Meghan McCarthy McPhaul
    Writings from a Full Life
         The latest from Meghan's Blog

Sudden Summer

Summer, it seems, has come suddenly this year. Or maybe that’s just my excuse for feeling like I’m far behind where I should be this second week of May. For that, I’ll blame the April showers, which were of the snow variety right up to the last day of the month.

Two days after April’s last snow, we had beach weather: sunny and 80 degrees. It feels like we skipped spring and went straight from winter to summer. There was hardly even a Mud Season this year! 

Suddenly, the lilac leaves have popped, the bright green shoots of the daylilies along the west side of the house are 10 inches high, and the lawn needs mowing.

I’ve taken advantage of this week’s warmth and sunshine to try to catch up, but most of the house – and yard – is in that between-seasons flux of disarray. ...  Everywhere I look there is something to be done. In some ways, I like this – I can pick which chore or task to tackle based on my mood and the time I have to devote to it on a given day. There are no deadlines, but plenty of work. READ MORE

                    Rosa Rugosa

    We ripped a good portion of the wild rose hedge out when we first moved in, much to the dismay of this house’s former owner. The Rosa rugosa had hugged the inside curve of the driveway before arcing around the back of the garden wall in a tangle of thorns and flowers, separating a cultivated perennial bed from the wilder field beyond. But we were transforming part of that front field to mown grass, the better to hold the venue tent for our upcoming wedding.

We spent countless hours that spring and summer reconfiguring the garden, and anytime we got within a foot of the slate wall we’d find roots from the rugosa, looking to spread if we’d only let it. Thirteen years later it seems to have settled in to the space we’ve allowed it – a wide swath remaining along that bend of the driveway, stretching for about 30 yards before stopping to leave room for the lawnmower to pass between its thorny branches and the garden wall.

From the side window of my childhood bedroom, I could look out at other roses: a mostly tidy jumble of antique rose bushes at the edge of the yard. In my mind, they are a mix of bright and more subdued hues and smell heavenly – like summer embodied: sweet, hot, ephemeral. 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 she writes a weekly Winter Notes column for the Union Leader. Her work has also been published in Powder, Northern Woodlands, Forest Notes, Snow East, AAA's Northern New England Journey, 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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