Finding Frost

I have begun my way down a path less taken.

We are moving East away from all we know and hold dear. 19 years of my life I have spent in this little Midwest town, 7 years as a girl and 12 as a woman with children. There are some that don’t understand our decision. The children are out of the nest now and my husband got a lucrative opportunity to move to New England to cover the Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine territory and to branch further into Canada selling windows and doors for major architectural projects. I am excited for him. He’s growing. He’s very good at what he does and he has a passion for it.

I hope to grow too. 6 years working in photography has made me consider an interest in side work photography. I plan to get a day job up there in the Northland. What I will do……I have no idea but it is thrilling and slightly scary to start fresh somewhere new.

We’ve sold the house we’ve lived in for years, spent endless hours searching for apartments, and begun the god awful process of relinquishing possessions that have been hoarded for years….downsizing from home to little apartment. I keep telling myself it is a good thing to travel lightly. It’s hard to let go of the attachment to stuff.

I spend a lot of time researching New England and in doing so…..I discovered Robert Frost.

We originally sought out an apartment in Littleton or Bethlehem, New Hampshire due to the picturesque covered bridge and mountains in the distance photos. Littleton has consistently ranked within the top small towns to live in America. It’s very hard to find apartments around that region apparently but according to the records provided at the Franconia farmstead of Robert Frost, he first rented in the Bethlehem (a small town near Littleton) region too…..probably seeking out the beautiful White Mountains experience as well.

This excerpt is from The Frost Place website in Franconia where Robert Frost lived with his family from 1915 to 1920:

“Frost first discovered this area of the White Mountains when he came there to seek relief from hay fever. He brought his family there and they fell in love with the area. The Frosts first rented rooms from the Irish farmer John Lynch in the late summer of 1907 outside of Bethlehem, N.H. Frost wrote to his friend and early editor Susan Hayes Ward, who had visited the family there, of the time spent at Bethlehem: ‘How long ago and far away Bethlehem is already. Our summer was one of the pleasantest we have had for years. . . . There is a pang there that makes poetry.’

Frost had returned from England and had grown romantic for New Hampshire and New England. He was searching for a farm in the Franconia area that had a view. He happened on one farm that he liked but it wasn’t for sale. The owner of the farm Willis E. Herbert was outside and the two men began a conversation. Herbert happened to be looking for more land and if Frost could pay a thousand dollars for the farm then he would be willing to sell it.

Frost showed the house to his family and they all agreed and he shook hands with Herbert on the price of a thousand. It wasn’t until Herbert began to see Frost’s picture in the papers that he decided a thousand was too fair a price for Frost to pay and he should pay one or two more hundred for the farm. Frost agreed and the family moved in June of 1915.”

— Francis McGovern, from literarytraveler.com

When I read The Road Not Taken again within this context…..I think of these White Mountains and the surrounding woodland…..of leaves in Autumn……orange, yellow, red, brown……falling gently and silently in the woods to the still ground. I wonder what the woods are like up there….if they are similar to the Ozarks or more coniferous.

I think of Frost in these woods pondering a divergence in foot paths.

I look forward to finding the solace of these woods… to visiting Franconia and Bethlehem and walking in them myself some day soon.

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