Happy Fall!

There is a small window of time to enjoy fall in New Hampshire. It is something that requires a tiny bit of planning – the last thing you want to do is look at a mountain filled with varying shades of brown. If there was ever a time to get out there and act like a tourist today was that day. Sweet Z and I got in the car and went…but not before I stressed out over which route would prove to be the most colorful, relaxing and bursting with color as we drove on. 

My lesson of the day (and lesson in life which I am reminding myself of often): have a loosely scheduled plan and let the rest just fall into place however it may land. Sure, there will be surprises, disappointments, successes and failures along the way. Today was a great example of letting the fall winds take you where they may and trust that where you end up is exactly where you should be.

Sweet Z and I started out on our adventure. I, of course, had researched some small fall treats that we would happen upon on my initial route. We stopped in Bath, NH for dark chocolate fudge with caramel and sea salt – amidst the other throngs of tourists, in huge tour buses, at The Brick House shop. They did not have any of that particular kind of fudge today. But they did have smoked pepperoni which we I picked up for a snack as we meandered down the road. The next stop…Harman’s Cheese Shop!

We sampled all of their cheeses to be sure we were choosing the right one. Yes, we will take a block of your 4 aged cheddar, please! And, yes, I may have picked up a cider donut too…just to see if they were on par with my grandmother’s donuts. Pretty tasty! We continued on over the windy roads, turning here and there as the sun continued to do her part and shine a path for us to follow. We ended up on a small dirt road, not unlike other roads in New Hampshire, and we happened upon a special home. The view from the front porch…

 

Yes! Sweet Z and I toured The Frost Place in Franconia, read the famed poems displayed in the house and in back on the poetry trail, and looked in the barn at the pictures of past Dartmouth fellows. Robert Frost and his family surely had a beautiful view come fall!

Our journey at this point was up in the air. Before I knew it we happened upon The Horse and Hound Inn…and oh my goodness…if any spot could sweep you in and make you feel warm and welcoming upon arrival, this place did just that! The beautiful interior, and the lively brunch crowd. Say no more, we will take a table for two please! We dined on eggs – Oprah eggs – over spinach and artichoke bottoms with a hollandaise sauce (decadent!) for me, chicken marsala crepes for Sweet Z and cups of delicious coffee for both…a perfect fall brunch! Sadly, I did not get pictures of this gorgeous spot, the gracious innkeepers, or the fabulous grounds – however, I feel it will not be my last visit!

At this point we were meandering on Route 116 towards Route 25 but happened upon a one lane dirt road…one with steep grades and one that I knew Sweet Z would have a blast driving over. Perhaps it was the flatness of the Atlanta roads he drove on in his youth…but give this man a dirt road with curves, hills, and sweeping vistas? He turns into an Indy race car driver! I was thankful that there was not any snow on the ground. The view…

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…”

We happened upon two bobcats playing…but my camera only caught the image of one…

As the sun was sinking lower in the sky we found our way home. Days like this make me grateful, gracious, and thankful for the place in which I live, and mindful of everyone in my life who continues to inspire me in various ways, day after day. Happy Fall! Stay tuned – I have a great cioppino recipe for you to warm you up for the chilly nights ahead! Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!

To Earthward

Love at the lips was touch
As sweet as I could bear;
And once that seemed too much;
I lived on air

That crossed me from sweet things,
The flow of – was it musk
From hidden grapevine springs
Down hill at dusk?

I had the swirl and ache
From sprays of honeysuckle
That when they’re gathered shake
Dew on the knuckle.

I craved strong sweets, but those
Seemed strong when I was young;
The petal of the rose
It was that stung.

Now no joy but lacks salt
That is not dashed with pain
And weariness and fault;
I crave the stain

Of tears, the aftermark
Of almost too much love,
The sweet of bitter bark
And burning clove.

When stiff and sore and scarred
I take away my hand
From leaning on it hard
In grass and sand,

The hurt is not enough:
I long for weight and strength
To feel the earth as rough
To all my length.

Robert Frost

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