In the words of Mike Gorman: “GOT IT!” 

After 147 days on The Wandering Mermaid's Adventures I have been offered and have accepted an apartment where I wanted one at The Meadows II in Hampton Falls, NH! I'm coming back to the "603" Seacoast!

It's been a busy 2023 for me & The Wandering Mermaid’s Adventures! I know many of you were skeptical of my plan, but I got the apartment I wanted in the area I wanted and patience (which I often lack) has paid off. Good things come to those who wait! Patience is a virtue! No risk, no reward! Have Faith! BELIEVE!

I am grateful beyond measure to all who supported me during my Wandering Mermaid’s Adventures especially Joan Libby, Purr Whalley, Susan Scannell, Jane & John Lunt, Jeanne Tonon, and non-FB Joanie & Paul Greenan for putting me up and putting up with me. . . and Susan Scannell, Susan Drinker and Karen Desrosiers for their great references. It allowed me to get clarity on where my heart is and where I belong! On to new Hampton Falls adventures starting February 1st!

January was spent watching the Celtics, packing up Christmas stuff in preparation to move, downsizing furniture, and filling out applications for 62+ housing in NH and Massachusetts. Back in November 2022, we received notice of a condo conversion at my apartment complex in addition to a $500 a month rent increase by Spring! Rather than put myself in the same situation I decided to look at apartment complexes and 62+ housing that wouldn’t be sold or converted to condos. I thought maybe I’d move back to the Fairhaven area where I grew up. Decided against it later in the year.

I got some applications for 62+ properties in Fairhaven and Marion and decided to get really serious about searching in the Spring.  My mom always joked that I had Gypsy Blood in me and this Gypsy gal is always up for a new adventure, especially when it’s back “home!” It’s close to Cape Cod & the Islands, Rhode Island (Wicked Tulip Flower Farm) and still only an hour south of Boston.  Amtrak and the MBTA commuter rail are both expanding service to New Bedford in the next year or so and that is GREAT news. No moss grows under my feet! Can still visit!

February was low key with more Celtics games, Alpha Xi Sista ZOOMs and a few breakfast/lunch dates with friends. I presented “Cell Phone Flower Photography” for the Hampton Garden Club and the Brentwood Gardeners which was a lot of fun.

I did manage to get out of Dodge in March with a trip to Marion, Massachusetts to look at Marion Village Estates.  I nearly “signed on the dotted line,” but something in my gut told me it wasn’t the right time/place for me. The search for a new home continued with more applications and packing. More lunch dates with friends.

In April we got another letter telling us of the condo conversion.  One of the owners decided the first was not valid. Said he didn’t give the  lawyer permission to send; yet he provided names and addresses to  send them to. Very stressful for residents at 480 High Street. More cleaning out and packing. More breakfast & lunch dates with friends.  Got to visit a photographer friend, Chris Lutton at his new studio in Newburyport and got to celebrate Marie Comperchio’s 86th birthday at the Exeter YMCA. 

In May I attended Cider Hill Farm for tulip photos and my HaPpY Place, Fuller Gardens opened and re-ignited my flower photography obsession! Did I mention lunch with friends?

June  I ramped up decluttering, selling and giving away that which no longer served me and started making a plan for The Wandering Mermaid’s Adventures! I booked a storage unit at Life Storage in Hampton Falls and reserved College Hunks to move my belongings on July 28th. On a bright note I taught a 2nd Flower Power cell phone photography workshop at Lane House Arts Center with a follow up field trip to Fuller Gardens.

In July I fit in a final family photo session and photographed the Daley family. What a cutie little Miss O is! I finished packing, had more breakfast/lunch dates with friends, had my hair cut & colored and it was Peace Out 480 High Street as I headed up the Maine Turnpike to Ocean Point to spend 2 weeks with my 92 year old friend whose kids had been there all summer and didn’t want her staying alone! We got to hear Kay Brown sing and tickle the ivories at the Tugboat Lounge which is always fun. Took her to her mani pedi and a few other appointments.

August   On August 10th a group of Alpha Xi sisters met for lunch at Holloway Commons at UNH. We had a great time and visited  the house after lunch. I then headed to Alton Bay to spend 3 weeks with my old college roomie, Purr Whalley! I was missing the planning for Christmas mini-sessions, but got to photograph my favorite 2-year old, Mr. Coopie, for his birthday at Lolli & Pop’s lake house. I also got some great fireworks shots at the lake,  a few Milky Way shots from the dock and one foggy sunrise. And of course we fit in some lunches/dinners with friends.

