was that I wanted to completely change our eating and food purchasing habits. I wanted to be able to legally purchase raw milk and revel in the drinking of it! I wanted pastured eggs and meat, happy farmers raising happy, naturally fed animals, and enough space to grow and preserve what I could. I only shop at the grocery market for a few things now, such as hard cheese, flour, ginger ale to mix with my bourbon, and Phil’s gummy bears. I expect by next year I will have the hard cheese making down pat, will have researched and found the right grain mill for our needs, and I just found a recipe for a ginger ale “bug” in order to make my own. Other than that, we purchase all of our food from farmers in and around our neighborhood. Anyone have a great recipe for gummy bears? The second wish for us: That we would meet people who we could work with in many different ways to make a difference. Not just politically, but with our businesses, our ability to connect and relate to so many people, especially teenagers and pre-teens, and our can-do attitudes. We want to make a difference here, and we are finding many ways to volunteer our time. For now, I look to my yarn business and expect to hire an employee sometime in our first year here in New Hampshire. Perhaps when I get my folk school retreats running, I’ll be able to hire more people and grow my company without the government interfering! Ah, I suppose I should say we moved from San Diego, CA, where supposedly the world’s finest weather lives. That may be true, but liberty cannot grow in a place like California and we decided that Liberty in Our Lifetime was worth being a bit chilly and leaving our beloved family behind. Yes, we left our parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, our whole community and safety net, but we did it because we wanted to be a part of something that would make the world a better place for everyone. We’re actually looking forward to the winter, and are really happy to be here and to be a part of the FSP movement.