Arriving in D.C. after college I settled in Georgetown in an historic townhouse shared by two of my Tulane classmates. One night we were startled by the crash of glass as an intruder smashed through the French doors and started upstairs towards our rooms. I awoke and screamed and off he ran. A month later I had moved into a modern, high story condo in the heart of the city with a secure entrance and modern amenities; not exactly my style but I felt safe.
Years later I find myself owning an 1855 farmhouse in Fryeburg, Maine. Far removed from the city, I still lock my doors from force of habit but I feel safe and secure in my small town of 3000 people where every house on our block has a dog and every neighbor is a built in security force reporting on anything out of the ordinary. Over the past 15 years I have had neighbors return our wandering dog, report on our fence blown down in a storm, and tell stories of the black bears they saw in our apple tree, ripping off the branches to get to the fruit.
Until I moved to the Mount Washington Valley I had not experienced small town life. As a big city girl the places where I had lived were not communities where everyone knows your name. A curt nod, a hurried hello, a smile as you rushed through your day. Like so many before me I left behind hectic city living to experience a different lifestyle, in a real community.
As I drive to work at JtRealty I often choose to drive straight up Route 16. There is nothing quite like the view of Mount Washington as you head straight into North Conway Village. Every time I see it I take a breath and say out loud, “Yeah, I live Here!” I stop off at Frontside Grind in the Village for an Iced Mocha and greet other locals as they queue up and peruse The Conway Daily Sun, the local free paper that is a must read for visitors and locals alike. During my lunch break you can often find me nearby at the Local Grocer, a fabulous organic market where they greet me by name and have my order in before I reach the counter. On the way back to Fryeburg I watch as the border collies train in the field with a herd of sheep before I stop off at Weston’s Farm for freshly picked, locally grown vegetables. In the evening we sit on the patio and grill all summer long, greeting our neighbors as they walk by with dogs and kids on bikes who we have watched grow up over the years.
The Mount Washington Valley is known as a resort town where people from all over the world come to play. But what most people don’t realize is we are also a series of small, close knit communities. Where neighbors look after neighbors and where each family’s joys and sorrows are felt throughout the community.
If you live in a city and are not sure small town life is for you, give me or one of our JtRealty Lakefront to Mountainside Agents a call. We would love to share with you why we love where we live and work. And why small town living just may be the life you have always looked for.
Click on the photos below to learn more about some of our country living listings.