This poem was written in a cozy recliner chair just feet away from the stove.
There’s a faint crackle and pop
a forced heat that doesn’t stop
a flicker of orange
and illuminating light
a warmth that feels so right
While the frigid whipping winds
push at our window
an armful of wood fuels
the steady warm glow
Coming into the winter months it’s a common sight to see gloves, hats and shoes parked at the stove. Visitors are drawn to its presence and stand huddling over it, as many have over the years. Our in-laws had this stove first in their quaint log home. I vividly remember standing over this beauty. Within minutes the suppressing heat would scorch my legs and I would have to back up, but not too far. Now our future daughter in law, Lexy, stands over it too!
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!
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!