Autumn Hikes

There is no better time to experience New Hampshire than in the fall.  The hiking is perfect…spectacular colors, warm air with just enough of a chill to be comfortable, and best of all no bugs! If you are looking for a family friendly hike, Mount Cardigan is a great choice. It is officially labeled an “easy hike,” but the rocky trail provides enough of a challenge to promote a good work-out. For hikers with children (or those taking a leisurely stroll) the trek up will take about an hour. Take heart though, the views are worth every moment!


Halloween Shorts


By Susan Cunningham

We thought we had forever, but the war ended it all. Jonathan left with a promise to return, so I waited and let hope fill the emptiness inside. At night, I roamed the empty rooms of our home, overcome by echoes of happiness.

Approaching dust on the road signaled the arrival of our loved ones. Soldier after soldier passed by; their uniforms tattered and their eyes lost behind whatever horrors had befallen them.  I watched until the lines ended and hope abandoned me.

I remember little since that day. Sanity has a way of protecting itself against the sword of grief, so the missing memories feel like a gift, not a curse.

Footsteps haunt my life. They echo throughout our home like claps of thunder rolling across the sky. At first, I was elated at the sounds, assuming my beloved had escaped the barrier of death to return.

Now, I fear them. I know they will come, but I’m powerless to stop the approach, powerless to stop the emptiness they bring.

Tonight, the dread in my heart is unbearable.  The fireplace has died down to embers of cold light, but I dare not stoke it.

Muffled sounds begin in the distance.  I close my eyes, frozen to all but the noise while it moves closer.  The stairs creak…the fifth stair is always the loudest.  A crack from an ember breaks the paralysis holding me. The door swings open and a breeze flows through the air.   I stand to face the shadow crouched before the fireplace.

The room illuminates to reveal dim forms, and I see a man tending the fire. His hair is cropped in a strange manner, his clothes awkward in appearance.

I run to the door and reach for the handle, but my hand is transparent. The man stands, and I close my eyes just before he walks through me.  The haunting ghost of truth has caught me once again.

The room burns with memories not my own. I am surrounded by the unfamiliar set about the home I once shared with my love.  The stranger drinks from a wine glass and settles into bed, unaware of my presence.

The protective barrier around my sanity collapses. I am empty, a hollow shell of only painful memories. My body has long since crumbled to dust, my substance a distant recollection. I know why I dread the footsteps…they bring memories I long to forget; emptiness of a life without Jonathan;  hope as I stepped off the cliff to the jagged rocks below; then despair as death itself kept me from my beloved.

Morning will be here soon, bringing nothingness until the night calls to me. But, the nothingness fades; it teases me until the lingering sense of dread returns and the footsteps haunt me.

9-22-2013 Dear Clouded Sunshine

So proud of my niece for turning a painful event for her and her son into an opportunity to help others. Through attempts like hers to spread the knowledge of mitochondrial diseases, a cure or successful treatment may be found.

Dear Clouded Sunshine

We had such a week little bug.  It was very exciting and fun for the both of us.  Our Mito Awareness booth did phenomenally, and we got to meet many very strong and amazing people.  Mommy even answered questions that Doctors asked!  Who knew that the hospital psychiatric ward cleaner actually knew a few things ;-).  You had fun fun fun!  There was lots of running and smiling, and your friend Theresa watched the Mickey mouse with you! You sort of wrecked our craft table, but that’s okay, it was cute!


You stealing all the foam boards for the stickers…

The rest of the week went pretty well, you’ve been very happy.  Your cousin, Jessie, came out from California and gave you the cutest little bear toy, and a GIANT mickey mouse from your great aunt and uncle. It’s almost your birthday ya know…2 years old…so special, its gone…

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Fall Favorites Series

NH Highland Games

Weekends during the fall are busier than the summer!  The weather is a perfect combination of sun and crisp fall air mixed with seasonal favorites.

Every September, the NH Highland Games takes place at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, NH.  A ski resort in the winter, the mountain provides an inspiring back drop for the games. The festival boasts a vast collection of Scottish Clans coming together for a weekend of competition, merchants, music, food, and drink.  Bag pipes and drums echo throughout the mountains, bringing a haunting mood to the already mystical White Mountains.

Fish and chips, meat pie, sausages, and, of course, haggis are only a few of the options available. The scent of roasting meats flows through the market sparking an insatiable drive to eat almost everything in site (except the haggis-sorry can not “stomach” it). The mountainside fills with spectators watching beefy men in kilts toss cabers and carry huge stones farther than should be humanly possible.  The fields next to the competitors are filled with merchants selling everything Scottish. Kilts, swords, jewelry, and beautiful hand made crafts provide for a shopper’s paradise.

I am truly grateful to live in such a beautiful area!

Exploring Local Treasures

This weekend’s journey was to Odiorne Point State Park on the seacoast of New Hampshire.  The park differs from the main attractions along the shoreline. Here, you will not find sandy beaches stuffed to capacity with people toting blankets, coolers, and beach chairs. Odiorne Point is simple, natural, and a refreshing  change from the typical beach experience.

The park offers serenity combined with a myriad of tide pools teaming with sea shells, ocean kissed rocks, and the occasional crab scurrying about. The views are breathtaking, and the dozens of cairns add an almost mystical feel to the beach.