Archive • Columns 2016

December 29, 2016
A New Year’s Resolution: Re-Imagining Laconia
When we lift the window shade on Christmas morning for our first glance out at the day, the hope is always to look across a blanket of white snow on the ground and make certain the roads are passable. How fortunate we were this year.  The sun on the trees created beautiful shadow designs in … Continue reading "A New Year’s Resolution: Re-Imagining Laconia"

December 15, 2016
Christomas Stories
This week I have been working in London and Milan. For the many years I have been traveling to London my point of orientation, always, is Hatchards on Piccadilly, one of the oldest of the many bookshops in London, founded in 1797.  There are several floors of books and there is usually one book, often … Continue reading "Christomas Stories"

November 28, 2016
Sparkling Holiday Lights
A few years ago I traveled by freighter up the coast of Norway, just after Christmas, in pursuit of the ‘Aurora borealis’ or the Northern Lights. We left from Bergen, on the southwestern coast, and eventually disembarked in Kirkenes a town in the far northeastern corner of Norway.  During the winter northern Norway is in … Continue reading "Sparkling Holiday Lights"

November 16, 2016
We Are All the Same on the Inside
So much has been written about the recent presidential election there is little, if anything, that hasn’t been said. However, when you live in Manhattan you cannot avoid being involved.  The fact that the President-elect lives in Trump Tower, just at the top of Fifth Avenue near Central Park, means street closings and barricades that … Continue reading "We Are All the Same on the Inside"

November 10, 2016
The Traditions of Christmas
Christmas is such an enchanting time of the year.  In our home the season begins just after Thanksgiving when the house is magically transformed with boughs of greens and holly.  When we were young my Mother would turn a rectangular mirror into a skating rink with the addition of rolled cotton batting and a few … Continue reading "The Traditions of Christmas"

November 01, 2016
‘Over the River and Through the Woods…’
Last week the New York Times featured a pullout section entitled: “A Classic Thanksgiving.” You couldn’t avoid noticing it because of the size, 22 inches by 48, and the enticing four-color photographs of a turkey and the other food against a bright red patterned background. The New York Times, founded in 1851, has a long … Continue reading "‘Over the River and Through the Woods…’"

October 20, 2016
The Ghostly Spirits of Hallow’s Eve
Autumn is an interlude between summer and winter. A grace note that slips in quietly and then one morning, after a rain or a blustery wind, disappears. In taking advantage of autumn's subtle beauty I often take a drive on Route 25 through Warren, across Cube Mountain, down through Orford to Piermont and back through Plymouth enjoying the covered bridges, meandering rivers and brick farmhouses along the way.

October 06, 2016
Pumpkin Season
In the Northern Hemisphere, the fall equinox marks the first day of autumn.  This year it fell on Thursday, 22 September and the weather seemed connected to the calendar. One week we were wearing sleeveless tee shirts and the next week a zipped up fleece. I have even pulled a quilted jacket from the back of the closet for an early morning walk.

September 22, 2016
The Memory Doll
Several years ago, a doll captured my attention when I walked into one of the antique shops in Laconia. Dressed in a white lace frock, a small gold-colored cross hung from a chain and fell onto her chest. One hand had been replaced with another hand that was carved but not painted. The lace on the bodice required stitching, the hair was awkwardly glued to her head and her eyes didn't blink. I negotiated a price with the shopkeeper and watched as she carefully wrapped her in tissue and placed her in a box.

September 07, 2016
Making an Art of Everyday Life
Last weekend I realized my knowledge of when Labor Day became a national holiday was vague. I could guess, but would probably not have the correct answer if questioned during a game show. With a little research, I learned that the recognition of Labor Day began in various states and was then accepted by a vote in Congress on June 28, 1845, designating Labor Day as the first Monday in September as a celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers.

August 31, 2016
Serenity in August
April and August, in addition to sharing an “A,” are the two months of the year without major holidays. There are no Hallmark cards designed for events during August. Easter does occasionally fall during April, but not always and April can be fickle, catching us off guard with a dusting of snow or a morning … Continue reading "Serenity in August"

August 10, 2016
Woman Ascending
A habit is defined as an acquired behavior pattern, one that eventually becomes involuntary. For New Yorkers it is slipping out of bed each morning, stumbling to the door and pulling in the New York Times that has been thrown down the hall in the early hours of the morning. If the paper isn’t there, … Continue reading "Woman Ascending"

July 27, 2016
The Sounds of Music
Olga Bloom, wanting to create a sanctuary for musicians, purchased a vintage coffee barge in 1972 and through her own determination and will, paneled the interior with cherry wood from an abandoned Staten Island Ferry and established Barge Music. For almost forty years, beginning in 1977, the floating barge, anchored just under and in the … Continue reading "The Sounds of Music"

July 14, 2016
Remember Pollyanna?
If you haven’t read the classic novel, written by Eleanor H. Porter and published in 1913, you may have seen the Walt Disney film, released in 1960, and featuring Hayley Mills in the title role. The movie was a box office success and catapulted Hayley Mills to stardom. You have probably not seen the silent … Continue reading "Remember Pollyanna?"

