Meghan McCarthy McPhaul

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

                    Dog Tales
    Last week I was interviewing a guy for a story I’m writing and realized we were neighbors once, nearly two decades ago and more than 2,000 miles from here. The first hint was when he said he’s lived in Crested Butte, Colorado, for the better part of the last 40 years. But it was his mention of having golden retrievers – a long line of them, now in the 12th generation – that ultimately tipped me off.

It’s safe to say I’m a dog person, the kind who crouches down to greet canines at just about every opportunity – at holiday parades, during walks through the neighborhood, along hiking trails. I will often ask strangers the name, age, and breed of their dog without seeking a bit of intel about themselves. Dogs make good conversation starters – and great company.

I knew three of my interviewee’s dogs, from the seventh and eighth generations of the ongoing line, back in my ski town days, when I was living in a basement-level apartment across the street. Chipeta, Moki, and Dillon – a mother and two siblings – would often amble across the traffic-less road and sit at the top of my front steps, dropping a tennis ball down the stairs until I either came out to play or let them in to hang out.

            Christmas Crazies

    The kids are wild with excitement this week. They’ve come home from school bouncing around from couch to window seat and room to room until finally – five minutes after walking through the door – I send them outside. They are entwined in an ongoing, animated conversation about Christmas and presents and Santa. They giggle hysterically through dinner and into bedtime. What they dream of when they finally sleep, I don’t know, but my guess would be it’s some version of maniacally-twirling sugar plums.

Yes, the Christmas crazies are running rampant in my house. The idea of joining throngs of hyped up shoppers the day after Thanksgiving has never appealed to me. I’m not much of a shopper to start – I can barely stand grocery shopping – and I don’t do well in crowds. For all my adult life, I have lived in places where it is easier to get into the mountains than it is to find a mall; this is one of the many things for which I am thankful – on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and all the other days.

I remember when the kids were preschoolers – not that long ago – and this holiday-frenzied excitement manifested itself, often, in bad behavior. As Christmas got closer, the kids’ naughtiness seemed to escalate. Shouldn’t it get better, I thought, with the looming threat of Santa passing them by on Christmas Eve? 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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