the weather could be snowy and frigid yet the next day could be warm and mild
There’s a Northeaster forecasted when spring is supposed to have emerged ( this happened a few weeks ago)
People wave to you on the road if you know them or not
leaving food outdoors leads to wild visitors in the night
you are on a first name basis with the post master, the police chief
and the town clerk
Spring brings eager smiles, light hearts and open windows
Most days there is a hushed presence of nature
only to be interwoven
with soft twittering bird songs
and serene owl hoots
This is the country melody
that we all are mesmerized by
You know when you are in NH
When a tranquil peace hovers and rising mountains
Sugar maples, white birches and thick pines surround you
The busy world continues its crass noise
yet life here is slow and meaningful
country living with a stillness that
keeps one centered
If you haven’t visited New Hampshire in the northeast of the United States, you must deep in the summer or in the pleasant days of Autumn. It’s a chance to escape the rat race and explore the White Mountains and nature at its best!
Amid mounds of glistening snow and icy sheets that glaze driveways and roads, I choose to walk. I’m sure heat worshippers think I’m crazy! It’s that I simply enjoy the crisp cold air, inhaling the freshness. This energizes me and reminds me that I’m alive! Everything is clearer and crisp. Distant white capped mountains stretch in the distance as the dazzling trees are dressed in bridal whites. Fiery sunsets paint the sky with rich peaches and promising pinks, an amazing accompaniment to this white world surrounding me.
While walking in winter, I spy animal tracks winding in yards and spiraling into the mysterious woods. Curiously I attempt to break the code and discover which animal had tread there. Deer? A fox? Possibly it’s a little white ermine such as the one that’s living in our yard and sometimes in the attic.
Cars race by, slipping in the snow. Even bulky trucks barrel on this quiet country road, as fuel deliveries are being made to stoke people’s furnaces.
I slip on a pair of mittens and comfy hat. Then pull on fuzzy socks and laced up boots. A parka is zipped up. Sometimes a woolen scarf wraps me in like a present. My house key lay buried in my pocket. I’m on my way…walking down the hill towards the bustling town and then up another winding slope to my road. Months ago this walk exhausted me. It left me gasping for air and I had to intermittently stop to regain my raspy breath. Since I’ve exercised mostly every day and mastered this walk, I no longer stop. My strides are longer, more fluid and my breathing healthy and not rushed.
I do not walk during snow storms per my husbands sage advice. Plow trucks take much of the road. Cars slip and slide, sending slush and snow at any passer by. Ice patches are hidden by white cover, easy slipping conditions.
I don’t really think during these treks. Instead I notice my surroundings, the houses, the cars and the animals tracks. I breathe deeply. I exhale warm puffs. As I approach my little house, the grayish column of smoke twists up from the chimney. I can already feel the houses warmth. As soon as I jingle the key in the lock and thrust open the barrier, a sultry heat wallops my face. Instant comfort. Our black cat, Smokey, saunters to the entry and greets me with his mewing and rub up against my frigid legs.
I hear the stove crackle as I tear off my wintry layers. This completes the winter walk experience and I sigh with a happiness, a general contentment that I live in New England and actually thrive because of it. I was born of strong stock, of Vermont families that have lived and loved the winter. So I continue the tradition and always wish to do so.
Have you walked in a winter landscape lately? Do you have a habit of walking and noticing every little detail of your surroundings?
It’s my autumn wish to completely express my adoration of my home state, New Hampshire. Being born within its boundaries and breathing it’s fresh country air 49 years entitles me to personal experience. It’s the many years of waking up to majestic mountains and living my life with a scenic background, enough that I should pinch myself that I’m this blessed!
Many years ago Autumn stole my heart with its vibrant gold and red elegance.
Sunday afternoon Tom and I cruised the infamous Kangamangus Highway with twists and turns through the White Mountain forest. As we began our journey we were fortunate enough to trail a parade of Corvettes. Even though the day was raw and chilly in the 40’s with a whipping wind, the pleasant sun brought some heat to our enclosed car.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit our stunning state, make sure to wander up north and take a ride on the highway. Every few miles are lookouts, picnic areas, hikes and some campgrounds to vacation in a rustic scene.
Here we stopped to stretch our legs and absorb the glory of Autumn. The C.L. Graham Wangan Grounds lookout is in Lincoln. I’ve never seen as many cars and tourists crowding the area, but even so we found our tiny space to enjoy.
If scenic mountains could be royalty their elegance would sparkle within the court. Their colorful leaves resemble precious jewels, even as the glow wanes. The monumental scenery takes people’s breath away as they absorb it’s unbelievable majesty.
I’m thankful for the quality time Tom and I spent on the road. We followed the Kangamangus for a few hours towards Conway, NH. Then we stopped at a rest area bordering a brook and ate packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.To wrap up the day, we cruised home slowly with no expectations. We had heard foliage was at a peak a week ago but even so, the colors popped here and there. It’s these Autumn days that fill my bucket overflowing!
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!