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

Recycling Treasures
Of all the cool things that happen at my kids’ elementary school, I think my favorite is the annual Recycle Sale in December. Judging by the happy buzz resonating through the school during Recycle Sale day this week, that sentiment is shared by the 100-plus students there.

Amid a season when children make wish lists for presents and send letters to Santa, the Recycle Sale offers a chance for these youngsters to embrace the giving – rather than the give me – part of the holidays. For a quarter per gift, the kids are able to select one Recycle Sale item for each immediate family member.

I remember trolling the mall or the Bradlees department store down the road as a kid, meager allowance in hand, seeking the perfect-yet-affordable-for-a-child gift that would bring Christmas smiles to my mom, dad, and brothers. I can’t remember how many bottles of cheap perfume I gave my mother (who doesn’t wear perfume) or how many neckties my father unwrapped over the years, and goodness knows what I found for my brothers each Christmas.

The Recycle Sale allows the children to give gifts with plenty of thoughtfulness, but little of the hassle that often goes with gift-buying. Watching their faces light up when they find that perfect gift – the princess beanbag chair for a little sister, the sparkly earrings for Mom, a Red Sox logo-emblazoned anything for Dad – is purely priceless. READ MORE

From Giving Thanks to Sharing Joy
The march to the holidays beyond Thanksgiving seems to start earlier each year – Christmas decorations appear in stores in October, holiday music plays on the radio in mid-November, and Black Friday deals are hawked well before Thanksgiving. It seems Thanksgiving – this day set aside for gratitude, for gathering with loved ones and sharing food – gets short shrift in the hurrying to what comes next.

The rush to Christmas and the relentless barrage of spend-centric advertisements is my holiday pet peeve. I love the holiday season, including Thanksgiving, and I will buy a good few presents in the coming weeks. But I will not join the shopping hoards hopped up on caffeine and consumerism during Black Friday or Cyber Monday or any other cutesy-monikered days following Thanksgiving....

Whether we are religious or not, whether we celebrate Christmas or Chanukah or both or something else, whether we are surrounded by family or far from home, this season is meant to celebrate hope and peace, love and light, helping others and sharing joy. 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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