Meghan McCarthy McPhaul
Writings from a full life
The latest from Meghan's Blog:

                    Sweet Summer
    Summer is my favorite season. I say that about every season in its prime, so don’t mind me in a few months, when the leaves are ablaze in the colors of autumn and the air is perfectly crisp and I claim fall is my favorite, or when winter arrives all white and frosty and magical and I announce it is my preferred season, then months later embrace the reawakening of spring as the best. Right now, my love affair is with summer.

At some point, several years into adulthood, it struck me that although I no longer had that last-day-of school excitement, with summer’s carefree days stretching infinitely into the hazy heat of the season, I still thrilled at the arrival of summer. So ingrained was that feeling of summer freedom that I felt it as the days lengthened and warmed as clearly as I had as a kid, even though my schedule of work and responsibility was the same now in July as it was in November or March.

Maybe that lingering sense of summer freedom is because I have always lived in places where summer – with its warmth and color and long days – is fleeting. Or maybe it’s that I have so many good memories of the season from my childhood – hiking with my family, lazy afternoons of reading in the backyard hammock, time in the garden with my mother, catching fireflies just after dusk, sparklers on the 4th of July by the backyard campfire, countless hours spent kicking a soccer ball, and one epic cross-country journey with my parents and brothers and a pop-up camper. 

Whatever the reason, now that I have kids who fully embrace the joys of summer – kids old enough to put on their own sunscreen and carry their own backpacks, but still a few years away from summer jobs and the dreaded teenage years of being too hip to hang with Mom – summer has regained that sense of freedom and insouciance. READ MORE

                      The Library
    Tucked among a collection of family photos in our living room is a picture of my friend Liz and me when we were little girls. We’re standing outside our hometown library on a rainy summer day, knobby knees sticking out from shorts, raincoats buttoned up against the weather. She’s holding an umbrella under which we’re cozied up, peering at the pages of an open book.

Liz lived close to the center of our town, and we rode our bikes all over together – to the store that sold penny candy, to meet up with other friends, and, as the photo evidence shows, to the Westborough Public Library. I still remember this library of my childhood hometown. There were bright, wide steps just within the side entrance – modern stairs of linoleum leading down to the children’s section, others up to the main floor, which back then was a couple decades shy of its centennial.

When I picture the inside of that library, the memory includes that comforting, musty aroma of old books and polished wood common to libraries everywhere. A sense of calm, intermingled with expansive curiosity, settled over me each time I arrived at this place full of books. It’s a sensation I still get when I pass through the heavy doors of a library and breath in that bookish scent: what stories will I discover today, what exotic places, what new information? READ MORE

Meghan McCarthy McPhaul is an award winning author and journalist. She lives in northern New Hampshire, where she works as a freelance writer, penning magazine and newspaper articles, as well as copy for newsletters, press releases, Web sites and Blogs.

Her Close to Home column appears twice a month in the Littleton Record newspaper, and her work has also appeared in Powder, Northern Woodlands, Forest Notes, Snow East, and several local and regional publications, as well as two anthologies of place-based writing.

She has been honored by the New England Press Association for excellence in spot news coverage and feature writing and by the International Skiing History Association for her book A History of Cannon Mountain: Trails, Tales and Skiing Legends. 

Meghan is currently working on a collection of essays.

Winner of the 2011 Skade Award from the International Skiing History Association!

What people are saying about

Trails, Tales and Skiing Legends:

"The author's talent in writing the oft-neglected biographies of Cannon's pioneer skiers and d
evelopers in such delightful detail is commended and certainly the reader's good fortune."

"A nifty little book..."

"McPhaul ... gracefully and compassionately ... adds much to our understanding of Cannon Mountain and the forces and people that tried to tame it."

"...a really superb, well-done book. A History of Cannon Mountain does a remarkable job of conveying the spirit, atmosphere, and joy of ... Cannon Mountain."

This is the first comprehensive history written about Cannon Mountain, one of the oldest ski areas in the United States and a cradle of American ski history.
To learn more about the book or purchase a copy,
please visit the
Cannon Mountain page.

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