North

We went on our first road trip. Along the way we admired the view of the mountains as we continued to climb to our destination in the northern part of the state. The White Mountains National Forest is a beautiful place for those of us who are fortunate to live here.

Visiting the family plot at the cemetery was one of our goals. My mother, grandparents, aunts, and uncles are buried and memorialized there. Visiting a cemetery is part of my generation.

When I was very young, I remember my grandfather loading up his lawn mower to visit family plots and mowing the law.

Things have changed through the years, but I still find comfort knowing my loved ones are resting together in a town that they called home.

We spent the night at a hotel which we had not done in over a year. It was kind of strange not knowing who had stayed there before or how they did the cleaning. With quite a few wipes, spray and sanitizer, everything was fine, and we enjoyed our short visit.

Wood fired pizza and Belgian beer outdoors at Schilling Beer Company made a great early dinner. Schilling had a huge tent erected with tables and then individual booths set up. It was pretty creative.

Besides the help wanted signs we are now use to seeing at every business, it was the topic of conversation.

We drove to Bath to visit the Brick Store that has been there since the 1790’s, but it’s closed with no opening date in sight because of not being able to hire any employees. Another gentleman who works for one of the largest employers in the area said they hadn’t been able to hire even one person in the last year.

How bad is the employment situation? Well, the State of NH is now offering $1,000 cash incentive to anyone who goes off unemployment and goes back to work. That tells the story.

Whenever we travel to the White Mountains, the Old Man of the Mountain comes to mind. Sad to say the five granite ledges making up the profile came down in 2003.

There is, however, a small granite stone replica that stands as a road marker from Sugar Hill to Lisbon.

It was created in 1930, and it still looks good surrounded by lilacs which are the NH state flower. Why do we stop there on every visit? The artist was my grandmother’s brother, my great uncle Carl.

I can also say with a smile on my face that I have a small replica that he made for my grandparents, and it sits in my entryway.

It was a good trip with one of the highlights being a stop to see some friends that we hadn’t seen for over a year.

Although the mask requirement has been lifted for those vaccinated, we still wore our masks as a precaution. We’ve adopted the old theory that ‘you can’t be too careful’ especially indoors.

Hope this finds you all well on this Monday in June but maybe not quite as hot as we are. Who knew New England could experience 90+ degree days with real feel of 100+ the first part of June. With this wicked heat, gardening is done very early and errands, reading and sewing take up the rest of the day. Stay well and stay cool.

About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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59 Responses to North

  1. So nice that you could visit the graves of loved ones and without too many worries stay in a hotel. Lovely stone replica built by your uncle. As for the heat wave…back in the old days, when I was young, these June temps would have been unthinkable. Even the end of July and the beginning of August, it was rare for it to get that hot. Last June was exactly the same way, which is why we bought our air conditioner, dubbed Eva. So very glad we did. She makes this heat bearable. I’ll be heading out soon to finish planting before it gets too hot.

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    • I remember when I was a child on the farm with my grandparents, it would get ‘hot’ in August which was usually upper 80’s to very low 90’s but by dinner time, it would start to cool down and by bedtime, it was quite comfortable. The weather patterns have sure changed. I just looked, and it is 95ยฐ with a real feel of 102ยฐ at 1:30 in the afternoon. We’re inside with the A/C and the ceiling fans going. Eva is a good addition to the family. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Dan Antion says:

    I am glad you were able to travel. A night away, a few meals out and visiting the graves are all things I look forward to doing this summer. Your family connection to the Old Man is very nice. The heat is not something that is welcome, but we deal with it. I hope you have a good week, Judy, Stay cool.

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  3. germac4 says:

    The White Mountains National Forest looks beautiful, and how nice for you to be able to do a road trip at last, and in your own countryside. Like you I am glad my parents rest in the town they loved and called home. (we have just returned from a trip to put some flowers on their graves).
    I’m always surprised to read that you get such hot days, and as you say, everything has to be done in the early morning, but I ‘m sure you are spending your days as productively as ever!

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  4. Murphy's Law says:

    I love that your great uncle Carl is the artist of the roadside replica. That’s a nice piece of family history. The beautiful lilacs around it make a really pretty setting.

    We’re still wearing our masks when out. Better safe than sorry…..and it’s become second nature now!

    This heat is overwhelming. From one extreme to the other. I think Mother Nature is further into dementia than I originally thought. She can’t figure it out anymore. Sigh…… All I can say is, thank goodness for library books in the afternoon heat. ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ‘ In fact, I’m heading out now to water.

    Hope you take care and pace yourself when working in your beloved gardens.
    Ginger

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    • I knew my Great Uncle Carl when he had grandchildren. He and his wife were friendly, kind, and fun to be around. They would come to the farm to visit and just include me with their grands when they went places like the Old Man of the Mountain. It was always a fun time. I had no idea until I was much older, and he had passed, that he was the craftsman who created that roadside profile. I am always in awe of his skills when we visit or for that matter when I look up and see the smaller one on my shelf in the entry way. I agree, I think Mother Nature is definitely confused. ๐Ÿ™‚ We made a trip to the library this morning so there is plenty of good reading available, and for that I’m very grateful. Stay cool.

