This Time of Year, We Go Hot and Cold

If, like mine, your heart gets pounding faster with a stark contrast, then you must have already noticed that we’re in a fire and ice time of year. First, the ice. Asserting itself in streams that persist in running, the trying-to-be-firm stuff is always valiant in seeking to overtake the water.         But anyone with a dog around here already knows that the coveted (by dogs, mostly) daily walks have gotten a bit challenging in the past … Read More

Feeling For the Trees

Whenever I get tired of tracking my daily ups and downs, which is often, I find it refreshing to pay closer attention to the ups and downs of trees instead. Looking around outside with more vigor takes me out of my own limelight. It works well in November, or any other month for that matter. And that surprising storm we had last month sure did a number on many of our tall, usually very sturdy neighbors. It’s disconcerting when you … Read More

Seeking Texture on the Page, Finding it Everywhere Outdoors

With the floods in Houston at Biblical proportions, it feels almost flagrantly disrespectful to go on enjoying the glorious weather we have had at this end of August in New England. But we are watching and listening and, as this evening’s news reports from Boston show, finding ways to help from a distance. May the patience of people waiting to be rescued be rewarded with their safe transitions to places providing comfort. And may Louisiana be spared a repeat of … Read More

Across the Fields on Easter Morning

One of my favorite highway signs has always been “Merge” because it’s usually wonderful when different lanes or people or traditions or what-have-you can flow together.     Off the road, I had an experience over the weekend that brought into the present elements of a past I never even knew. Since Easter is all about rejuvenation, I tried something new this time. Instead of dressing up and getting in the car with family members (one of whom would be … Read More

Holding On For Dear Life, or Something Like It

When it comes to hangers-on, we often have radically different feelings. They can be completely exasperating, or just as completely inspiring. At this time of year, they can also be just plain confusing. Have you ever had houseguests who — this isn’t easy to say– overstayed their welcome? Friends who didn’t see the signs that, with so much else changing, it was time to let go and move on? Contrarily, have you ever been impressed, even awed, by a kind of stick-to-it-iveness … Read More

With a Little Help from Their Friends

How frequently, in married life, or non-married life for that matter, when we say to the handiest person nearby something like, “We really need to do such and such…” do we actually end up doing it and, furthermore, end up enjoying the process or the accomplishment or both? Wishes are easy; fulfillment not so much. Nonetheless, one thing I’ll be giving thanks for this coming week is that my husband and I managed to spend some quality time with our … Read More

So They’ve Always Been White…Are They Also Male?

posted in: Autumn, Nature, The Outdoors | 1

Hiking up Mount Osceola—one of the 4,000 footers in the White Mountains—last weekend with friends, I noticed that there were about equal numbers of men and women. We were all in our layers, climbing over the rocks, getting glimpses of a breathtaking blanket of orange amidst the first snow of the season. It was a wonderful place to be on a dramatic fall day. Our party consisted of three couples, and we merged very nicely. As far as I could … Read More

Take Me to the River…or the Stream, or the Pond

Driving back from early evening tennis a few towns over, I saw the sun hanging low over the rolling New Hampshire fields—still glorious, as if darkness weren’t right on its heels. Going to the pond would mean taking a significant detour from my route and then, after parking, hoofing it under the highway and over to the water. I briefly considered doing the sensible thing: heading home for a shower before joining my family for dinner. But that was really … Read More

What the Rockies Have Done For Me Lately

“Look at that…just miles and miles of emptiness!” “But Mom, what we’re seeing is not empty at all…it’s full-up with Nature.” This is, more or less, how a bit of conversation between my older son and me went as we were driving through the vastness of Wyoming last week. Conversations were few in that car, actually, as we all just tried to drink in the dry spaciousness of what we were seeing, mile after mile. Small talk seemed, well, particularly … Read More

It’s Easter, and More

Over the course of the past Holy Week, my husband was preparing for services culminating with Easter today — the pinnacle of the Christian calendar. Meanwhile, I was, for the first time, teaching a unit on ancient India to high school juniors. In my mind’s eye, I saw temples with elaborate carvings and women in colorful saris as I made the daily drive up and down a fairly bland stretch of highway. It made for a kind of interesting mash-up … Read More

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