Country Mouse Comes Home

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My first few weeks as both a New Hampshire resident and an employee of Yankee Publishing officially mark my transition from city-mouse office worker to semi-country-mouse assistant editor, and a simultaneous return to vehicle ownership, packed lunches, and the kind of workplace creative energy I haven’t felt since my days as an undergraduate. For a longtime city dweller like me, the transition has been a colorful one.

I grew up in Westford, Massachusetts -– a rural-suburban kind of town, meaning that I lived in a neighborhood with families, but we had room for a chicken coop in the backyard. Nature was readily available, and I spent a lot of time in the woods exploring.

After high school I went to college and then spent seven years in the Boston neighborhoods of Brighton, Brookline, and, most recently, Somerville. I commuted into the city for work by walking or public transportation. I didn’t own a car and didn’t want one, though sometimes – such as when I was trudging up the hill on Vinal Street, saddled down with overflowing canvas totes of groceries — I thought the convenience of trunk space was vastly underrated.

As the years went by, I began to miss the sights and sounds of rural New England, and the ease of quickly transporting myself into fresh country air and the beauty of a country drive or ocean swim. I got out of the city for daytrips and long weekends as often as possible, but it never seemed often enough.

Country Mouse Comes Home

Short trips to places like Acadia National Park in Maine helped cure my city blues.

I knew I was ready for a change, so when the opportunity to work for Yankee Publishing (beloved source of all things New England) as a full-time assistant editor in its Dublin, New Hampshire, headquarters presented itself a year later, I packed my bags and headed for the Monadnock region.

Instead of in Somerville, I now live in charming, historic Keene, New Hampshire, and I’ve swapped my MBTA Charlie Card for a car. Now, instead of a 40-minute city bus ride, my commute to work is half that and looks like this:

Country Mouse Comes Home

Headed towards the Yankee offices in Dublin, NH via Route 101.

(In the spirit of full disclosure, however, I will say that the city bus was a heck of a lot cheaper.)

Instead of getting coffee from a large chain on my way into work, I make it at home or stop in at the Dublin General Store and refill my travel cup for 75 cents.

Country Mouse Comes Home

The Dublin General Store is just down the road.

Instead of a high-rise Boston office building, I work here, at Yankee Publishing in Dublin. Behind these red walls a talented and passionate group of folks work hard to put together a magazine and a Web site that both celebrate and reflect the unique spirit of New England -– a mission I’m equally devoted to, and so proud to now be a part of.

Country Mouse Comes Home

The Yankee Magazine offices in Dublin, NH.

In my first few weeks, I’ve been inspired by the energy and encouragement of my new coworkers, enjoyed lunch from a variety of local independent “general-store”-style cafés, and (last but not least) convinced myself that I do, in fact, remember how to drive.

Like any city mouse, I miss some of the urban benefits that I left behind, but I have no intention of turning back. I know that I’m a country mouse at heart, and I’m home.

  • Thanks, Aunt Lynda! I am sure you will – and I know I can count on you and Uncle Dan for an opinion on all things Maine – or chocolate chip cookie. :)

  • Congratulations, Aimee! Sounds like you’ve been busy! Have fun and keep your recipes coming! Hope to see you at Christmas!

  • Congratulations on returning “home”. You made the right decision and will benefit in ways not even expected.


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