These Mountains

I never considered myself to be an outdoorsy kind of person, but this place has changed me for the better.

I’m sitting in an Adirondack chair on my deck, splintered from pelting snowstorms all winter. It’s the middle of July, but a crisp October-like air has raised the hair on my arms. 


These mountains sleep like bears during winter. The only sound I hear is the skis. They snore, gliding along the ice. Everything else is quiet. Green moss and wildflowers hibernate beneath the white blanket of snow, which muffles conversations along the trails.


The dogs are both resting at my feet. My family is sleeping inside – a modest space of brick and mortar for skiing. I didn’t notice what amazing things lingered beneath the snow when we purchased it.

In the summer, the mountains wake to play.

I hold coffee between my palms, watching the steam dance against the morning light that creeps between the trees. I breathe in the nutty aroma and wait for it to cool. Branches whisper to each other as the creek meanders along the limestone bed beneath it. Shadows shrink as the sun ascends from behind the trees, reflecting light off the gravel. In the distance, trucks ramble along the switchbacks only passing through, never stopping. They don’t know what they’re missing. Neither did I.

Up close, the mountains are a mix of greenery and jutting rocks. If you look between the trees, you see the green carpet that covers the ground and maybe even the occasional animal darting back and forth. But from a distance, the mountains look like turquoise ocean waves when sunlight strikes them. Closer ones are more vibrant and the ones farther back and closer to the sun are washed in light.

Any minute, Husband will clank his cup against the counter, then splash a bit of creamer in and pour his coffee. Kids will forage for food in the pantry, knocking over boxes and rustling wrappers. Dogs will click their toenails merrily against the floor. Toaster will pop. Cartoons will sing.

There is an unexpected energy that ebbs and flows between the hills and valleys: one that reveals what’s truly important.

There is no rush to go to dance practice or work or the grocery store. No pushing or shoving or arguing over toys. No frustration. No stress. We are disconnected, yet connected to each other and to something higher. 

Photo courtesy of


Call me Crazy.

I think there is a reasonably good possibility that I’m crazy.   Certifiably insane.  

The reason, you ask?  For starters,  I’m pregnant.  On top of that,  my daughter just started preschool,  I’m trying to finish my book,  I just accepted a new job and I’m feverishly trying to make time to keep my house in order and put some kind of food on the table each day (sometimes I seriously praise Baby Jesus for boxed macaroni).  And now,  to top off my hectic schedule,  we bought a puppy.

No, wait… We bought a shoe – destroying,  rug-biting, nighttime-crying, sad-eye- giving, water-bowl-spilling, clumsy, muddy puppy.

The only words that have left my lips in the last 4 days have been,  “no, Sven!”  Seriously.

He especially seems to be fond of flip flops and my brown shag rug,  which he eats like strings of spaghetti.  But he also prefers all my other dog’s toys to those of his own and he really loves to nibble on my daughter’s pretty hair while she eats her breakfast.

My other dog: a 9 year old fuzzball who has serious anxiety issues and a strong preference to do things her own way can’t seem to figure out where he came from,  why he’s here and when he’s planning on hitting the road.  So far,  she’s not much of a fan.

Needless to say,  between my already hectic schedule and the puppy needing constant surveillance,  the dishes in my sink are reaching new heights,  my floors are covered in a sticky substance that I haven’t figured out yet and the laundry is threatening to swallow me whole.  I have new gray hairs and haven’t left the house for anything that wasn’t “necessary” in almost a week.   But I am so completely smitten with my clumsy ball of fur.  He gives incredible hugs, sweet kisses and endless, pure love.

He follows me everywhere and, even though I trip over his gigantic paws more than once a day,  I love his companionship.   He’s wonderfully innocent and aloof and he’s perfect just the way he is. 

I love him.