Seeking Stillness at the Lake

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Imagine a comfortable warm afternoon at the lake. As you sit on the beach, you dig your toes in the smooth sand, getting lost in the luxurious heat. The lake smells of a fresh earthy scent, yet there is a faint musty odor as well. People smell of sunscreen rubs and bug spray. Wet dogs shake their hair upon emerging from the lake.
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Many families are spending their vacation here, at the Mountain Lake Campground, nestled in the northern mountains of New Hampshire. Laughs ring throughout the beach, an indication of content families basking in vacation togetherness.

 

 

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I sit by myself reading a book. A few years ago I would’ve been on edge and not truly relaxing. The boys would’ve been swimming in the lake, racing to the dock a few yards away while I worried if I could help them if they struggled. I’ve never been a good swimmer and almost drowned when I was 8. This still haunts me today, especially if I’m in charge of little ones in the water.

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This day at the beach is a stark difference. The boys are not here and are working this day. It’s my mother in law’s and my twelfth year camping together but the first one without children. My husband has a busy work schedule in the summer with his lawn business and part time job for the town, forcing him to skip most of the camping trips. There were a few times he could camp and so we would race away for the weekend, towing the pop up camper with two excited boys.

 

This beautiful day as I sit in my quiet reflective thoughts, I thank God for my body being still. I really have a hard settling myself and giving in to relaxation. This moment at the beach is pure serenity, stillness that is unmatched. I also praise Him for giving me the gift hearty laughter of the families and my ability to enjoy it and smile with them. I am genuinely happy for them.

 

The silent lake holds the key to my stillness and serenity. The water calmly ripples ever so gently from a kayak cutting through it. In the left swampy corner, one can spot a sea of white, water lilies creating a beautiful scene. Overlooking the glossy tranquil  water stands strong stately mountains, guarding the lake with clusters of pines and firs growing around its circumference. I wonder which animals congregate within them.

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When you clear your mind of racing thoughts and jarring problems, you’re on the path to stillness. Open your heart to peace and acceptance of the moment. It’s a must that you give your body complete permission to allow it to happen, to enter relaxation and let go of everything. Maybe you can’t visit the lake and beach often and that’s okay. Seek a peaceful spot in your yard, perhaps under a special tree. Use that spot to be still and with that, your every being will cherish the peace.

 

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All My Best,

 

Heart and Soul ❤

 

Woodsy Neighbors in Spring

 

 

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An early morning presents nature at it’s best,

with my cup of coffee and quiet moments.

Frosty air and clear skies welcome wild

encounters.

Proud and skittish deer skirt the woods edge.

I notice that something lures them closer to the road.

It’s salt that the plow trucks scattered and

they lick it cautiously and look up now and then.

A gray squirrel performs a trapeze act in the nearest tree.

Mysterious tracks were left in the

depths of night.

A fox, perhaps?

 

 

Hilarious turkey theatrics

amuse as the Tom fans his goods

and courts all the surrounding hens.

Chickadee birds flutter and tweet, a song dear to my heart.

All the woodsy neighbors politely co- existing,

share the space with respect

and love for our home.

Upon watching these creatures’ presence

I am simply amazed!

With this week’s sporadic rain showers

and a dampness in the air,

snow piles are shrinking and brown grass

becomes uncovered.

Waiting for heavenly rich green grasses,  

this morn I spied my first robin

on the lawn!

A sure sign of spring!

 

What spring signs are you seeing now?

 

All My Best,

 

Heart and Soul

 

 

 

 

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The Mountains vs. The Ocean

 

 

 

I live in the mountains up North and love them like close family. My heart also belongs at the beach. If I had to choose between the two, I couldn’t!

 

I’m loyal to the steadfast mountains for they are my home. Believe it or not I never tire of their monstrous slopes and gray faces. It’s peaceful and quiet, close to nature and God. This time of year snow frosts them and driving by close to Cannon Mountain miniature skiers sway to and from down the trails. The air is as fresh as you get and while hiking you can smell wafts of pine. 

 

Then there’s the sea…

 

I don’t remember the first time that I saw the ocean or smelled it’s  salty, fishy scent. I do know that once I left it, it’s calm and soothing essence stayed in my soul. I can count on one hand how many times I visited the shore as a child and teenager but the frequency increased as I grew into a woman. Every time I walk along the sandy beach and feel the sizzling sun bake my skin and gaze at the horizon of blue and crest of white, I love it even more. 

 

As every year passes, these places remain to be a part of me. How thankful I am to love where I live in the mountains and wake up every morning as if it’s my first day here! My husband truly loves living here too but has grown to enjoy the ocean too.

 

Most of our vacations are to Ogunquit, Maine, about three and a half hours from here. It’s a wonderful seaside town with outstanding restaurants, quaint little shops, and accommodations dotting here and there. We used to take the boys with nets, sand shovels and pails bouncing around in the back of our vehicle. Windows rolled down and laughter in the air, the mountains would slowly be replaced with a lower elevation and water as far as the eye can see. 

I will never choose between the two…but continue to enjoy both places and love them both for different reasons. Isn’t that the best way to really live? 

 

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What Beauty in NH!

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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.

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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.

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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.

img_2738Eventually 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!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