Helloreaders, my husband and I are traveling to Florida soon for a get away to see our family. It’s our first trip without our sons and a milestone for sure. I believe that we are going to travel more now, possibly once or twice a year to new locations and adventurous experiences. I look forward to sharing our trip with you!
When you live in a place for years, it’s common that you and your family explore the surrounding area. I’ve lived in New Hampshire most of my life and know the North country pretty well. Despite this, it never gets old. I still relish in the beauty of the snow capped mountains and the winding roads leading somewhere special and the wooded forests. Is it odd that I wake up every morning gazing at our landscape and appreciating all of nature’s gifts? I don’t think so…it’s a profound love for my home, New Hampshire!
The other day Tom and I rode through Twin Mountain leading to Bretton Woods and the Mount Washington Hotel, nestled at the base of the Presidential mountain range. What a beautiful sight with monstrous mountains, frosted with a dusting of snow. This grand resort was built by Joseph Stickney in 1902. It was a booming success for years until the Prohibition Era and then the Great Depression hit. In years following renovations were made and currently the hotel is open all year, unlike the days of old when it was closed for harsh winters. It was declared as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
We happily rode through Crawford Notch with good conversation humming and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee in hand. Tom and I both love gazing at the mountains and a few times I encouraged him to pull over so he could look with his binoculars.
My favorite spot is when the road gradually narrows and you feel like you’re being encased by ledges. Twists and turns guide you through an amazing sightseeing show. The air drastically changes and even in the car you feel the temperature plummet.
Eventually we reached small quaint towns bordering fun North Conway. We slowly passed the hanging motorcycle ( see my previous post) and looked forward to an exciting day of shopping and lunch.
I would recommend you to visit Crawford Notch, where a few trails and campgrounds rest. Stop at the Willey House at Hart’s Location, a historic landmark where a landslide struck in 1826. There’s Mount Willard, a wonderful hiking trail that boasts spectacular views of the Notch and makes you feel unbelievably free.
Lastly I wish to convey the importance of loving where you live. I’m fortunate that both my husband and I truly love our home and the White Mountains. Our souls belong here and that’s one of the reasons we are so happy and content in our lives. If you don’t feel love or peace where you live, maybe you’re not where you belong. Seek places that appeal to your sense of wonder. Live where you rise everyday with a passion for your home and pride to call it that, HOME!
A sunny Saturday in the low 60’s in New Hampshire is a warm invitation for a little car ride. I wore short sleeves for the first time in months and had my special sunglasses for the glare. Windows rolled down, my husband and I rode around and watched snow melting in culverts and he observed the back road conditions, as it’s his job.
We casually drove by Pearl Lake and glanced towards the water. A white Chevrolet was parked off to the right and a teenager was leaning out of the window looking through binoculars. It doesn’t matter what time of year, when you see a stopped car and binoculars you know there’s wildlife nearby. Locals as well as tourists excitedly dig for cameras and their binoculars for a chance to share in the amazing rare sight.
Two eagles were perched proudly out on the ice. Tom thinks there was a male or female, maybe setting up shop and nesting near the lake. There’s also the possibility that the larger one was a female and the smaller one her young. We are not sure how long eaglets stay with their mother so it’s just speculation.
Of course we weren’t prepared so we rushed home minutes away and hurriedly grabbed Tom’s binoculars and my iPad with its camera. When you leave a mesmerizing sight like that, there’s the great possibility that they’ll move on before you hurry back but we took the chance and hoped for the best.
Racing back to the serene and beautiful lake, we spotted the twosome still. Tom said that there was a fish or two on the ice and they were chipping away at it and devouring chunks of them. A little quaint ice fishing shanty stood nearby. We speculated that ice fishermen may have left them or had the eagles pried them out of the ice? We will never know but we do know for certain it was a special occasion and something you don’t see everyday!
After we gawked at the eagles for fifteen minutes, Tom and I decided to be on our way and let them be. If we happen to check the lake again, I’ll bring my Canon camera with a better zoom than my iPad. The pictures I took show the figures but not close up. I deeply apologize that I don’t have better ,sharper pictures to share with you so you’ll have to use your imagination to zoom in!
What a beautiful day it was, in our corner of the world. Little did we know what magnificent sight we would stumble upon. That’s how wonderful a country ride can be…little unexpected surprises can happen anytime and you just have to be aware and looking for them.
