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

      Swimming Holes     

   It’s one of the great joys of summer: splashing in a clear, cool river on a hot, hazy day. At the advent of the season, when kids can almost taste the freedom of school’s final release and ice cream shops are readying for customers, regional publications put out their lists of favorite swimming holes – the most secret, most scenic, most secluded ones.

Yankee magazine has done a swimming hole list. New Hampshire magazine has, too. Heck, even the BBC published a short list of Vermont swimming holes a few years ago. There are entire websites and Facebook pages dedicated solely to swimming holes. I guess some people are well-traveled connoisseurs of these refreshing summer haunts, but I like the old familiar ones best.

There’s a swimming hole down the road I’ve visited since I was a child, where I return now with kids and dog on the hottest, muggiest days – or just when we need something easy to do away from the house. It’s not the deepest or the most beautiful, and it’s certainly no secret. But it’s conveniently close to home, and it offers endless cool fun on the long, hot dog days of summer. READ MORE

                     Telling Time  
   My watch broke the second week of my first summer in Ireland. Somehow I survived the initial panic of not being able to tell the time with a quick glance at my wrist and adjusted to scanning the city landscape for one of the many clock faces towering above the streets – on churches, government buildings, and in the ivy-ensconced courtyard of the university I was attending.
That was in 1995, and I haven’t worn a watch since. My innate need to be always on time has remained (sometimes aggravatingly) intact, which is, perhaps, unsurprising considering the sheer number of clocks in the world. My phone serves as alarm clock, stopwatch, and timer. My car has a clock, as do the kitchen stove, the microwave, the DVD player, and my computer screen.

Surrounded by the bright, blocky numbers of digital clocks, I prefer old fashioned timepieces, which contain much more character – and, perhaps ironically, a sense of timelessness. We are lucky in Franconia to have one of these in the center of town, smack dab between Main Street and the mountains that define our southern horizon. 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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