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  5. I like to visit the graves too. My mom always planted flowers in front of the gravestone. Now my niece does it as she lives close to the cemetery. We have the same weather. Yikes!

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  6. So glad you got to go on a road trip! Everything you did sounds wonderful. It’s hotter there than it is here. Businesses here are also having a hard time finding people to work.

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    • There are tons of help wanted sigs here, but I hadn’t heard of any companies/businesses that can’t open because of zero employees. This old Brick Store is a real draw for that small town. It will be a shame if it can’t open. Among other things, they sell great smoked meat, local cheeses, and fudge. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  7. Nancy says:

    How nice to experience a road trip and to visit the family cemetery. Iโ€™m going to my parents grave site today to weed. My neighbor visited their grave in April as itโ€™s my parents birthday month and the grave was all in bloom with daffodils! My Mom planted them their before she passed. ๐Ÿ’›
    And you went to a brewery! My kind of girl. What fun!
    Howeverโ€ฆ Iโ€™m sipping quite less these daysโ€ฆ Iโ€™m counting weight watchers points. I lost my Covid weight but working on some more.
    Itโ€™s HOT! I donโ€™t remember this heat until August. We didnโ€™t have air conditioning here when I was little. I guess I just went down to the lake and swam.
    Im glad you got together to see friends and to see the White Mountains! Life is starting to feel a bit more normal! Hallelujah!
    And letโ€™s pray that this Covid Relief unemployment stops and brings people back to work!
    Happy Monday Judy!

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  8. Oddment says:

    What a trip that was. Not just for the natural beauty and the pizza, but for the memories. I’m in awe of your family history of talents, and I understand more of how you come to do such gorgeous needlework. It’s in your genes! As to the heat, yes, we are similarly blessed; it’s like trying to breathe under water out there. I hope your needle and thread will keep you cool — and I’m eager to see the results of your hot-weather sewing. I hope you’ll show us!

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  9. How wonderful that you have such a unique and sentimental piece of national art created by your Great Uncle! It’s also wonderful that you’re traveling again!

    I thought I would continue wearing a mask in the grocery store, but I didn’t yesterday. I did find myself staying well away from other people though. I even stayed farther back in line than I would have pre-lockdown over Covid-19. They removed all the spacing decals on the floor so I positioned myself as if there were still a marker on the floor. There was a mix of people with and without masks on which right now I think is perfectly normal. I did notice others doing what I was doing and self-distancing. I wonder if this is our new normal? I wonder how long before hugging a friend returns? I miss that as much as faces.

    Stay cool, and I hope you have a lovely week.

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    • I do treasure that piece of granite, and as an artist yourself, I know you’d appreciate it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Your description is about what is going on here – some folks with masks, some without, some social distancing, some not. I think everyone needs to find their safety zone and the rest of us have to appreciate we’re all going to approach it just a little differently. Hugging? Now, there is something I really miss.

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  10. Eliza Waters says:

    The contrast in temps from one weekend to the next is confounding. Stay cool!

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  11. Wow I had no idea temps were that warm there. Theyโ€™ve not been too bad here (mid -upper 80โ€™s) but the air is so humid it feels like soup instead of air. Normal for here in the Ohio Valley though. Iโ€™ve been sporting a Brillo pad for hair. How cool that your uncle is the artist for that unique sculpture! I love it that you have the prototype in your home, what a great story. Here in Indiana, theyโ€™re finally lowering the unemployment back to normal, but Iโ€™ve not heard of any incentives. As far as decorating graves, it seems like I donโ€™t see as many done up like you used to when I was a kid. Enjoy your week Judy and stay cool!

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    • It’s definitely been wicked hot here. I’ve been hearing from IN friends that you’re dealing with the cicadas in a big way. I guess we all have our challenges from Mother Nature. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love that prototype too. I think back a few years, visiting a family gravesite was a sign of respect and an expression of remembrance. I think those needs have changed through the years. I am enjoying the week and trying to stay cool. ๐Ÿ™‚ You keep those paint brushes going because your spring exhibit is beautiful.

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  12. Joyce says:

    Your trip must have felt as liberating to you as my first maskless grocery store visitโ€ฆ(allowed to those vaccinated only.) I would have wiped down things in a hotel room, too, though!
    Your post had me recalling trips to the cemetery with grandma and grandpa. No lawn mower, but a tote of gardening tools, a metal basket, and fresh annuals to plant. My sisters and I lovingly helped shape the family plot into an oasis of beauty. The experience also taught us to respect and never forget those who came before us, making life easier for my own generation.

