Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #119: My New England Hideaway

To the European, a Yankee is an American.
To an American, a Yankee is a New Englander.
To a New Englander, a Yankee is a Vermonter.
To a Vermonter, a Yankee is someone who eats apple pie for breakfast.
And to a Vermonter who eats apple pie for breakfast
a Yankee is someone who eats it with a knife.
~An old Yankee joke

In an odd twist of fate, we were homeless when the pandemic began earlier this year.  We had spent the previous two years traveling full-time, but in March as Covid continued its relentless spread around the world, we abandoned all our plans and faced another issue.   Where were we going to live in the USA?  We needed a home right away.  Not only that, we needed a hideaway where we could feel safe during the pandemic.  So, after two years of living out of suitcases, we headed north to this quiet corner of New England and rented an apartment in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

So, why Portsmouth?  Why New England?  Here’s my answer in both words and images to Ann-Christine’s intriguing “My Hideaway” theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #119.  

The Lighthouses of New England

The lighthouses in New England have become (full disclosure) bit of a personal obsession.   By some estimates, there are approximately 150 lighthouses in this part of the United States.  So far, we have visited 10 in New Hampshire and Maine and have a long list of others we’d like to see.  Each one is unique and acts as a reminder of a time when shipping was the main means of transportation for commerce, as well as for the passengers who needed to travel and could afford it.  But traveling by ship was extremely risky, given the infamous rocky Atlantic coastline and strong winds along the Eastern shore.  Hence, lighthouses were a practical and economic necessity for guiding ships through rough waters.

In my first photo, you can see the Pemaquid Lighthouse in Bristol, Maine, which we visited earlier this week, along with a handful of tourists.   The lighthouse is the oldest of the 3 structures in this photo and dates from 1835.   The lighthouse keeper’s house on the left and the storage house for whale oil on the right, date from 1857 and 1896, respectively.  This lighthouse was wonderfully maintained and has a marvelous view of the rocky Maine coastline.  We were hoping a lobster shack was nearby, but at this time of year, many of them had already closed for the season.  

Literary New England

In this short life
that only lasts an hour
how much–how little–is
within our power.― Emily Dickinson

In this part of the country, many literary greats were born and wrote their creative masterpieces, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Anne Sexton, John Cheever, and Mark Twain.  Today, the tradition continues with literary luminaries, such as Stephen King, John Irving, and Anita Shreve.

This is Emily Dickinson’s house, which we visited before the pandemic.  Her quiet, but powerful spirit filled the place.

Historical New England

European settlers established communities up and down the East Coast of the United States starting in the 1600’s.  You can still see remnants of their settlements–like Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth, which has 37 restored buildings dating back to colonial times.

One afternoon, we met a tour guide, in costume, who told us about his role as a ship captain in the 1700’s.  Even though he wore a mask because of Covid, he stayed true to his role during the entire conversation and graciously agreed for me to take a photo–even though he admitted he had no idea what a photo was.

Educated and Cultural New England

Without a doubt, higher education is a major part of the New England economy and culture.  According to the New England Board of Higher Education over 800,000 students were enrolled in colleges and universities in 2017-2018.  I love the tradition here of intellectual inquiry, scientific excellence, and rich cultural offerings.

Several weeks ago, we were in Boston for an appointment, so we bought a take-out lunch, and found a spot to eat on the Harvard Medical School campus.  As you can see, the grounds were immaculate.  I bet golfers are envious of that lush lawn.

Autumn and Halloween in New England

New England justly deserves its reputation as the premier spot in the United States to view the beauty of autumn.  It’s also the place with an infamous history dating back hundreds of years ago when some Puritan women were once put on trial for witchcraft in the 1700’s.  But today, New Englanders really embrace Halloween and its macabre ghosts, goblins, and witches.  (An interesting irony, isn’t it?)  On a recent walk, we came across this playful ghoul swinging in a tree in our neighborhood.

I’ll end my post with a few New England proverbs that reveal the homespun wisdom, dry sense of humor, agricultural past, and pragmatic attitude towards life in this part of the country.  I think you’ll enjoy them:

New England Proverbs

  • “You can’t keep trouble from coming, but you don’t have to give it a chair to sit on.”
  • “The world is your cow. But you have to do the milking.”
  • “It won’t be warm till the snow gets off the mountain, and the snow won’t get off the mountain till it gets warm.”
  • “Talk less and say more.”
  • “A good word now is worth ten on a headstone.”
  • “The hardest work is to do nothing.”

We hope you join Ann-Christine’s “Hideaway” photo challenge this week.  Please be sure to visit her post to see her remarkable glass hideaway in her backyard!  In your post, include a link to Ann-Christine’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag so that everyone can find your post in the WP Reader.

Looking back at last week, I want to extend a special thanks to Anne Leueen and Biasini for hosting last week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #118 and inspiring us with their Communication theme.  Your creative responses to the challenge covered communication in its many forms– between insects, animals, marine life, people, and in petroglyphs, architecture, and flowers….to name a few.  They were wonderful!