When my husband and I go for country rides on back roads, I always notice the lone trees. Usually the tree stands erect at the top of a hill, like a honorable man who has achieved so much and conquered his mountain of challenges. It’s perfectly tall and stretches its crooked branches like old wrinkly fingers, embracing the world.
There’s something majestic and spiritual about a lone tree.I feel quiet and humbled upon its sight and I always long to hike up to it to take in all it’s wonder. It’s beauty touches my heart and I feel a spiritual connection. Whenever I see an extraordinary lone tree, an emblem or picture, I wonder why it touches me so.It’s majesty is unexplainable! All I know is that I feel connected to it, it’s splendor and roots that dig deep in the ground.
The lone tree looks stately and pristine, resembling a proud grandfather overlooking his family from a distance. It proudly stands for strength and resilience…that tree, in its solitary state, has grown upward and out. Even though it’s all alone without a stand to thrive in with, it flourishes on its own accord. What a beauty it is!
Will you look at your neighborhood tree the same again? Do you notice the alone trees that you encounter?
My husband and I were on a carefree Saturday afternoon drive on local back roads, looking for the perfect photo opportunity. Recently I’ve penned a post about trees, all alone in their environment and what they remind me of and how striking they are to me. ( to be posted soon) For a few days now I have been on a mini quest for promising photographs of these trees, with no avail. Although our search was a dead end, we were in a peaceful and quiet daze.
On a back road in a nearby quaint village , Tom spied a snowy laced road that’s not maintained in the winter. His recollection was that he had hiked up there years ago and that an older woman lived up there in the summer months.
It was a cloudy yet mild day, the kind of day that beckons you to enjoy nature’s offering. We decided that a simple walk was what we truly needed. It would be a chance to stretch and breathe in silence and nature. We slogged in a scattered trail of footprints in the snow and proceeded to climb the slope. The spindly branches framed the road as the snow tread ground resembled a glittery web of white. Tom discovered deer tracks cast in the white powder and we followed their trail with our observant eyes. Dog tracks appeared as well, an indication that neighbors walked their furry friends a time or two.
This is the road adjoining the slope that’s not maintained. Such beauty and I’m so grateful to live nearby!
There’s something humbling about a simple dirt road. It’s a subtle symphony of natural peace, where you can explore by foot or wheels. The road paves the way for personal thoughts of a tranquil nature. Solutions can be born here and problems fade away to dust. An anxious heartbeat slows to comfort as this world is calming and medicinal.
Upon walking back down the hill, an older man appeared. For a minute I wondered if it was his property or if he would ask us to leave. Coming closer to him, an immediate kindness alleviated my fears. He asked us if we had walked to the cabin. “ No, We just went halfway up, but maybe we can check it out when spring arrives,” I responded. ( It was a little slippery and I didn’t want to fall and make my back worse.)
The man told us that he lived just a bit down the road and liked to hike up there. He had a recent foot injury, so we told him to be careful. Walking away, he favored that foot but was going to make the best of it. We wished him well and I thought how fortunate that God had placed him in our path that day!
I’ve had a real Christmas fir tree as long as I can remember. The earthy pine scent wafts in the room it dwells in. The prickly needles poke a bit as I hang family ornaments. There’s something magical and amazing about a real tree adorned with family ornaments collected over the years.
When the boys were little we lived on a farm where Tom worked as a caretaker ( details in another post someday). Mrs. Geneen gave us permission to go across the yard to the field of Christmas trees and choose the perfect one for us and one for her house. Sometimes we trudged in feet of icy snow with an excitement that warmed your insides. Pulling our wooden toboggan across the packed blanket of white, Tom and I each inspected the trees. Short and tall trees, finely shaped trees, handsome gentlemen trees greeted us as we walked from tree to tree. The boys ran around with wonder and glee as dad and I chose the right one.
One time we went further into the field so Tom brought the truck. The roar of the motor and the boys’ laughter interrupted any quiet. He parked the truck and we all scrambled out with an excitement that had a life of its own. Rows of spectacular evergreens stood like a line of soldiers, each with its own shape and size. Back then I took forever deciding, for once I spotted one I liked, the neighboring tree would also catch my eye.
