Four years ago I posted about our stay in Hampton, NH, but this time we have a little more of a story to tell.
If you remember, only a few weeks ago we were in Bend, OR where we got an invitation to a cookout on the bay in Dover, NH with friends, and decided, hmmm, that sounds like fun! I mean, after all, it is only about 3,200 miles away and only requires travel in two countries to get there. No big deal. All for a burger. Lobster roll (or two or three) to be more precise.
We made it to Hampton, where we parked our rig in front of our friends’ house (which was SO nice), and we made the (20 minute) sojourn up to Dover for the cookout (which was SO much fun). But we may have gotten a little carried away.
We bought a house. Yes, that’s right – bought a house, in Hampton Falls, NH! People have asked us, “Was this part of your overall plan?” Those of you who know us know we don’t have an overall plan. Well, we do – sort of. It’s more like a guideline, as Captain Barbosa would say.
When I called my brother and sister (separately) and told them we were moving, they both said, “You’re always moving!” Truth. For the last 4 years, we have traveled about 7 months of each year. We expect to continue traveling, but we will probably be a little more deliberate about our travel than we have been since retiring.
Both Karen and I both have said (repeatedly to each other) that this feels so right. When we listen to people here in New England, they speak with an accent and attitude that feels completely comfortable to us. As I said to Karen, this feels like putting on your favorite old sweatshirt.
We had lunch at the 99 in Portsmouth (only those in New England know the 99) and on our way out I happened to say something to three strangers sitting in a booth across from us. One of the guys says, “Brad Roberts!” Well, it was a classmate of ours from high school! What are the odds. You can’t make this stuff up.
Our kids were both born in New England, but spent most of their school-age years in our home in Marietta, GA. Raising our kids in East Cobb was completely awesome, and we have lived in a spectacular neighborhood with what have become dear friends. Neighborhood events including New Years celebrations, 4thof July fireworks, Halloween shenanigans, fire pit get-togethers, neighbor block parties, and just plain good neighbors have all contributed to a warm sense of connection that few other places can likely claim. We will miss most those friends.
One of the big draws for moving back to New England was to avoid travel in the summer months, when everyone and their brother is out traveling, and the weather is so hot. Summer in New England is magical; not perfect, but magical.
There is such rich history here in New England, and having been away for 20 years, can easily get forgotten. There are many houses in the area that were originally built in the 1600’s or 1700’s, old cemeteries that date back to the 1600’s, and just a fabric of things that have tested time.
We will be moving to a small sea-coastal community in New Hampshire called Hampton Falls. With minimum lot sizes of 2 acres, zoned “residential and agricultural” (our neighbors have chickens), and a population of about 2,200 as of the last census, we think we have found a little slice of heaven.
Our new home will be situated 15 minutes from the beach, 25 minutes from Kittery, Maine, 25 minutes from Portsmouth, and 45 minutes to downtown Boston. Point of interest: Hampton Falls was actually part of Massachusetts back in the 1600’s.
To give you a sense of the town, the largest employer in the town is Applecrest Farms with a payroll of 18 employees (according to Wikipedia).
We’ll report more on all this later. We still have our home inspection, a closing on our new house scheduled for October, and a boatload of stuff to get done to prepare our home in Marietta to go on the market. But for now? We’re going to go celebrate with a little seafood – maybe even some chowdaah.
Wish us luck!!