I’m watching the birds build their nests. They pull a stick from here and moss from there, tucking them in carefully, weaving to a pattern that only they see. Often they renovate last year’s nest or someone else’s. They create a new enterprise from the ancient knowledge or their kind, the materials to hand, and the work of those who came before.
And so it is with us. All new enterprises draw on inherited knowledge, the work of others, and the materials to hand. They employ “new” ideas present in the culture that seem to occur to many people at once. We may have envisioned Riverland on the Merrimack, but we could not have brought it into being without the help of many.
And so, I name with deepest gratitude Howard and Margery Nichols and Jean Edmands, my parents, for helping to finance the purchase of Riverland. They continued the good stewardship and thrift of their forebears and passed along some money for a constructive purpose to the next generation. We all stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us.
I also recognize the Cadorette family, who had the grace to sell the property for “enough,” ensuring a responsible transition. And shall we not forget the Booth family, especially Lois, for protecting beautiful land and ensuring public access. Finally, we thank Canterbury officials for giving their various approvals in faith that Riverland was an idea worth trying…
And for any project to succeed, many people have to lend a hand over time. The list of people who have contributed is already long. Since gratitude is inexhaustible and powerful when acknowledged, I would like to maintain a list here that grows with time.
And so I name the following contributors to Riverland from January 2016 through to the present:
Al Edelstein of Canterbury painted our ceilings;
Kevin Bragg of Canterbury renovated bathrooms, fixed many things, upgraded fire alarms, installed doors, added insulation, improved drainage, and a million other things.
Robbie Grady from SCORE gave sage marketing advice and moral support.
James Farquhar and Ben Nichols-Farquhar cut and hauled trees, sanded porches, built railings, hauled and moved furniture and mowed fields.
Rick Kleinschmidt of Canterbury helped haul brush on a hot summer day and got his beard full of sawdust sanding the porch ceiling.
Ruth Heath of Canterbury introduced us to some in Canterbury and organized – unbidden – a cleaning crew in the nick of time.
Linda Cheynoweth Peters of Canterbury offered advice on décor.
Dave Emerson of Canterbury included us in Cabin Fever Reliever tour at the last minute.
Jon Hall of Gilmanton took down a dangerous tree, put up curtains and other incidentals, swapped a leaky radiator out of the old tractor, sharpened the bush hog blades and fixed our rotary iron.
Karen Sehl from the American Sewing Guild Boston Chapter led a posse to Riverland to check out the sewing studio and give feedback on its layout.
Kate Bartlett of the New Hampshire Bed and Breakfast Association gave early advice on water quality, fire alarms, booking policies, and has been an all-round reliable resource.
Ben Nichols-Farquhar built our website and serves as IT specialist.
To be continued….