Rock path

Rock path

The path emerges. Rock by rock, I laid this path many years ago, using field stone, hunks of an old backyard fireplace, slate pieces rejected by a builder, and even broken pieces of concrete I found at the property line underneath vines. The path lacked a central...
How not to make money: ice-cream vending tales

How not to make money: ice-cream vending tales

Some years ago, my daughter, Annie, told us about a little boy selling brownies at the annual fife-and-drum parade in our town. His mother went into a store, leaving him in charge. Some girls came by and handed him 5 cents. He gave them their brownie and 25 cents in...
Wading into personal archives

Wading into personal archives

My mother Gloria, 35-ish years ago, at around the time I sent the four-page typed letter. A few weeks ago my three brothers, sister, and I needed to pack up some objects and papers from our past. We didn’t have much time, so our minds jolted into hyper-focus....
Wilderness writing

Wilderness writing

On Saturday I gathered around writer Laura Waterman’s log-house table in Vermont with the good people of the Waterman Fund Essay Contest Committee. We reviewed a few dozen narrative pieces by new writers about wild places and their importance. We have a winner,...
Mountain safety stories, two talks this summer

Mountain safety stories, two talks this summer

Ellen Finnie, left, and Chris on the summit of Mount Washington. I will give my popular talk, “How Not to End Up in the Accidents report of Appalachia Journal” twice this summer. Join me for these free presentations! I always give out a few extra issues of...