life in the Kearsarge area

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

Archive for October, 2010

Trunk or treat

Hats off to Project Sunapee for a really fun (and safe) event in the Harbor. First, a costume parade from the top of the hill to Wild Goose. Then the parade switched to trunk or treat on Lake Avenue. After filling their pumpkins with goodies, kids went up the hill to the bandstand to get their fortune told and play games: donut on a string, bean bag toss, potato catapult (super cool). And there was still more:  a haunted pirate ship! (You could pick your level of horror. We went for all-out scary, and we’re still having flashbacks of the human eating cow.)

What did we like the best? This guy in the coffin. My kids weren’t sure what to make of him at first, but were high fiving him by the end of the night. Hope his back is okay today – that wooden box had to be uncomfortable!

In your grandmother’s kitchen

My Gramie Irene had a big heart. You could not enter her house without getting a bear hug. You could not sit at her table unless she fed you something. And you couldn’t leave without her pressing her hands on your cheeks, looking straight into your eyes, and saying “I love you.” (She also made you take something home – an extra box of cereal she picked up at the store, vegetables from her garden, a jar of pickles she made.)

I like to give for the sake of giving (with no need for something in return), but I’m nowhere near as open as my grandmother. (Only people who know me well know of my generosity; like any New Englander, it takes me a while to warm up to someone…but once you’re in, you’re in.) So it’s a rare treat to meet someone like my grandmother – immediately trusting, always something nice to say, and an innate desire to put a smile on someone’s face. If you’d like to know who made my month – well, my year – pick up the November issue of Upper Valley Life. I wrote an article for the shopping guide on Fernwood Farmhouse Confections in Canaan, NH – and two women who reminded me of Gramie Irene.


There once was a building

I love it when old buildings are saved. In Wilder, Vt., an old church has been restored into an events facility called the Wilder Center.

Charles T. Wilder and his brother, Herbert, came to the Upper Valley in 1882. They built the Wilder Brothers Paper Mill, located along the Connecticut River. They also built the Congregational Church of Olcott Falls as a gift to the community. It was dedicated in 1890, and remained a church – under different names – until 2008.

Lyme Properties purchased the building in 2009. After a series of meetings with the community, a decision was made to renovate the building into an events facility. The result is a really gorgeous events center; but the show piece is the George Stevens pipe organ that remains on the property. (Just look at it – it’s really to big to move!) Learn more at

Be a volunteer driver

In need of a ride? The Community Alliance of Human Services has added a new program component to its transportation services: citizen volunteers will provide rides to people in need of transportation when bus service isn’t available.

Rich Leute, coordinator for the program, wants to make sure that anyone who needs a ride can access one. Say a person isn’t comfortable using public transportation, or there’s no service to a rural area. Or maybe you get a Saturday morning appointment to see your physical therapist – but the bus doesn’t run on Saturday. This is where volunteers – trained, of course – will come in handy.

Leute encourages volunteers to join the effort; he can be reached at (603) 863-2272, ext 202. He’d also like to hear about the needs of individual riders.

Buy art, help save a barn

If you missed the auction at the Woodstock Inn, there’s still time to buy art to help save the Robinson Farm.  Sixteen New England artists from Gallery on the Green in Woodstock have painted portraits of the barn as part of the Artists for Barns event, and proceeds will go toward barn restoration. The show runs until the end of this week; you can see the paintings on

Foliage and fun

Wow! What great weather this weekend – sunny, not too hot/not too cold – perfect fall days. And the foliage wasn’t too bad…drive south a bit and you’d see quite a bit of color. On Sunday we went to the Warner Fall Foliage Festival. I have to admit that the magazine has written about this annual event before, but I had never attended. We arrived just in time for the super hero parade at 1 p.m., then made our way to the midway at 2 p.m. We bought an “all you can ride” wristband for the kids, and they made themselves nauseous by riding every single ride at least once. (My son was so dizzy after the dizzy dragon ride that he couldn’t climb down the stairs – classic!) And, of course, we gorged on hand cut french fried, corn dogs (surprisingly addictive), cotton candy, fire roasted pizza, ice cream and kettle corn. But the best part about the event? It was a wonderful community event. All of Warner participated, from the businesses that line Main Street to the hundreds of volunteers in Warner Power t-shirts. Surrounding towns sent their fire trucks for the parade, and their vendors for the arts & crafts market. Thousands of people drove, walked and took the shuttle buses down to the action in downtown Warner – and everyone was happy and polite. We decided this was one of our favorite events this year.

Best place to see foliage

Well, one of the best places! We rode the lift up Mount Sunapee this weekend. It was windier than we expected (we did bring winter hats and mittens however) but we were treated to some spectacular views of the local landscape: mountains, lakes, blue skies and orange leaves. If you ever have the chance to ride the lift (it runs during the League of NH Craftsmen fair as well as at Mount Sunapee Resort’s annual fall pig roast), you should take it…unless you are afraid of heights. Then I suggest hiking up to the top.