Eventually we took turns picking out the tree and each one was beautiful and unique. Many years we had a fat towering monstrosity that hardly fit in our livingroom. This reminds me of the infamous Clark Griswold’s tree from A Christmas Vacation movie! That was no problem because my husband is a problem solver! He’d trim the tip off or bottom branches and then it fit like a puzzle piece in the corner.
Since Mrs. Geneen has passed away and the farm sold,now we frequent a local Christmas tree farm nestled in a neighboring town. This year Tom, Dylan, his girlfriend Alexis, Branden and myself ventured out on a Sunday on a tree quest. The day was a little chilly with no snow or New England snow showers to paint the scene. Yet we were together and having fun and that’s what matters.
Unlike previous years, we were looking for a minute or two. The young men and Alexis were heartily joking about a tree that had two feet of boughs cut off. It resembled a Dr. Seuss tree. Not far beyond the strange tree, it stood. It’s grand demeanor and lovely shape drew our attention. I think the kids noticed it first and that was it! As simple as that and then Tom got his chainsaw buzzing and it was zipped off.
My heart was filled with love as Dylan, Branden and Alexis carried our tree out of the field towards the truck. They joked and talked and I thought this was what Christmas and family is all about! It’s the little moments that mean so much and there memories that will last a lifetime.
Once our grand fellow rested in its stand, Tom strung a few lights, Dylan, Bran and Alexis hung a few ornaments and then their interest waned. Sadly I hung the rest of the beautiful ornaments while I listened to old time Christmas tunes. Things change and I understand that. I’m fortunate that they still wanted to go on the tree adventure and that makes up for the decorating. So I’m okay doing most of the trimming by myself because we had that special time at the tree farm.
If you celebrate Christmas, do you have your tree yet? What traditions do you practice with the tree?
EEK! Facebook, email, messaging! Recently I needed a tech break, just a couple of days to let it go. Sometimes in our lives we experience overload from too much information, especially with technology in this age. The reason why I chose to unplug from my iPad was that the minute I got up in the morning to the time I go to sleep, it was an important player in my day and this scares the heck out of me!
While I was away I watched a mother deer slowly lead her young twins across our road, all the while I held my breath hoping a car wouldn’t race towards them. The mother moved confidently and with a proud stature, while her babies swayed to and fro with new naive life. The fawns’ spotted coats stood out in the morning sun and their little white tails flickered behind them as they dutifully followed mom. I could smell fresh morning air and feel a refreshing coolness tingle my skin. All this was a blessing.
I worked and walked in my garden, watching a pair of goldfinches twittering in a nearby bush. Chirping birds of all sorts were my morning song. This is peace, I thought. Forget email and messages and the drama of Facebook. Forget bills and worries, I thought.
The next afternoon ( still under a tech break), I spotted something long and chestnut brown beyond our pond. It moved slowly with slick movements. It paused behind lush vegetation, with a rustle of branches. Suddenly a stunning deer showed itself and looked at me. This creature had a long smooth body and a twitchy whitetail with an endearing head with bright thoughtful eyes. She gawked at me, as if I didn’t belong here. At this moment we shared space, air and the yard’s tranquility. We both were meant to be here, together, staring at each other in vast silence.It felt like hours of gazing but it was just a minute or two, just enough to feel it’s peace and beauty. Then it was over, as sudden as her magical appearance. I held my breath as she gracefully glided across the road and followed the game trail into the thick woods.
All these moments remind me of why I took the break. I needed to reconnect with the simplicity of nature and to soak in all of its peacefulness. There’s a profound need to heal my wounds from the past year, to mend things and recharge for fall. Some people take long summer vacations and do this. We don’t…we never have gone on vacation for more than a couple of days, since my husband has so much work this time of year. A part of me mourns this and secretly wishes there could be a get- away for us. Years ago it was his care taking job in the way and now it’s all his summer landscaping jobs. Don’t misunderstand me, I know those jobs pay the bills! Yet, I worry that Tom doesn’t truly get a break and we don’t get to relax like we should. Even though I’m depressed about this, I look forward to a few day trips and a few weekends away in the fall, when it’s quieter and he’s able to do it.
If there comes a time when you need peace and quiet in your corner of the world, unplug. Forget the cell phone, iPad and email messages. Take a walk in nature. Get out and watch wildlife, birds, deer, and whatever is in your backyard. Breathe deeply and take a moment for peace. I did and I feel great and may just do this again on the weekend.