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6-17-09 004_edited-1-2
Arrival in New Hampshire


12/18/10, Hampton Beach, NH - After an arduous drive across the prairie, I finally arrived in New Hampshire. I would like to say that the trip was without mishap, but thatís not entirely true. There was a report of a wayward teamster (without a team) with his truck parked at a weird angle in an Illinois freeway ditch. Well I have to tell you, itís all true. Apparently, the great states of Missouri and Illinois donít like treating their icy road surfaces. Instead they prefer the excitement of hundreds of motorist driving off the road. Unfortunately, I was one of them. But, having a little foresight, I had a chain and come-along in the back. With a tree in a handy spot, I managed to pull the truck back 3 of the 4 feet required to extract myself, when my faithful tree was plucked out by the roots. But, just when all was lost, a tow truck magically appeared. $50 later and I was on the road again. Ainít America Great!

I stopped in Indiana and spent a night with my good friends Dave and Marti Caldwell. With a belly full of chili and beer, and a good nightís rest in the barngalo, I was in great spirits for the next dayís travel.

Arriving in New Hampshire, I began my search for a winter rental in nearby Hampton beach. After looking around a bit, I remembered that my good friends Jim and Shirley owned a motel right on the beach. They were kind enough to let me have a great room with a grand view of the ocean. With only 13 miles of coastline in New Hampshire, Iím extremely happy to have my own little piece of it for the next few weeks.

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Being fond of a good view, I really enjoy the scenery I wake up to and go to sleep with each day.

Iíve been on the job now for a few days and really enjoy it. Every time one of my hundreds of friends and former coworkers sees me, he or she does a real double take, then comes over and pumps my hand like theyíre jacking up a car. Itís great to see everyone again.

So far the weekend has been fantastic. This morning I got a chance to meet my grandson Aiden for the first time. I know every grandparent says it, but, ďThis is one really terrific kid.Ē He reminds me an awful lot of my son (his father Daniel) when he was that age. When I gave Aiden his bottle, it was like I time warped back twenty five years and was giving a bottle to my son.

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Grandfather and grandson, shortly after meeting for the first time.

On my way back from Concord, I stopped in my old town of Deerfield and visited with a slew of friends. One of the stops I made was to see our old family horse, ĎApplejackí. Iíve had two incredible horses in my life. Doc is one of them, and Applejack is the other. When I left on this trip, I gave Applejack to my next door neighbors, Jason and Kim. Heís had a great life their.

Most horses are pretty nonchalant about seeing an old owner. Not Applejack, he was neighing and rubbing himself all over me. Now 30 years old, he was acting like a young colt, happy to see a herd mate.

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Applejack was more than happy to have me jump on his back and go for a spin. Although well past his trotting years, he immediately broke into a trot up the hill behind me. Him and me; well, weíre pretty good buddies!

If the past few days are any indication, New Hampshire is going to be a really great time!