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Falling into fall

The temps are starting to cool off here in New Hampshire, 40’s in the mornings and 70’s during the day. Give or take a few degrees either way and we are enjoying it. Jeans, hoodies and sweatpants without breaking a sweat are glorious!

Adventuring continues and we both have a few new hikes planned for the weekend and week ahead which is exciting. I’ve found a small, local trail with some waterfalls and swimming areas which is close to the house. We are even entertaining buying a house (if the right opportunity presents itself)—would rather pay a mortgage than rent! However the market is pretty tight up here so we shall see.

This week has also brought some sad news, not unexpected, however, it still packs a sting and a reminder: Memento Mori (Remember that you must die). I feel like a broken record sometimes, but life IS short, we are NOT promised tomorrow and we should grab each and every day by the horns and RIDE. Get the ice cream. Stay up a little later to enjoy a sunset or get up a little earlier to embrace the sunrise, or do both in the same day! Take the trip. Hug your people. Say I love you. Enjoy this life.

So, on that note. We are enjoying our time here—absolutely living our best lives—-there is an open invite to all who have never explored New England, and we are doing our best (not always well, but we are working on it) to be patient and see what God has in store for us in the days, weeks and months ahead.

Peace and enjoy some lovely waterfalls and overlooks!

It’s getting too cool for my taste, but these waterfalls are 8 minutes from our house and have multiple falls and pools to swim in!
Look at me learning how to work the long exposure…….
Is there such a thing as too many waterfall pictures? I don’t think so!
Will this ever get old? No. No, it will not.
Sunset, we are coming for you soon!
These dudes are also living their best lives!

Finding our groove

Entering our third week of New Hampshire life and today is the first day that feels like a “normal” day. It is a day off for me and after my morning walk I knocked out some errands (grocery shop, gas, bank, etc.) and found myself with nothing to do. It is a rainy day so hiking isn’t exactly a great idea solo and taking the dog would be a muddy nightmare, so I puttered. Interesting to have a just a regular day, but in New Hampshire. Imagine that!

Our girls were here last week and we had such a good time. When I was working they explored with Hubs and when I wasn’t working I joined in the adventuring. Lots of driving. The kids took the car one day when we were both working and explored nearby Vermont and some of our area here. Stargazing in a nearby field was spectacular and warranted TWO nights of viewing. Ice cream at the local dairy and petting zoo also required TWO visits—-it’s so good. Swimming at Lake Sunapee, sampling local restaurants, farm stands, blueberry picking, a lake cruise and a little cultural intake at Dartmouth in the museums and campus area made for a full week.

Goodbye was tough and they had a canceled flight which created some life experience “pivoting” and an arrival home a day later than planned. Such is life, right?

Now we just assimilate into our area, find our way around (thankful for maps in my phone!) find new hikes and cool places to go and things to do. I guess that’s our groove now.


Fresh Blueberries!
My favorite boathouse—love that color!
We took the auto road to Mt. Kearsarge and hiked up to the summit. Gorgeous and so windy!!! I thought my baby was going to fly right off the top!
Bandit and I taking in the view
Pretend they made a heart. This was a hilarious production.
Sunset from the dairy
My pretty daily walk

Ask and you shall receive

We’ve completed week one in New England and continue to be awe-struck. I hope it doesn’t end any time soon, because it is such fun to find so many cool things waiting around each corner. I do love the honeymoon phase of new things, don’t you??

This entire adventure started last summer as a strong sense of God wanting us to be here. “Our” plan was maybe 2+ years down the road to explore moving or snow-birding (a term familiar to Floridians where folks in the north follow the best weather—-winter in Florida and summer in the North—FANTASTIC concept if you can pull it off, and a lot of people DO!). Anyway, this pull to New England was incredibly strong and just seemed so insanely out-of-the-blue that Hubby and I discussed it, prayed about it and basically explored the idea that if we are meant to do it, God will work out the details. Welp. He sure did. That gorgeous hike in August snowballed into a series of events that had me quit my job and traveling as a CT tech by January 1. I can’t even list every single thing that “magically” fell into place during this time. In spite of all my doubts, second-guessings, and fears—-there is NO doubt in my mind that God is orchestrating every move. I don’t know why, but I am currently enjoying every second. Perhaps one day we will know why He wants us here, but for now, we’re going with the flow.

A few things I have prayed for and He has blessed us with abundantly.:

A beautiful parish to worship with, not just in the architecture but in the reverence shown by the priest and parishioners alike at all Masses. Bonus: so many young families!!!! Daily Mass available in the mornings and evenings—especially important for me since I work Sundays.
A place to take a daily walk. While our condo is lovely, it is located on a very short cul-de-sac off a main road; this is not conducive to a regular walk where I can just meditate, pray and de-stress for 45 minutes or so. We are hiking, but since we are working we can’t hike EVERY day, so I really wanted to locate somewhere nearby to walk where I wouldn’t get run over and could take our dog. God: check out the side road DIRECTLY across the street, approx. 1 mile of peaceful dirt road, complete with farms, old cemetery and picturesque views of the mountain, will that work? This road also has an entrance to a 75 MILE greenway hike/mountain bike trail. I mean. Seriously. God is just showing off at this point.