June 29, 2016
The Only Emperor is the Emperor of Ice Cream
A friend in New York, who gathers writers and illustrators for dinner, will often stop the noisy discussion at the end of the evening and ask: “Would anyone like an ice cream cone?” It might be a cold winter night in January and the last thing anyone is expecting is ice cream in a cone. … Continue reading "The Only Emperor is the Emperor of Ice Cream"

June 01, 2016
I Go to the Hills
We grew up in the White Mountains and began hiking on Appalachian trails as children. When you have trudged up steep inclines with your head down, carefully monitoring each step to avoid slipping on moss-covered rocks and loose stones, or grabbed onto a tree that isn’t green and risked tumbling backwards, humped over because the … Continue reading "I Go to the Hills"

May 18, 2016
The Practice of Decluttering
I am sending this column from Tokyo, where I am spending a few days exploring those places that are essentially off the tourist grid and hidden away from the modern towers that define the landscape. Then I will join a group in Fukuoka to begin two weeks of hiking mountains and Buddhist trails. I’m certain … Continue reading "The Practice of Decluttering"

May 04, 2016
What is Quality of Life?
Two weeks ago I was in London and had an opportunity to attend and participate in a program around building homes, actually desperately needed housing, on land designated as green belts. London is an elegant, gracious city with exquisite parks. The English love their gardens and the exhibition, Painting in the Modern Garden – Monet … Continue reading "What is Quality of Life?"

April 20, 2016
A Tribute to Mothers
Have you made your plans for Mother’s Day? Ordered flowers? Organized a spa treatment? Made brunch reservations? Bought a card? The tradition of designating a Sunday in May to celebrate Mother’s Day can be traced back to Anna Jarvis, a social activist. She held the first memorial ceremony on May 10, 1908, three years after … Continue reading "A Tribute to Mothers"

April 06, 2016
Laconia’s Enchanting Cafes
The thought of “April in Paris” conjures up a blue sky, warm weather and a romantic vision of the City of Lights. I recall being there in April and bundling up in the sweaters and the one coat I had with me, against an unusually cold spring. I had hoped to wake up in Laconia … Continue reading "Laconia’s Enchanting Cafes"

March 23, 2016
Cycling Into Spring
Many years ago, when my nephew was twelve years old and living in New Hampshire, he traveled to New York to spend spring break. The evening he arrived, we sat outside and had dinner at a café just off Third Avenue. His eyes lit up when a man delivering food and riding a bicycle rode past: "Look, there's a chef on a bicycle."

March 09, 2016
Sugaring Off…
March 09, 2016 As children growing up in the North Country, one of our favorite spring rituals was spending an afternoon “sugaring off.” We would pile into the old blue Chevrolet station wagon, with Grampa Howard in the front seat clearly in charge, for the drive to the Landaff Grange Hall. Writing is best in … Continue reading "Sugaring Off…"

February 24, 2016
Contemplating Style…
Originally published in the Laconia Daily Sun Is it true that forms imprinted in our memory during childhood are the ones we use to invent things through art much later in life? I grew up in the mountains and this leads to the question, what is the difference between lake style and mountain style? Is there … Continue reading "Contemplating Style…"

January 26, 2016
When a Blizzard Stops the Clock
Originally published in the Laconia Daily Sun When you grow up in New Hampshire, a day of snow, even one categorized as a blizzard, doesn’t seem out of the ordinary. We live with snow mounds through the winter months. If you live in the North Country, entrance halls are filled with boots, hats, various collections … Continue reading "When a Blizzard Stops the Clock"

January 13, 2016
Knit one, purl one
January 13, 2016 | Originally published in the Laconia Daily Sun If you are from New England, I’m certain somewhere in your closet, or in a trunk in the attic, there is at least one “caribou” sweater. That is, a men’s ski sweater with two reindeer facing one another with a snowflake in the center. … Continue reading "Knit one, purl one"