“The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.” – Robert Frost
Miles traveled: 217.6
Probably for the only post of this entire blog, I switched gears and used a poem versus a song lyric to open my post. It will make sense in just a minute. Have no fear – lyrics will be back on the agenda tomorrow.
Before dropping my mom off at the Manchester airport early this afternoon, we stopped by an antique shop I had seen the night before on the way to dinner in downtown Manchester – Antiques on Elm Street. Always on the hunt for an old camera to add to my collection, this morning we struck antique camera gold. Holy cameras – they were everywhere. It was awesome – and I found it a little tricky to keep myself in check and not just say “I’ll take all of them”! I did not grab all of them, but I did come away with a snazzy little collection of cameras, mostly American made, some in original boxes, a couple with original straps, and one wooden folding camera that is just super cool. Check out the newest additions to my camera collection – pretty excited about this lot!
After finding a comfortable spot in the Jeep for my new loot, we made our way towards the airport so my mom could catch her flight home to Charleston. We said our goodbyes, took the now-traditional airport drop-off selfie, and she was off to her terminal. After making sure my mom made it inside the terminal and bag checked roadside (thanks Southwest for the convenient check-in process), I headed off to check out a couple of spots in New Hampshire.
I wanted to stop by the Zimmerman house, which is the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in New England that is open to the public, but their tours for the day were completely booked. So I headed to my next stop which was the Robert Frost farm in Derry, NH. Robert Frost is one of my favorite poets, so I thought it would be neat to check out one of the farmhouses that he lived in and where he wrote the majority of his first book. I learned quite a bit of new information from the kind, trusty and informative guide, Randee. She was a hoot and really knew her history and quite a bit about his poetry.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
So here are a few snippets that I learned today:
- Robert Frost was a poultry farmer (not a good one), but as we know he was a much better poet!
- His poem, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, was written about the farm in Derry.
- His first book – A Boy’s Will – was mostly written while he lived on the farm in Derry.
- His father ran away from high school and joined the northern Virginia confederate army – he named his son after his favorite general, Robert E. Lee.
- Painted red floors are common in old farmhouses in New England as red paint was the least expensive. This is also why you see quite a few red barns.
- The typewriter Robert Frost used, and is still in the house for display, was the first model introduced in the US – the Blickensderfer No 6.
- Robert Frost was the only poet to ever win 4 Pulitzers.
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
My next stop was just a few miles down the road in North Salem, NH. This was rated on Trip Advisor as a must-see in Southern New Hampshire – it was America’s Stonehenge. Either there’s not much going on in Southern New Hampshire, or I located a glitch on Trip Advisor today. My money is on the latter. But perhaps it’s more because “ancient, mysterious stone structures” just aren’t all that interesting to me! This place was just bizarre. I’m sure some folks think it is super cool – I did not! But when in Rome, I suppose. So I walked around to check it out, and attempted to follow the information sheet provided to me. This was not a simple task as the sheet used letters to indicate the “points of interest,” while in reality the site was marked by numbers. There were also a significantly greater amount of numbered areas to the amount of letters with descriptions listed on the paper. Now in some historic places, you can read the description on the map and sort of figure out intuitively what it is referring to. Not the case, when everything looks like a pile of granite rocks! Anyways, there were some Alpaca on the property, and they were pretty cute – so that’s something.
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
Meanwhile back at the airport – my mom’s flight was supposed to leave at 1:55pm. It was then delayed 2 hours. She sat on the plane for nearly two more hours before the flight was eventually cancelled because of the bad weather down the east coast. So she was keeping me updated on her flights and I was only 19 miles from Manchester when she said it had been cancelled and she was likely going to have to stay overnight for at least one night before getting another flight out. Rather than have her go through all that, I made my way back to the airport to pick her up once she got her flights re-booked. Instead of flying out of Manchester, which would have taken two days, I told her to have them rebook her on the afternoon or evening flight out of Baltimore, direct to Charleston, on Friday. I was heading to Baltimore on Friday already anyways! So it all worked out, and I snatched up my mom from the airport with dinner in hand, and we made our way down to New Haven, CT.
Crazy day, but it all worked out fine at the end of the day! And I will sign off this post with the conclusion of my favorite Frost poem, which is fitting (my opinion, of course) for my road trip adventure:
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-Robert Frost, The Road Less Traveled
Until next time…