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

Playing Games

The other day I walked into the living room to find my three children embroiled in an intense game of Uno. The scene reminded me of a line from an Anna Quindlen essay, where she muses that perhaps she’d had three children so that she wouldn’t have to play board games and could instead pursue some other diversion, like curling up quietly with a good book, while the kids entertained themselves.

Learning to entertain themselves – and each other – is a skill I’ve long encouraged in my children. I may not be sitting down with a great novel while they’re playing games, but it allows me some time and quiet to tend to other tasks (like finishing this column). There are other lessons to be learned from playing games, not least of which is how to win – and lose – gracefully. There’s also patience, thinking ahead, math skills, paying attention, and keeping your cards (literal and figurative) close when necessary.

The first game beyond Candy Land (ugh) and Memory we tackled was Clue. That was my husband’s idea, and I figured the kids would quickly lose interest amid the vague and sometimes conflicting evidence of “who done it.” But my husband often presents the kids with challenges (and, sometimes, responsibilities) I’m not sure they’re ready for, and they usually handle these just fine. Playing Clue was no exception, and they soon grasped the game’s complexities. He also introduced the kids to Monopoly, a game, like Candy Land, for which I have little tolerance, although perhaps that’s just a reflection of my aversion to shopping and economics. READ MORE

Seasonal Shift
My children were in the yard basking in the March sunshine, still bundled up in snow pants and parkas one recent afternoon when my daughter announced she was tired of winter and wanted it to be spring. The kids started talking about all the things they love about warmer weather months: butterflies and kayaking, the chorus of spring peepers from the pond nearby, eating ice cream on the porch after dinner.

This daydream of spring was momentary, and soon the kids were embracing winter again, jumping into some game that involved snow and imagination, with white tigers, sled dogs, and arctic seals overtaking the tunnels and caves and sliding troughs of the snow fort. 

I am just as conflicted during these in-between-seasons times: simultaneously longing for the season that will be here eventually, and wistful for the one that will soon pass. In March, I strive to squeeze in as many wintery things as I can, and I dream of warmer weather hikes and bike rides, green grass and flowers, walking outside without having to don extra layers against the chill. 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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