True New Englander

I'll never forget my elation at seeing the drudgery of the misty gray clouds consuming the City of Boston as my plane landed. Although I had just spent a fabulous week in sunny Florida with my travel companion and friend, Patsy, I missed home. Florida had palm trees, warm beaches, St. Augustine, and oranges, but I missed fall leaves, mountain vistas, Littleton, and apple cider.

Traveling is incredibly fulfilling for me, and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to leave home twice this year. I'm ecstatic to look forward and plan my trips for 2015, but I think travel is more delightful when one knows they have a glorious place to return to, a place of most contentment.

For me this is Franconia Notch, but Florida reminded me that I'm not just a North Country girl or even a New Hampshirite, but a New Englander. Although I can only handle urbanism in small doses, Boston is my city. Although it's a real nuisance to shovel out my car, I'd rather sweat in my winter coat than on the car seat in 90 degree weather.

Warwick Long Bay in Bermuda is the most stunning beach I have ever visited, but salty hair and rustic tug boats make me feel complete. New England is a diverse region that has not only coastline, but lakes and mountains as well. We enjoy four seasons (five if you consider mud), and the most beautiful Autumns in the world. I learned this when I began working for the Chamber.

We may be pretentious and keep to ourselves, but in my small town of Sugar Hill, I have seen neighbors come together out of help, support, and yes, gatherings. New England is home to the meetinghouse and many of our towns are still run by a Board of Selectmen and town meetings. 

These towns perpetuate history, and although I visited the oldest city in America (St. Augustine), New England history is what really fascinates me. We have Plymouth Rock and the first Thanksgiving, the shot heard 'round the world, transcendentalism, the nation's oldest college, the Old Man of the Mountain, and more. It's the rebellious spirit of American Revolutionary roots and the unconventional philosophy of transcendentalism that inspires and makes me proud to say that I am from New England. 

Not only that, it's the summer strawberries and autumn apples that keep me here. Tonight I dined at the Common Man in Lincoln and left satisfied by a New England supper. Our food is hearty and delicious. I could never give up cider donuts, acorn squash, blueberry muffins, maple syrup, or whoopie pies! Fall does have a smell and it is incredible.

I love New England for its history, beauty, cuisine, and activities. I can be found kayaking on a lake in summer or picking blueberries in the fields. Fall brings foliage hikes while in winter I ski. There are so many outdoor activities that I enjoy doing and New England is the place where I can do them all. It's fantastic to have this variance.

I was born in a Massachusetts port city, grew up in a suburb, and now live in the mountains of New Hampshire. I can never see myself leaving.