Just for funsies, we are treated with extra surprises almost daily…..

Pick your own blueberries. OK. Florida has this, too. BUT, not 5 minutes from my house and certainly NOT 72 degree temps to pick yummy blueberries. We picked about a two pounds and Hubby and the kids will go back this week to get more.
We explored a nearby town, finding a small bookstore to grab trail maps/books, a local tavern for dinner and a jazz band concert in the park RIGHT NEXT TO OUR CAR!! As we were listening and taking it all in, Hubby said, “is this a fairytale?” We both laughed and agreed it is.
Driving back to our condo, we swung by a dairy—(also minutes from the house)—that not only has out-of-this-world homemade ice cream (maple whiskey pictured above), but a petting zoo with free-roaming goat, gorgeous flower garden and breathtaking 360-degree views! OK, maybe the ice cream is mediocre and everything else makes it amazing——we will never know. What I do know is, we will be back.

Now, life is still life. Don’t get me wrong. We still have our daily ups and downs and worries about our kids, helping them through this transition and coaching them through life as well as our own concerns, family health concerns, friends with major life stuff, etc. Life doesn’t stop, but our perspective has changed and to continually see God work in our own lives, I have every faith that He has it ALL under control. I might not understand some if it, now or ever in this lifetime, but I do know without the shadow of a doubt, He IS in control and His plan is far better than anything I can ever hope for. Thanks be to God.

Until next time! Peace.

Rain showers

The other night after work we went down to check out a local swimming hole a couple miles away and take a walk. The intent was to walk about 30 minutes, check out the area and grab a bite to eat because we had not fully grocery shopped yet for our condo and we needed some grub.

Swimming hole view

The swimming area was quite large, not busy and the lake view was lovely with a mountain backdrop, and boat going past with the a summer water skier in tow—-a classic summer lake view—simply gorgeous. I am constantly mentally pinching myself here and this was a moment for sure.

Lake. Mountain. Water skier.

As we started to walk, it was overcast and breezy, a lovely 75 degrees—a welcome respite from the heat we brought with us from Florida. We started down one trail and it was very short and then headed down another trail. The breeze picked up. Hubby suggested we head to the car because the “breeze” was probably rain. I was hellbent on getting my steps in so I insisted we walk anyway since the trail was all under trees—we probably wouldn’t get that wet. I hate it when he’s right—especially when I know he’s probably right and I push for my own way. Sometimes I am still a bratty twelve year old.

It started to pour. Not rain. Pour buckets. And those dang trees were useless as umbrellas. We were already wet, so we kept walking until the temp started dropping and my stubbornness couldn’t take it anymore. Hubby was such a good sport about it and made me laugh—bless him. By the time we got back to the parking lot, the rain stopped. We were absolutely drowned rats with a small hand towel we used for the dog to share between the two of us.

And then. A rainbow. A Double rainbow with the bow ending in the lake ahead of us. It was absolutely spectacular and the pictures do it zero justice. Had we not followed my ridiculous stubborn self on that trail we would have missed it—what a beautiful gift. Not a gift for being stubborn, but a gift in spite of my stubbornness. Breathtaking. God has a great sense of humor.

The end of the rainbow is HERE

Dinner out turned into dinner IN—a smorgasbord of leftovers and a plan to complete grocery shopping the next morning.

This adventure of ours is off to a very cool start! It’s going to be epic!!!

Vacation mode

After a 2-day drive broken up by a glorious 5 hour nap and shower at Candlewood suites (clean, convenient and dog friendly) we made it to Vermont. Our little slice of rural Vermont life at our AirBNB has us in full vacation mode and it will be a bit before it clicks that we are here in New England to stay. At least for a while.

Our Airbnb is great, has a 10 acre meadow on one side, another expansive meadow on the other side and tons of trails surrounding it; our dog is in leash-free heaven. He chases the robins, explores endlessly and samples various nap locales. Surprisingly, he joined us willingly for a car ride in search of covered bridges and exploring some nearby towns today—the epic drive in his car prison long forgotten.

It’s a little warm (it IS August) but not as warm as home and we have a nice respite at night and in the mornings. The views are worth it and almost make me forget that we don’t have A/C—but we do have ice cream. and fans. Again…..vacation. Should we have a clear night we will drag our quilt onto the meadow for some star gazing—fingers crossed!!

We will continue to do the hard work of resting and relaxing a few more days, for now we are pinching ourselves and giving thanks for this gift of time and opportunity and see what God has in store for us along the way.

Enjoy a few pics—-it doesn’t even come close tho….you’ll have to come visit and see for yourself!

Our Meadow view from our bathroom (you can see one of three windows)
Our backyard view and Bandit’s romping grounds
Mountain View coming in from the trails behind the property
Town center
When you just don’t know what to do with those old bikes…..
Our Lady of the Snows
Public library in Woodstock, VT
Woodstock Inn and Resort
Our first covered bridge (of many to come)