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    • Not wearing a mask in this heat where you feel comfortable is a wonderful thing. Your family trip to the cemetery describes it perfectly – respect and never forgetting. I wonder how the younger generations will feel about visiting and maintaining cemetery plots. Things change with each new generation, and I think this might be one of them. Hope you and all of your wonderful family are all well. It must be getting close to Grandma Camp which I know will be one of your best weeks of the summer.

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  13. What a great family connection! We’ll be traveling a bit soon and look forward to being in a different environment. Hubby and I still wear masks when we are out and about (at least inside), and probably will do so for a while. I do miss faces and smiles, though. Try to stay cool! We are still in the mid-60s here… I actually wish it would warm up.

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  14. Judy, after a year of isolation it seems like the world has gone road tripping. Driving through our beautiful country is good for the soul. Glad you got out and about. Enjoy your week.

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    • You are so right – ‘good for the soul.’ I know from your photos you had a really good road trip and saw some beautiful water falls. You certainly perfected your photography skills with regard to taking shots of water. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

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  15. I think it is wonderful, Judy, that your first journey out was a personal pilgrimage, and it sounds like a really nice experience!

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  16. Hurrah for the road trip. Sounds like fun. It’s 106 here today. Want to trade?? 90 here is rather nice with the low humidity. As for the employment situation, the government continues to deny that the payments, et al are causing people to not want to work. Must be the plague or something.

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    • I actually looked up your temperature yesterday to see how far off we were. Not that far. ๐Ÿ™‚ The unemployment situation here is dire, and I have deep feelings about it since I spent a good portion of my business career in Human Resources, but I’ll give you a break and stop right there. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  17. brontiesblog says:

    Wow that’s so cool road trip sounds very fun!!
    the first picture is amazing!!

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  18. Glad you had a good trip. Trying to deal with the heat same as you.

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  19. Ally Bean says:

    Thanks for taking us along on your adventure. It all looks so pretty. And delightfully normal. It’s hotter than usual here, too. It’s as if summer wants to be noticed, so get out early then lay low. I can go with that plan.

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  20. We were all set to take a mini-day trip ourselves, and then the weather here turned with endless rainy days. It’s still on our schedule for when there’s an all clear. I’m so glad you were go away. Your Great Uncle’s work is impressive, and that’s really great that it’s still there and maintained so well. My jaw dropped when I read how the state there is rewarding people to get to work. That little statistic says it all right now, doesn’t it? – Marty

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  21. What a wonderful treat this was for your first venture out post covid and with so many happy family memories and connections. In contrast to your wicked high temperatures, here it is wickedly cold today. There is a huge polar freeze moving up from the Antarctic, causing snow in the southern states. The frigid air moves north into our state bringing icy temperatures. Brrrr. It’s going to be a good day for staying inside with a blog post to work on and some crochet.

    Why is there a problem finding employees? Are there no people available or do people not want to work?

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    • Yes, stay in, keep warm, and crochet. ๐Ÿ™‚ It is a combination of both issues, and during Covid there were enhanced unemployment payments which amounted to more money to stay home than they earned to go to work. Probably no one in power foresaw what could happen after a year of staying home and being paid, but here we are, and it’s not a good place.

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      • We had the same here. There was an increase to unemployment benefits and a new payment for people who were stood down at the start of our lockdown in March last year. But those have all ended now and unemployment payments have gone back to what they were before. Amazingly, our economy is doing better than ever and the unemployment rate is at record lows. Some businesses have suffered but many are booming.

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  22. It was 101 in downtown Uxbridge at 11 this morning. Not as steamy as it could have been, but it was bad. We got a short thunderstorm late in the afternoon which helped cool it down and hopefully by the end of the week, it will be a little more normal.

    We used to take long weekends up in the White Mountains. I love mountains. I with this part of Mass was bumpier, but at least we have little hills and big rivers.

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  23. slfinnell says:

    Why is it weather always makes a grand entrance during a vacation? Must be a Murphy’s Law thing. lol

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  24. So glad you were able to travel! I donโ€™t feel masks are necessary for the vaccinated but I keep one handy because I want to make others comfortable if they want to see me wearing one. I think itโ€™s important that we respect othersโ€™ level of fear until it is truly gone…if it ever leaves completely. The garden is a truly safe place and arenโ€™t we fortunate to have that refuge?

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    • You are right, there is a wide range of being comfortable with masks or no masks among the population right now. I always have one with me. Yes, the garden has truly been a lifesaver with regard to safe exercise, communing with nature, and being without a mask through this entire pandemic. Gardening has definitely proved to a lot of new folks that it is good for the body and the soul. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  25. Karen says:

    Just think, so many people head to New Hampshire and the mountains to escape the heat. Your temps so far are way hotter than ours here in Florida. I can remember when there were years in New Hampshire when we didn’t have one heat way. I’m glad that you were able to get away and feel safe. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  26. Ju-Lyn says:

    Hurray! on your first road trip – glad that you were able to catch up with friends in such lovely surroundings.

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