Dr. Metzler and his lovely family have settled into New Hampshire now. We welcome another Massachusetts immigrant to our great state. Being an immigrant to New Hampshire myself nearly six years ago, I’d like to give some gentle advice to Dr. Metzler.
1) Ditch the foreign sedan with the pop open trunk. Our sports coupe could do 0 to 60 in 5 seconds but it couldn’t get up our driveway in winter. You will need a solid four wheel drive SUV as minimum equipment, though to be taken seriously, a Ford F-150 with a gun rack mounted on the cab is de rigueur.
2) Have a generator installed in your home. Although you do not have to worry about washing your hair, hot showers during a power outage should not be underestimated. We waited nearly 5 years to do this thinking each extended outage was an anomaly. It wasn’t. You can expect to lose your electricity briefly once a month, and once a year for a few days. I lost mine just yesterday for half an hour and the clocks still aren’t reset.
3) Buy a handgun and learn how to use it. You will be called on to participate in fund raising turkey shoots. Don’t worry. As I discovered to my relief, you don’t actually shoot a turkey. No, the turkey in question is so hard, it would repel bullets. You shoot a target hoping to win a frozen turkey! Also, you will find when travelling into Canada with a New Hampshire plate, that the border guards will not believe you when you say you do not have a gun. Confirm their suspicions and tell them you have a permit to carry but you left the gun at home… in a safe. (Remember to bring it in from your truck.)
4) Be nice to any parent with a plow.
5) Do not assume all local tradesmen are honest even though they may speak with the very thickest New England accent.
6) Learn to use a chainsaw. Ph.D’s are useless when you can’t get out your driveway. We’ve already gone through one ‘Miss Daisy’ chainsaw and have moved up to a ‘mild mannered reporter’ size. Perhaps Santa will bring a ‘Terminator’ for Christmas and a few pints of donated blood.
7) As you enjoy your income-tax-free paychecks and the shock of a price being the price at the register, embrace the state’s frugality. Our state representatives and state senators are paid $100 a year plus mileage, and we like it that way. Money in politics only brings corruption, something people in Massachusetts know only too well. Dutiful citizens who serve on our boards of selectmen or school boards are paid a relatively handsome stipend in the ball park of $1000 a year. Until gas goes to $20 a gallon, they should be “all set,” a reassuring regional expression meaning “leave well enough alone.”
8) Develop a love for rocks… not the rocks that kids sometimes get in their heads, but the ones you will find in your yard where you were expecting earth. My future gardener’s paradise was actually an impenetrable slab of ledge cleverly disguised by two inches of soil.
9) Be vigilant concerning deer ticks. The month of May to the first hard frost they say, but don’t believe it. They are everywhere and they lay in wait like a sheriff trying to serve a subpoena. This is why Deep Woods Off is the state cologne. Poison Ivy is the state flower.
10) Most of all, enjoy your new community of neighbors. We welcome Massachusetts transplants just so long as they don’t vote Democrat.