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Where to have it all For a family with four kids, it was the
outstanding public school system in Bedford that motivated the Morris family to make the move from Massachusetts.
Top: The State Capitol in Concord Above: The Morris family.
This “loyal, loving, loud family of six (plus our dog),” says Jessica Morris, might operate “at New York speed, but we’re all about the New Hampshire landscape.” As you might imagine, with four kids and canine companion Rosco (the 12-year-old yellow lab who’s a “family, food and boating enthusiast,” says Morris), life moves pretty fast for this Bedford family. The combination of access to a huge number of activities — from sports and dance lessons to exploring their favorite secret spot, Big Island Pond in Atkinson — there’s plenty to keep everyone active, but there’s also space to get away from it all. That juxtaposition, says Morris, is one of the best things about calling New Hampshire home. “You can wake up every day, look out the window and feel like you’re on vacation,” she says. “But then you can hustle to work, a volunteer activity, school or something fun.” For the kids, each has plenty of opportunity through school and the nearby YMCA Allard Center in Goffstown to pursue his or her favorite things. For 10-yearold twins Lana and Kyleigh, it’s all about competitive gymnastics at the Y, soccer, dance and writing (Lana) and competitive swimming at the Y, soccer, dance and reading (Kyleigh). Eight-year-old Alexis is a competitive hockey player for the Manchester Regional Youth Hockey Program, and enjoys lacrosse, dance and “Star Wars.” Six-year-old Drew also competes in the Regional Youth Hockey Program, plays soccer and lacrosse and loves “Ninja Warrior.” This part of southern New Hampshire is also a commercial and business hub of the state. Michael is the CEO of Topcoder, a crowdsourcing software development company, and Jessica is managing director of jam:pr, a strategic communications firm. She’s also a freelance journalist, children’s book author and adjunct professor. Though all of these things make Bedford their ideal home, there’s another element Morris discovered. “The most wonderfully surprising thing about Bedford was how like-minded people are,” she says. “They’re goal-oriented for themselves and their families, supportive of good schools, town leaders and local businesses and willing to do for others no matter how full their plates may already be.”
Destination NH | 2017
SNAPSHOT OF THE area The most populous region of New Hampshire, the Merrimack Valley is the cultural, commercial and political center of the Granite State. Named for the river that gave life to a booming textile industry, today the area’s mills are finding new life as luxury condos, breweries, shops, other businesses and, in Manchester, as a hub of science and technology. In the northern part of the region is Concord, the state capital. The State House was built in 1818 and is the oldest such building in continuous use in the country. It’s not all tech, government and industry. Catch an independent film at Red River Theatres in Concord, sample fine dining in many cities and towns, and in Manchester, view famous works of art at the Currier Museum of Art, enjoy America’s pastime with the NH Fisher Cats at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium or see today’s biggest stars at the SNHU Arena.
Published on May 19, 2017