Always a New Life

I have traveled many miles and done many things since I left that little town of Harrisville, New Hampshire.  I have tried almost everything I wanted to, now at 85 years old I am enbarking on one more new life.  One I never dreamed I would do but that is the best kind  because you have no preconceived ideas of what should happen only outcomes you hope will happen.  This may well be my last really different life style but there is no promise of that.  But if the good Lord is willing and the creek don’t rise I may not need to change again.  I was very apprehensive about this move but with the encouragement of my nearest and dearest here I am.  Shanti suggested I write my story down so others might follow in my foot steps if they dare.  Anyone like me who can’t decide exactly what they want out of life, who only know they want to taste all that life has to offer, who can not abide settling into a rut and being content to just sit and wait for the end — these are the people who should follow me.  I was not as brave as others thought me to be.  I never really took a chance with my families’ future I just wanted to sample everything going and never found anything worth giving up the adventure for except Norman.  So all my changes had to accommodate one Capricorn who was in a route and loved it.

My early years were spent in a small mill town in New Hampshire.  We had only one grocery store most of my 17 years.  at one point Mr Clark had a store at his house at the top of Clark Hill and another man had a store/dinner in the Old Mill house in the center of town but I never went there much as I never had any money and it didn’t stay open for long.  Some years even our one store closed for the winter months but it never made any difference to me.  We had a beautiful big Church that we used once in a while but never filled more than the front row.  I was Congregationalist one  Sunday and Baptist the next as we had to share a minister, neither Chesham nor Harrisville could afford a minister alone so we shared.  Chesham had a beautiful big ‘church also but all our services were held up in the choir loft and then we were not crowded but we were warm and all could hear the minister even those who would rather not.  Our town had a Catholic Church, it was very pretty, rather small but they had a full time priest all the time I was growing up.  I lived in Harrisville and we had a very old and very pretty little vestry that sat right out over the water and it was in there that we had our Sunday services every other week, we had our Young People’s meetings Suday nights and many social functions were held there.  I remember the magic tricks one man showed us, then even our parents came.  I don’t remember if the Catholic kids came or not but I think so and the Catholics had their Christmas party, summer Fair and Saturday movies in the basement of the Chrurch and we all went to those.  I played Bingo. We went to Keene for our big shopping, to the doctor or dentist and once a year or so we got to go to Keene to see a movie.  Most of the homes were mill houses.  You had to work in the mill to be able to rent one of those houses.  I lived on Peanut Row so named because from across the lake our street looked like a row of little brown peanuts.  They were brown from dust dirt and age not because they were painted brown.   My father worked in the mill.  He started there as a young man and after he served in the army in WWI as a medical corp man he returned to Harrisville and finally got a job in the mill.  My mother worked part time for a while as a spooler, my grandmother worked a a burler for as many years as I could remember.  She sat all day long pulling the newly woven wool down past her eyes to find any knots that were in the cloth.  These she would pull out with a pair of tweezers and if it left a hole she had to sew a thread in and weave it so that no hole could be seen.  I have her tweezer now, they were always a part of her.  ‘because my father worked there we were allowed to rent a mill house.  When I was little it cost them $2 I am not sure if that was a week or a month but as little as it sounds now it really was a pretty decent price for those depression years.  It had three bedrooms up stairs, a living room, a den, a kitchen and a large pantry down stairs.  We had a good sized shed that had a loft that my brother made into a bed room when he became 13.  I got that when he went into the army and then we moved into a larger house with an indoor toilet because by then he was Boss Weaver.  I think he paid $5 for that one.  It was better too, it had 4 great big room on the first floor, three large bedroom up and three small rooms plus a large bathroom.  Also the windows were tight and we had central heating.  On Peanut Row we were the first house near the lake and when the wind blew off the lake at the house the curtains in the den/family room would blow right out straight so my mother had to nail the curtains down to help keep it warm in side.  I never dreamed of living anywhere else but there.  I loved my town, I loved my house and I loved my family.  My brother always wanted to live in a fine house and live in a big city.  After I married I moved all over the place but my brother married a girl from the city and brought her back to Harrisville where he bought a house just up the hill from our Peanut Row house where he lived and died.  He raised 4 boys and 2 girls and never lived any place other than Harrisille.  He worked other places but most of his life he worked in that same mill as head accountant and finance advisor.