life in the Kearsarge area

what's happening in the Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee area of NH

Archive for June, 2008

A trip to Henniker

I was having a white door day. I was in Henniker for an article interview, and then decided to take a drive. There’s just something I like about old buildings. It doesn’t matter if it is a church, a meeting house, a school or a residence. Approach the front door – some with latches, some with door knobs – and take your first step up. Don’t open the door just yet; just stand there and feel the history. Think of how the building came into existence, how it was used, and all the people who might have entered the building before you. Every building, even my 1977 Eastman home, has a story to tell. (Although some stories are far more interesting than others!) The photos are of the Quaker Meeting House (1799) and the Quaker School House (1867), both on Quaker Street in Henniker. It was such a lovely spot, especially at the school house, that I wanted to stay for the rest of the afternoon. I probably would have if I had something to read or a blanket to sit on.

Let’s go to the mall for some peace and quiet

My mom and I escaped on Saturday. We decided to go to Concord. Our first stop was Company C, because we received one of those colorful direct mail postcards. Company C is one of those stores where you want to ask, “Can I move in?” My mom and I were sitting so long, making a decision over a rug and calling husbands on the cell phone to check measurements, that an employee asked us if we were waiting for coffee. (Sure, if you have some send it this way!) But I was sad to see that we were the only shoppers in the store. It was a pretty nice sale on rugs and there should have been more people to take advantage of the deals.

We decided to go to Steeplegate Mall to check some sale racks. (I always shop locally, but there’s nothing like a mad dash through Target or pawing through 50% off racks at Lands End.) In every store we received great service – greetings from a salesperson, offers of help, and no lines at the cash register. It was a little disconcerting, but you couldn’t beat the customer service!

The best playground EVER

Today we went to the new Velie Memorial Playground in Newbury. It is a really nice location – next to the library on Route 103 – and set back from the road. There’s plenty of shade (some playgrounds are in the direct sun and get scorching hot, including the metal that little hands touch) and offered plenty of activities for all ages. I lost count of all the climbing walls. Henry was overwhelmed at first, but eventually warmed up to the idea of playing on such a big playground. We played for over an hour. Then it was off to lunch at Digby’s. It was my first time there, and we decided to sit outside. For some reason – maybe because I had never heard anyone mention the restaurant – I didn’t expect the food to be good, but I was pleasantly surprised. My mom’s sandwich was definitely better than mine (it had an artichoke cheese dip on the top) and we all enjoyed the fries.

Oh, I remember her

It was my daughter Lucy’s first recital. She’s been taking classes at Dancers Inc. in Grantham with Miss MaryBeth for a year. It was held on Father’s Day at the new Kearsarge school in Sutton (gorgeous school). The first number went well – three preschoolers did a ballet routine to the song “Upside Down” from the “Curious George” movie. Lucy curtsied at the end of the number on cue, but when people started clapping she blew kisses and had to be dragged off the stage. (Ham.) The second number was tap, and Lucy came out on stage saying, “Hi Mom. Hi Mommy! Hi Mom.” She wouldn’t stop until I waved hello to her. So when we see other parents around town (and the kids recognize each other from recital) and they ask “Which number was Lucy in?” all I have to say is: The one who said, “Hi Mom.” Immediate recognition. Good thing they remember that and not the fact that she picked her nose through most of the tap number. (Yes, I will be buying the video.)

Who has a headcold in June?

That would be me. I woke up Tuesday last week with some scratchy throat, and by Wednesday is was a full-bore winter flu with head cold and fever. I was down on Thursday, somewhat productive on Friday, and tried to get back to normal over the weekend. But it’s back this week – fever hit again on Friday. I know, I know, I need to go see the doctor. I was hoping that it would go away on its own but now I see it’s just not going to happen. Hello, antibiotics.

On Friday morning I was feeling relatively well so I asked my mom to drive me to New London. (Car was in the shop.) Since she didn’t want to zipguard windows, she was up for being my chauffeur. We started out at Clarke’s Hardware. I need two Father’s Day gifts, and I also picked up some grout for the bathroom that needs finishing. (Cindy Best put the tile down for me last week, now it’s my job to finish it up. But the adhesive is still a little sticky – I can move some tiles – even today.) We went to 14 Carrots to restock our skin care line, then it was off to Jack’s of New London for lunch. I love to eat at Jack’s. The food is always fresh and tasty; there’s never any doubt that you are going to get a good meal. (Some restaurants seem inconsistent – will it be a good day or a bad day in the kitchen? It’s always a good day at Jack’s.) I had the Stacked Pastrami sandwich and mom had the Ashley Salad, which was HUGE. We took a quick tour through Vessels & Jewels – which has some really awesome purses and pocketbooks, if anyone is in the market – and then went to Artisan’s to pick up another Father’s Day gift. That was it for me; my cough was back and one sinus felt like it was going to explode. Who says shopping isn’t hard work? I had to nap the rest of the afternoon.

Such a nice town

That’s what Diane and I said after our day in Warner. I had an interview at 10 a.m. with local entrepreneurs, and Diane went door to door meeting folks. We met up at Brookside to see Mary Morris and all her wonderful artwork in Woodsum Gallery‘s new location. (I couldn’t help myself and bought one of J. Ann Eldredge’s limited edition prints. It’s being framed now at New London Gallery.) My interview was with two of the nicest people, and Diane had a morning of meeting nice people. Don’t you love that? We ended our day with lunch at FootHills. My haddock sandwich was divine – I loaded on the tartar sauce – each bite was crunchy, salty and sweet. I’m still thinking about it. Anyway, get over the sandwich LJ, if you have a day with nothing to do, I highly suggest Warner. With two museums, plenty of shopping, various lunch options, and some really nice people, you’ll have a good day.

I won’t tell you who I interviewed (it’s for either the fall or the winter issue) but I will give you a mystery photo. You might be able to figure out who it is?

A big, big mural

What is 3 feet tall and 24 feet long and absolutely impossible to photograph? Chip Evan’s mural hanging above the fireplace in the dining hall at Camp Coniston in Croydon.

Chip and Coniston campers worked on the one-of-a-kind mural last year, and the result is outstanding. Four panels depict the camp throughout the seasons. (Chip, who lives nearby, took about 50 different photos at different times of the year.) Kids painted themselves in, choosing the colors of their shirts and even a location: one camper wanted to be climbing the tower! It sounds like a fun project for the kids at Camp Coniston, and something they’ll remember for a lifetime.

I tried to take a few photos of the mural, but really it is impossible for a non-pro. I can’t capture how the sky (and the water) reflects the seasons, or how the brilliant colors of fall fade to brown and later ease into the cool white of winter. You’ll have to go to Chip’s Web site at to see a portion of the mural (fall) or support Camp Coniston ( by buying a print.