FINDING MY MUSE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
I'm often asked why I live in New Hampshire. "How could I not?" is my response. There is a quality of life here that is difficult to find anywhere else. And I can say that because I have traveled all across the United States and have visited more than 30 countries.
I live in a colonial ("Sweet Fern") surrounded by Nature, which is both peaceful and inspirational, and I am 45-minutes equidistant from the ocean and mountains for recreational purposes. Yet I am minutes away from cities that offer fine dining, museums, galleries, and shopping. So I have the best of all worlds here. If I'm ever bored - or I ever fail to be inspired - it's my own fault.
The elusive Muse that artisans seek is alive and well here. New Hampshire has a long and rich history of supporting the creative arts. Consider U.S. Poet Laureates Robert Frost, Richard Eberhart, Donald Hall, Maxine Kumin and Charles Simic. Authors JD Salinger, Joyce Maynard, Dan Brown, Jodi Picoult, Ernest Hebert, Grace Metalious, and John Irving. Artists Maxfield Parrish and Augustus Saint Gaudens. Children's book author-illustrators and Caldecott Medal winners Tomie A. dePaola and Tasha Tudor. Newbery medalist Elizabeth Yates. Noted poets Jane Kenyon, Patricia Fargnoli and Cynthia Huntington. The Cornish Art Colony. The MacDowell Colony (the oldest artists' colony in America). Beloved children's author Dr. Seuss attended Dartmouth College. Authors John Knowles (A Separate Peace) and Gore Vidal concurrently attended Phillips Exeter Academy. Documentary film director Ken Burns lives in Walpole. Rock singer Steven Tyler has a home on Lake Sunapee. Poet E.E. Cummings had a summer home on Silver Lake in Madison. Pulitzer Prize winner Willa Cather summered here and is buried in the town of Jaffrey. And even the movies On Golden Pond and Jumanji were filmed here.
So, how can I not live in New Hampshire? It speaks to my heart.
Yes, we residents like to joke that New Hampshire has nine months of winter followed by three months of "bad sledding," but we say that to staunch the flow of people wanting to relocate here. Take a look at the photos in this photo album and you'll quickly understand why I have chosen to live here for the past 32 years. §
All photographs © SF Tomajczyk. Images may not be downloaded or used for any purpose without prior, written permission from the copyright holder.