After a few hours of blue highway cruising in southern New Hampshire, the Jolly Swag and I found ourselves on a late afternoon glide path toward Manchester. The movie of the side of the highway hurried by with but a few milliseconds for each unremarkable frame.
My mind was on autopilot when this image flashed by.
After I passed, the vision replayed in my head. The unexpected tableau demanded a second look, even though a couple of miles would pass before I’d be able to find a place to turn around.
For the last year I’ve begun to consider the notion of settling down. The yearning is still mild—I feel that I have another year or two of wanderlust in me. But I find myself thinking about what sort of place I could drop an anchor for a few months at a time in transition from full-timing to some-timing. That thinking, pipe-dreaming really, plays with ideas about how to recognize the sort of community that I’d welcome.
You know, if I had to make a short list of community qualities with a secret code revealing the town that would capture my heart, one might be a super-classy library and all the glorious bookish activities it would mother.
So while returning up to the Hooksett Public Library, my imagination was abuzz and I recalled for the severalth time the last line of Travels With Charley.
I turned off at the corner and found the driveway toward the edifice, ever more grand as I approached.
Once at the entrance, I spied another building a hundred yards down the driveway and a sign that scrunched my forehead.
Now confused, I parked and walked back to the mystery castle which was absent any signage I walked to the entrance and tugged on the eighty-pound door which, let me into the foyer, where I was thwarted by locked twin inner doors.
Back to the library, where I asked what the story was on the building.
The building had begun life as a girls’ school and now was a condo. Yes, quite an elegant way to recycle a school, but insufficient to be an oasis for a rootless vagabond.