Friday, July 30, 2021

Bits and Pieces

 * It's been a strange week but I'm not totally certain I can tell you exactly why.

* I took Idris (Number Nine) to the lake on Sunday. Sticks, stones, water. He loved it! On Monday he asked if we could go back, so we did. Tuesday night he asked again, so back we went. Wednesday night I went alone. 

* I went to work a little early on Tuesday morning and was in the kitchen when one of my toddler friends was dropped off for the day. I saw his dad's and brother's backs through the open kitchen door. I can't remember what I was doing, but I didn't get the chance to greet them that morning. It was Wednesday morning when I learned of the drowning. My sweet little friend's dad jumped into the canal to rescue his dog and was pulled under by the current. He did not survive. The dog was able to get out on its own and the brother was unhurt. My heart is aching. 

* The firemen, who didn't have their carnival this year, pulled together a parade which we attended on Thursday evening. It was short and not all that sweet. Just a fleet of emergency vehicles, a few from two nearby towns, one or two floats, an ice cream truck, and a dance group. The theme was Christmas in July and when the parade was over a little boy next to us voiced his disappointment. "I didn't even get to see Santa Claus!" he protested. 

* We've completed two weeks of Two Daycare Centers Become One. We have plenty of staff, all we need is more children.The toddler rooms are hopping and we have an up and coming list of babies, but what we really need is to fill up the 3 and 4 year old rooms, and beef up the school age class. Our menu was interesting this week. I had to get creative a few times but nobody went hungry unless it was their choice.

* Our baby is a creeper. I mean he's crawling. On his hands and knees. He's only six months old but somebody forgot to tell him. He's quite happy with this newfound skill. Good thing Hannah ordered that new baby gate!

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

A Pocketful of Beach Glass

 Gentle waves slapped against sand and stones. I hadn't been home yet this evening, instead I took myself to one of the places that so often calms the anxiousness inside. A soft, cool breeze, the subdued, evening sun, the sound of moving water... I took a few photographs and picked a pocketful of wave worn glass from the ever-changing shore. Clear, white, green, brown. Children laughed and scampered about, dogs barked, and I picked glass.

I was early to work yesterday morning. Thinking I was expected at 7 am, I'd arrived half an hour early. I was in the kitchen, possibly unloading the dishwasher when they came in. Two little boys and their daddy. I saw the younger being dropped off at the toddler room door. Not long ago, perhaps a week or two, the little guy had climbed onto my lap for a morning snuggle after being dropped off for the day. Only they younger child stays, and soon the father and the 4 year old were out the door.

The daddy, conscientious and polite, always says hello or gives me a wave from his vehicle. Other teachers say the same, but I missed him yesterday. By the time I came out of the kitchen they were gone. Unknown to us, because we don't need to know everything, there were plans to take the older child fishing. They took their dog along... 

Today, two little boys are facing life without their daddy. He won't be coming home because he jumped into the canal to save their dog. The dog was able to get out of the water downstream on it's own, but once under the water, my little friend's dad, caught in the current, was unable to resurface. We are stunned and heartbroken.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

The Barn Collective

My cousin Diana invited me to a bonfire, but the barn was calling for a picture...

Broken windows don't typically call to me, but these did.

This is a fabulous barn. I kind of wish I'd taken a closer look at it 30 years ago.

I don't have any stories other than it was packed full of stuff when the property was purchased over 30 years ago. The current owner has a big heart and told the previous one he had ten days to come get the contents or it would be considered the property of the present owner. They came and took what was of any value and left the junk, of course.  But that was a long time ago.

I didn't look inside, but I'm betting it's absolutely fantastic!

Pipe Dreams

"I want to move to the mountains, do pottery all winter, and gallivant all summer. It's a pipe dream."

"See!! Now you're thinking! It's not a pipe dream."

"Maybe not. It's one I probably can't do alone. Unless I inherit a windfall profit."

"I'd shoot for windfall."

"Ha ha! I'll do that. ... Except it wouldn't be much fun moving to the mountains alone. ... Who would make my coffee?"

"Hmmm. I gotta tell ya.. the thought appeals to me."

"Can you make coffee?"

"Ummm yes. It's easy. ... If you can count by two you can make coffee."

"I already make my own coffee every morning."

"Dude. You need a coffee butler."

"Will he talk to me?"


"I suppose I could talk regardless... LOL!"


"Probably more so after I drink the coffee." 


"My house in the mountains should have a cherry tree."

"And pears"

"You got it. ... I might need a wood stove too. I can stack wood and start a fire as long as the wood is already cut and split."

"Hmmm. I saw a guy this morning who tore his back up stacking wood."

"Yeah... I was just thinking about that. ... I can have my grandkids stack wood when they come to visit."

