In the rush of ordinary life, it is rare indeed to step outside to gaze upon the stars on a summer night. What a sky there was last night! Countless stars vying for attention like lustful fireflies, and there I was in my bare feet watching them.
It seems impossible that two people could have so much beauty and natural history to themselves. Our almost 4 acres has been magical – wild lady slippers, countless varieties of creatures, trees of infinite seasonal interest and the woodpeckers who work them, restless sounds of still unseen life – not least of which is the call of the Barred owl wondering “Who’ll cook for me?” Hardly a day goes by when our cat doesn’t dispatch a mouse or a chipmunk, keeping us safe from ticks. Trying to catch a porcupine with salted apple slices yesterday, I captured an unfortunate adolescent ground hog who may have learned her lesson to stay away. Perhaps it was she who dug up the turtle eggs sequestered at the sunny edge of our driveway.
In 9 days Arthur and I must move to his job in Florida. It is a wrenching move that leaves me with only heavy wistfulness. We know we will never again achieve what we have found in Sandown – the warm friends,the purposefulness of our activities, the utter joy of our surroundings, even a town government we respect. To our astonishment, Arthur calculated that neither of us, in our collective lives, have lived in one place longer than we have lived on Cranberry Meadow Rd.
Two things in Sandown are left undone. We are deeply disappointed that Sandown voters did not see the wisdom and necessity of withdrawing from the Timberlane Regional School District. Timberlane is currently under unprofessional administration with the regional school board enabling what would otherwise be unacceptable administrative behavior. Sandown and its children deserve much better and could do much better on their own. I’m confident of that and regret voters did not have a similar confidence.
On a more prosaic note, I regret leaving beautiful Fremont Road to the ravishes of so many people who ignorantly litter. Litter is practically unknown in many parts of the world, yet in New Hampshire, blessed with so much natural beauty, many citizens think nothing of dumping their trash out the car window. In my short stretch of Fremont alone, one man throws out 3 nips and two cans of Coors every workday on his way home to his wife. Another neighbor regularly throws his empty Marlboro packs onto the street. Dunkin’ drinks seem to have a life cycle of going from mouth to car to ditch. There are others who regularly pick up litter, and I hope they will extend their range to Fremont in our absence. Thank you!
Sandown, I shall miss you!
The train depot, town hall and the lovely ladies within it, the fire station – our local heroes!- the library, the rec trail, town forests, Lily Pond, the bridges over the Exeter River in all seasons, the Christmas tree lighting, Kevin Major’s Memorial Day services, Deliberative Sessions, voting and the patriotic bunting, seeing the garden at town hall mature (thanks, Garden Club!), Chub’s fries, (not the macaroons, sorry!,the many good people I’ve been privileged to work with in local government – and irreplaceable, generous friends.
This blog is going to be slowing down. My complaint to the Board of Education concerning the circumstances and procedures around the hiring of Thomas Geary by SAU 55 is still ongoing. If and when that gets resolved, you will be the first to know. Thanks for following me for the past 6 years. Together, we’ve helped to open some eyes as to the doings at SAU 55 and Timberlane’s incompetent board. Knowledge is power, but only when it is acted upon.
Goodbye, Sandown! Au revoir, New Hampshire! It is hard to leave.