NH is America's Best Kept Secret
My husband and I moved from New York City at the end of February 2008. Moving to New England at the end of February is not a smart idea. Moving to New England at the end of February with a newly adopted puppy, in a Penske truck you’re driving yourself, in a heavy snowstorm? Downright stupid. The upside? A dozen or so Porcupines, who, regardless of the inclement weather, showed up at exactly noon and had the truck unpacked faster than I could complete the pizza run. In fact, Hubby called me on my cell phone as I was waiting for the last pizza—I’d ordered ten, those men and women were lugging my life through six feet of snow and I wanted to keep them happy—to say: “Where the hell are you?” (I wasn’t entirely sure) “The truck’s already empty. Get your butt over here! Bring beer!”
Hubby and I had signed the First 1000 pledge in 2006. Of the two of us, Hubby was probably a little more gung-ho than I to get to New Hampshire. I’m a big city gal at heart, and, even while knowing our mission as Free Staters is critical, I was wary of living in a small town (none of those “small town” songs seem to end well, do they?). And wary of all those trees. And the water. Water, water everywhere! Water, I have discovered, is a good thing. We found a brand new three-story three bedroom two and a half bathroom duplex on an idyllic pond for less than the rent we were paying in Manhattan. That’s a loooooooooooooot of space for a city dweller. Puppy has room to roam. Hubby and I each have our own office to work in (we used to share a room the size of our current walk-in closet). From the deck (a deck!) we have spotted otters and ducks and herons and deer and, once, a fox.
I have moved plenty throughout my life (as a child, traveling with my diplomat parents, as an adult, I emigrated from South Africa, lived in San Francisco for 8 years, then New York for 4) but, of all those life-changes, I was the most apprehensive about moving to NH. What if the Porcs were weirdos? What if they thought I was? What if they thought I wasn’t? (I am. A tad.) Would there be any decent theater? Restaurants? What about the winters? The summers? The mosquitoes? The deerflies? The, the, the… The list went on and on. Making excuses was easy. But deep down, I knew we needed to make the move. And soon. While we still stand a chance to make real, meaningful changes. Before it is too late. The South Africa I grew up in was a police state. I know what it looks like. I know, when rounding a corner of an alleyway in Chinatown in New York to be confronted—and scared **itless—by an armed American soldier clutching an assault weapon at your heart as his German Shepard lunges at you, that things must change.
Turns out, New Hampshire is America’s best-kept secret. Turns out, moving at the end of February was smart, because now that spring is springing, the winter hasn’t felt that long. Turns out, when you arrive, you have insta-friends (just add beer!). Taproom Tuesdays, a weekly meeting of the Free Staters, is a great opportunity to socialize. The monthly MVP meeting tells you where you are needed, and for what. Activism, of course, means “acting.” Doing. Working. Changes aren’t going to make themselves. (Except the Patriot Act kind.)
The best part so far? Being able to say: “I’m for guns and dope,” and not get that “What planet are you from?” look. You know the one. Tired of that look? Come join the r3VOLution! As Hubby would say, Get your butt—be it gun or joint—over here!