Over the past few months, I have been picking away at the colossal project of organizing my office. As I’ve taken to working on my laptop in more convenient (and less messy) locations, this third-floor room has lately become a dumping ground for various stuff. Old camping gear and mismatched picture frames were chucked haphazardly into one of the small closets. Files and writing clips and photographs for unassembled albums were stacked in every corner. To hide the clutter, I would simple close the door and pretend it didn’t exist.
But this summer I have finally taken it on. I’ve cleaned out many years’ worth of junk from the closets. I’ve sorted my children’s art work and other keepsakes neatly by year into individual storage containers. I’ve recycled hundreds of gift boxes, which I’m not sure why I saved in the first place, since I’m a lazy present wrapper who generally skips the box and goes straight for the paper.
Amid the muddled mess were several boxes of personal items returned to me when my parents moved into a smaller house. For four years, these have been sitting in a disheveled heap in the corner of the office farthest from my desk. Occasionally I’ve peaked into a box to find an old journal or photograph. Inevitably, I’d end up sitting on the floor, flipping pages and digging through memories until one of the kids called for me or I remembered there was something on the stove or an appointment to keep. READ MORE
“Can I eat them all?” my 5-year-old asked, staring at a large bowl of wild blueberries we’d plucked from low bushes along the side of a local road. When it comes to berries, this little girl is insatiable, and I can’t blame her. After all, wild berries picked fresh from the vine or the bush are one of the great joys of summer.
Over the past few years, my family has a built a respectable list of secret and not-so-secret berry stashes: a thick patch of blueberries hidden amid the tangled brush of the southeast field, swaths of thorny blackberry bushes growing through the old apple orchard, and clusters of wild raspberries woven along the tumbledown, fern-ensconced stone wall at the far edge of the front yard.
If one berry spot is lacking, we move on hopefully to the next – the roadside pick where we found the blueberries my youngest was ready to devour last week, or the patch of raspberry bushes at the corner of our road, or the blackberry brambles growing at the edge of the woods in the front field. So far, our best crop this summer has been the raspberries growing through the thick hedge of rosa rugosa along the curve of our driveway. READ MORE
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,
newsletters, press releases, and copy for Web sites and Blogs.
She received the Skade Award from the International Skiing History Association for her book
A History of Cannon Mountain: Trails, Tales and Skiing Legends. She has also been honored by the
New England Press Association for excellence in spot news coverage and feature writing.
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 developers in such delightful detail is commended and certainly the reader's good fortune."
"A nifty little book..."
"McPhaul ... gracefully and compassionaltely ... 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.