Looking ahead to next week, it’s Tina’s turn to lead the challenge, so be sure to visit her site on Saturday, October 24th at noon.

In closing, once again I’d like to give special thanks to all of you in our creative community for your continued participation, support, enthusiasm, and creativity.  You always inspire us!   I hope you have a wonderful, creative week and please stay safe.

77 replies »

  1. You seem to have dealt with great aplomb with what must have been a nerve-wracking situation back in the spring. We haven’t had the good fortune to visit your part of America, but our daughter did, on a school exchange about fifteen years ago – to Falmouth. The pictures she brought home were inviting and demonstrated a lovely and historic area. I remember her talking about the lighthouses. Thanks for the tour!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Really terrific post Patti – I remember admiring your ability to adjust from full-time traveler to positioned-in-place when the pandemic hit. You two were amazing at accomplishing your about-face! Loved your New England home-spun humor as well as your so-very-New England images this week. Looks like you’ve found the perfect hideaway!

    Liked by 1 person

    • All that adjusting doesn’t feel amazing, Tina, but thank you!! Glad you liked the humor and images. It has been a good place to “land” for now. But we’re still dreaming of taking off again!!


  3. Hi Patti- great to hear you and Rich have found a beautiful landing spot in New England. I’m glad you are both healthy and continuing to enjoy adventures. Post a picture of your apartment!!
    We are all fine here in GR- Evan is in Madison, Jonah is a Junior and Rowen is in 8th grade. 😁
    ARS is growing!!
    We miss you guys!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful. My first trip to the US was to New England in fall. Memorable, also for the fact that a colleague took three of us to lunch one Saturday to a small town where I saw a bigger collection of Toulouse Lautrec than I’d ever seen before. So, several of the themes that you touch on in your post are something that I experienced decades ago. I loved this part of the US for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Anne. Thanks for your kind words! Always appreciated. We’re just trying to handle all of this craziness as best we can, as I’m sure you are, too. We’re hoping to visit our son in Canada first and then head back to Europe and then to Israel. It would be nice if we could go to all of the places we had planned to visit this year, but we’ll see….You know how it is! So much uncertainty for all of us. Are you planning on traveling, too?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You’ve landed in a beautiful place Patti, I love the old lighthouses and the stories they hold and the autumn colours look gorgeous! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A beautiful place you chose to settle in before you take off again.
    Emily Dickinson’s house is so special to visit. Eating on the Harvard Medical School campus, what a treat.
    Thank you, Patti for this enjoyable tour and New England Proverbs. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Amy.😀. It’s worked out very well. I’m glad you liked the tour and the proverbs. Some of those expressions really make you smile, don’t they?? Take care. I hope all’s well.


  7. Lovely selections, Patti. I’ve seen the lighthouse you feature and yes, Maine has some glorious ones. I also enjoyed all the New England quotes. I’m glad you’re enjoying your time there in a place so different from where we are that I really enjoy seeing it and yet its hard to imagine. 🙂 Just FYI, when you say “Yankee”, many people think baseball. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, boy. My husband would definitely agree with you in terms of being a Yankee! He’s the odd man out here. Almost everyone is a Red Sox fan. And thanks too for the kind words. I do hope you get to visit this part of the country. I also love the desert, too, like you.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I could happily share your lighthouse obsession. They are such graceful, wonderful things. But probably the thing I envy you most is the chance to see New England in the Fall. Up close and personal. It’s a trip I’ve always thought of. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Jo. It would be fun, wouldn’t it? Lighthouses, hiking, lobster rolls and cake, of course! We’d both have a great time. I hope you can come someday. We’re all dreaming of when we can travel again.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I have the time Patti but the theme is proving to be a challenge. I don’t have pictures of a hideaway (terrible for a photo challenge) and presently I am hiding in my room thanks to work from home. No hideaway for me there but I’m loving the responses put up by others. Yours for instance opened my eyes to New England. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Sheetal. Maybe you can take some close-up photos of items in your room? It would give us a glimpse of your hideaway?? I’m so glad you enjoyed this post about New England! Take care.


    • You can imagine my reaction when I looked up and saw her swinging from a tree!! The family has several ghouls around the property. I might be posting another one next week. Glad you enjoyed it!!


  10. I can see why you chose to live there! I especially liked your photo of the Harvard Medical School building. The architecture of the building and the clouds was interesting. I bet it would look good in black and white too.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. As a former high school English teacher, I’ve often dreamed of living in New England, home to many authors and one whose house I would love to tour: Emily Dickinson’s. Thanks for these interesting photos. And the best thing is that you love where you live. An important feeling for all of us!


    Liked by 2 people

  12. Hi, Rusha. Yes, it is important to love where you live. I’ve lived in many places, but I’ve loved just a few of them. It makes a difference. I can see why you’re attracted to NE. The history and many great authors. You may move this way one day. I’ve learned to “never say never!” There are always surprises in life!

    Liked by 1 person

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