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?
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.
This is the second significant snowfall in the last two days. On Monday our school called a snow day, like hundreds of other schools in New Hampshire. This day we went to school and shortly after, soft snow drizzled from the sky. As the day wore on, it piled up and made the road look greasy and difficult.
I came home with soggy boots and a wet coat after spending several minutes scraping the car off of heavy snow. I slowly made my way home, just five minutes up the hill from school. That’s a blessing, that I don’t have far to travel to work!
As I turned the key in the lock, I could hear our kerosene monitor flip on in the kitchen. A band of warmth hit me as I came in and of course I was greeted by our town crier, my black cat Smokey. I went right to work because the stove needed stoking and wood piled in our rack.
Glancing out the livingroom window, the snow piling up was inspiration for a few pictures…just in case I forget all this in June!
This morning as I glance out my kitchen window, I see mounds of glistening snow everywhere. A two foot high drift frames our driveway. A tall pine tree stands guard on the right, several feet from our dwelling. Beyond the yard a quaint little pond rests with ice frosting and weary cattails still standing from last year. Just skirting the ponds edge is something pretty special and a source of many magical moments with binoculars. It’s a game trail leading from our woods.
A week ago I busily raced home from grocery shopping. It’s quite a process, the store being 20 minutes away and the effort of shopping, packing the car and coming home to put away goods is redundant. Yet this day, I had a grand gift waiting for me! As usual I backed my car in the driveway because it’s easiest taking the bags out. As soon as I lulled the engine and turned it off, something within me knew there was something on the trail.
Peering through snow frosted trees were seven deer. There’s a lone apple tree there and so I speculate that they dig under the snow for dropped apples. They all stood there, basking in the winter background unaware of my presence in the car. I rolled my window down and simply gazed. Four deer were adults and maybe does but my husband ( my expert) wasn’t with me so I really don’t know. Three young deer were in the mix following the elders’ lead.
This is our woods landscape leading to the pond. My garden sits entrenched in snow.
I wish I had my iPad or camera with me to snap photos. It was postcard material and a picture of beauty and tranquility. Suddenly our house door burst open and my husband came out to help with groceries. I’m thankful he does this, even though my back is stronger from physical therapy and exercising.
We watched them cautiously cross the road, taking their time. Two stopped dead in the middle and stood. I held my breath, for this slope in the road is dangerous and people fly down it going 50 mph. Along they went, one at a time, a parade of chestnut brown beauties and into the wooded forest across the street. Within minutes it was just a memory and they nestled among the trees for camouflage.
When I think of the yearly activity on the trail, I picture all our wild friends who trek it. Deer, turkeys, bobcats ( I saw one the other morning and thought it was a house cat, but with closer scanning I discovered the bobtail), bear, foxes, and porcupines. They all use it…as if to bid a good day and we silently soak it all in as they cross.
It’s amazing that we have a second game trail bordering our opposite side of the yard. A few feet from our front yard bordering a dirt road, a trail weaves out of the woods and past our neighbor’s apple tree. Many deer make their way here and eventually climb up the steep ridge into the woods.
I wait with an anticipation that’s bubbling over and I’m expecting more fascinating creatures to pass by, on either trail. It makes Tom and I happy because we love nature and animals. As they cross for necessity, we watch with a steadfast curiosity. It’s like we live on a nature reserve and proudly reap all its rewards. We are so blessed to live here!
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?