September   I headed to Southport, Maine for my next stop for 2 weeks while friends were traveling in England & Scotland.  She made the mistake of saying “if there’s a hurricane . . . “ and Guess What?!?!?! Yup! Hurricane Lee brought 49 mph gusts up the river on Southport.  Glad I was there to take the deck furniture in, help pull the  kayaks out of the water,  help secure the boat and keep an eye on the house.  Lucky for me they had an automatic, full house generator!  I got some awesome sunset photos from their deck and got to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens before and after Hurricane Lee passed by. I also took a ride to Pemaquid the day before Lee arrived and got some okay wave photos. Lunches and dinners with friends. Went over to Monhegan for the day when Susan Scannell drove up and we got to see our UNH friend, Tom Moulton, at his house out on the island while we were there. Also went to Muscongus Bay for lobstah with Beth Dudley.

I returned to Ocean Point on the 17th for 5 weeks. 

I got to take honeymoon photos at Ocean Point for my dear friend, Laurie Stewart Kearns, who was in Maine for her 2 week  honeymoon and was happy to spend some time with her and her husband, Steve..

Had lunch with Kathy Williams when she was in town and reminisced about the Black Orchid. Always good to reconnect.

Took my now 93 year old friend to appointments as well as to Damariscotta for ice cream and back to the Tugboat for a bite to eat and to listen to Kay Brown again. Beth Dudley  and I took her to Linekin Bay for lunch to celebrate her 93rd birthday. We also enjoyed take out from Bett’s Fish Fry one night and several meals from Sofia on Lafayette that I had brought from NH and put in the freezer. We went to Port’s Pizzeria one night, the Carriage House another, and got lunch take out from Boothbay House of Pizza and lunch specials from China By the Sea as well. Hit all my favorite spots in the habbah!

In October,  we went to see the pumpkins from the Pumpkin Fest! Such creative talent! We got to have dinner and listen to Kat at the Tugboat lounge on her last night of the regular season and that was lots of fun!  I also spent quite a bit of time at CMBG since I was missing  my Fuller Gardens. Beth joined us for a few dinners, too.

I moved on to my next stop in Boothbay where I stayed while my friend, Jeanne, was in Nashville at her son’s house.  I got some GREAT Milky Way photos at the town landing on Southport.  I had this vision and it came out as good or better than I planned.

NY Friends, Tessie & Dave came to Boothbay with friends of theirs so i got to see them and go to CMBG with them, too.

Fit in my time at CMBG before they closed for the season on the 22nd.

In  November turned the clocks back. Blah!  Worked on my photo calendars and got them uploaded. Purr came to visit for a weekend and we toured the harbor and took pictures at the Buoy Tree. I made photo cards from the buoy tree pics and sold about 120 cards.

Susan Scannell came up for Gardens Aglow and a trip to Reny’s in Damariscotta.  We got light up antlers for Gardens Aglow. Everyone LOVED them. Probably could have sold 100 pair!  Went to the Tugboat for a bite to eat and to listen to Kay Brown. Fun as always! Lunch with Hildy and Thanksgiving dinner with Beth  at the Tugboat.  Soooooo goooood!

I left Boothbay on the 27th and headed to Joanie & Paul Greenan’s in Goffstown. Dropped off a baby blankie in Wells, and had breakfast with Pam McDonough at the  Maine Diner. Stopped in Hampton to pick up my mountain of mail, drop off cards, get a linguica pizza from Britt’s and some shrimp at Al’s Seafood Restaurant & Market.  Watching lots of Celtics, got a tour of Goffstown and have been hitting Marshall’s, Michaels and Hobby Lobby. More cards made and shipped.

December is here, Dropped off cards in Exeter and made a weekly trip to Hampton for my mail, meals from Sofia on Lafayette and some yummy shrimp from Al’s. Delivered a baby blanket for a baby girl who is due any day. 

TFAL (Exeter High School Retirees - Teachers Free At Last)  lunch at the Galley Hatch, mail pick up, Sofia on Lafayette meals & shrimp from Al's Seafood each week.

Yarn just arrived for a new baby blankie or two. Speed Knitting 101 during Celtics and Hallmark Christmas Movies begins again.

Lunch at Country Cookin’ in Epsom with Alpha Xi sisters Dec. 19th, Christmas with the Greenans. My BEST Christmas gift was Peace of Mind knowing I'll be moving to The Meadows II in Hampton Falls in 2024.

 I’ve been blessed with good health & happiness and am looking forward to seeing what is on the horizon in the coming year!

Cheers to 2024! May you and your families receive an abundance of blessings for a wonderful year!