"Now you're talking."


Sunday, July 18, 2021

This Barn

 From today's vantage point, although 50 years still sounds like an eternity, it also feels like yesterday...

I loved New Hampshire as a seven year old, and I loved it this summer too. The house felt so familiar, and walking into the old sitting room and through the downstairs bedrooms was like walking back in time. And then the barn...

I don't recall spending any amount of time inside the barn as a child, but it's presence was an integral part of the property's ambiance. Years ago there were parties there. I know not only because of the old piano, but because of Al's stories. His was a musical family, and especially his mother. Or maybe it was his grandma...


When I was in New Hampshire as a child, there  was an old grinding wheel in the yard outside. I was told it's still in the barn, and I saw it in a painting inside the house. It's a pretty fabulous old structure, weathered to perfection.

And over the barn's shoulder, in the clouds beyond the trees, is Mount Washington. Sometimes clear and visible, and sometimes shrouded in mist. 

I kind of love  this place.

PS. An update on last week's barn post. Years ago the giant barn was the Davis dairy farm where Al worked as a teenager during the summer when he stayed at his grandparent's summer home in Jackson, NH where I took the photos of today's barn.

The Barn Collective meets here.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

A Couple of New Hampshire Barns

 New Hampshire is speckled with fabulous barns. It's very common in New England for the barn and house to be attached. I didn't get any fantastic pictures of those, but I did stop to take photographs of two wonderful barns in Jackson, New Hampshire. They're pretty fabulous if you ask me.

 I was told this place is known as the "Pitman Barn."  It sits well of Rt 16B just up road from the village of Jackson as one drives toward Black Mountain. I wish I could remember now if this was one of the farms my friend Al worked on as a young teen. I might have to ask. This gorgeous barn actually showed up in two videos I watched on the town of Jackson.

A bit farther toward Black Mountain Ski Area is this handsome spectacle. A huge, sprawling barn nestled on the side of the hill. I don't even recall if it had/has a name. Another question for Al. No matter, it's still an amazing specimen.

Front view so you can see the enormity of the structure and how it sits on a slope. New England barns are just fabulous! I could have wandered and taken pictures all day!

I'm joining Tom's party today at The Barn Collective.

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Into the Clouds (A Trip Up Mt Washington)

We'd been watching the clouds on Mt Washington for days, checking the forecast, and hoping that perhaps things would begin to look a bit more hopeful for our scheduled ascent. The mountain came in and out of view, one moment hidden from sight and a few minutes later visible once again, but mostly shrouded in mist. We had checked so many times that unknown even to myself, I'd already become resigned to the very strong possibility of there being no view from the summit. There was no changing the tickets. They'd been purchased well ahead of time without any idea of what the future would hold. 

On Tuesday night I told Al that I wouldn't be disappointed if there wasn't a view on top of the mountain. "It is what it is," we decided. There wasn't anything we could do to change the weather and so we opted to make the most of whatever we were given.

It was clear (not raining) but cloudy when we got to the Cog Railroad Station. The summit was draped in clouds. We boarded the car prepared for cold, wind, and rain and we were not disappointed. LOL! The ride up the rail was fabulous, but once we entered the cloud, there wasn't much to see, at least not more than a few feet in front of us. It was easy to see how hikers can get lost and disoriented very quickly.

It wasn't exceptionally cold at the top of the mountain, but the wind was blowing at 49 mph with gusts up to 55. The rain felt like sleet where it hit my face. All I wanted was a photograph of myself on the summit with the Mt Washington sign behind me. Al had already given up on climbing the rocks in the wind and I was relieved he'd decided to sit it out. As I stepped from rock to rock I had to readjust my stance to compensate for the wind gusts. At one point I almost blew over, but I regained my composure, stepped in front of the sign, snapped a few cell phone pictures and headed back down to where Al was waiting. The whole adventure was quite invigorating! 

We had an hour to spend on the summit and so we checked out the national Weather Observatory Museum, poked around in the gift shop, mailed a postcard, and bought a cup of coffee. The descent was very similar to our arrival only backward, and the wind had relented slightly, blowing at 39 mph with gusts up to 48. We drove though thick clouds for a time and then we were suddenly beneath them.

We followed a steam engine out on a test run down the lower part of the rail and I was surprised by the memories the odor evoked. I haven't experienced a steam engine in 50 years and yet it felt like yesterday that I first smelled it. Fascinating! 

After looking at the cars and engines for a little bit, we made a quick tour of the gift shop and headed for the parking lot, hoping to beat the impending mountain rain showers. The Cog Railroad had been one of the main reasons for my return to the White Mountains and it was fabulous, even  in the fog, or maybe especially so.