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Flannery O’Connor had to “write to discover what I am doing. Like the old lady, I don’t know so well what I think until I see what I say; then I have to say it over again.”

I have little in common with Flannery, much as I’d like to, except this requirement to...

R.I.P., Bill Hamilton - scaled.Bill H at Stone Pond in 2009

Early on Sept. 16, a great man, R. W. "Bill" Hamilton, died with little warning. Bill was a stalwart friend incapable of dull thoughts or actions. He believed in God and country, hard work and creativity. More than once he told me—in not these words—to stop whining and get...

August 25, 2011
Makeup doesn't matter - Eleanor Roosevelt

I think that many women spend too much time and money on makeup and clothes. I think many of them would look better without the fuss. I acknowledge my view isn't typical, but consider the public discussion going on now.

Today's New York Times discusses...

January 1, 2013
Happy 2013 - HermitLake_after_CPR

Wishing you a year of honest, productive work. 

August 22, 2011
My talk on straight-up trails - Loon PC Hiking in the Whites

This was a very nice night. I plan to give this talk other places too.

August 19, 2011
Citizen heroes in Berlin, NH - Berlin, NH

Until two nights ago I knew very little about Berlin, New Hampshire. I knew that paper mills built the city and that the demise of the paper industry in the Northeast almost killed it. I knew it's a small city in the northern reaches of the White Mountains that struggles for an economic base...

August 6, 2011
Straight up trails in NH and CT - scaled.Eagle Cliff with Annie

This has been a whirlwind week, tacked on to a month of endless work and family events. The latest is:

Our daughter, Elizabeth, who graduated from college in May, got a job as a research assistant at Yale-New Haven Hospital. This made me think of my own first summer on my own, 30 years...

July 27, 2011
Buy food from farmers - hayhouse-web-project

Supermarkets sell fruit and vegetables mostly from far-off lands. It's summer now in North America. Farmers near your house sell produce that, a few hours before, trembled on the vines. When I was a child, my mother and I drove out to farm stands in New Jersey and bought delicious produce....

July 24, 2011
Wilds of My Home State - Appalachia_cover_NJ

The new issue of Appalachia journal visits New Jersey's lowlands, where I grew up from age 4 to 18, and where my father's...

July 12, 2011
Couch potatoes blame potatoes - Get This potato photo lisibo flickr

A new study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine linked potatoes to longterm weight gain. But it also said other things. The journalists' reports of the study focus on the potatoes. It is true that the study team certified a slightly stronger link between potatoes and...

July 4, 2011
Four Miles Not Beers - scaled.Beer after race

The Chester Rotary Club's annual Four on the Fourth road race pushes hundreds of athletes, neighbors, and visitors to run some of the steeper hills found in the lower Connecticut River Valley. This friendly town is the home of my freelance writing office for the past decade-plus, and the...

June 24, 2011
Crashing an author's dinner - scaled.DSCF4326

I went down to Prairie Lights Bookstore tonight to hear local-food chef and restaurant owner Kurt Michael Friese read from his book about chile peppers and climate change. For a year Friese and co-authors Kraig Kraft and Gary Paul Nabhan visited chile pepper farmers from Sonora to Connecticut....

June 21, 2011
Big skies of Iowa - scaled.Iowa Prairie 3

I am back in Iowa this week, researching once again the papers of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane. A travel grant from the Herbert Hoover Presidential Association made this possible. Laura and Rose together worked on the famous "Little House" books during the Great Depression...

June 14, 2011
Appalachian Trail reunions - CayPhilNatChris2

This year marks 24 years since the summer we—Cay, Phil, Nat, and I—hiked the Appalachian Trail.

Over the weekend (June 10-12, 2011), my husband Nat and I crashed a 30-year reunion of A.T. hikers on Squam Lake, New Hampshire. Actually, they invited us, and it turned out we'...

May 28, 2011
Where that balloon ends up - scaled.DSCF4178

Slight fog at the mouth of the Connecticut River. The first kayak adventure of the season with my environment reporter friend Judy Benson. After the parties end and the mylar balloons lose their air and float down gently to Earth, they tend to end up in the waterways. Here, where hundreds of...

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