Saturday, March 4, 2017

Celebrating Anne

Anne, Betty, and Joe
I have been searching for a gift to celebrate my writing partnership and friendship with Anne. When I saw Blue Violet by Mary Hart, I knew I'd found the perfect piece.

Tonight, we toasted the end of winter (even though it's 6 degrees with a wind chill of –20) with a vegetarian dinner replete with delectable h'orderves by Joe and a scrumptious casserole by Anne.

Blue-Violet by Mary Hart

First home at Anne and Joe's 

P.S. Click on photos to enlarge. Mary, check out the painting over Betty's head :-)

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Uncle Allen's Gift... Twins?

Bailey's Uncle Allen sent us a look-a-like t-shirt today. Does this make us twins? Thanks, Allen! It's great to be remembered.

Click photos to enlarge

Thursday, February 9, 2017

My High School Ski Coach

Rich and Coach Herbie Adams (click to enlarge)

Last weekend during the Chisholm Ski Club's 100th Anniversary celebration, I asked my high school ski coach, US History teacher, and friend, Herb Adams, to sign the ski club's new book for our family. Three of the five Kent kids skied for Herbie in the 1960s and 1970s... during that time we landed state and New England Ski Championships.

A decade later as the ski coach, I had the pleasure of coaching Herb and Dottie's two kids, Derek and Erin. We knocked off a few championships of our own back then. Great memories with a fabulous ski family.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

My Cross-Country Ski Coach at 97 years old

On Friday evening, February 3rd, I went up to the ski area to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Chisholm Ski Club. Chummy escaped his nursing home to sign the club's new history books. For me, the moment proved special as Chummy complimented me on my work for local skiing. I have to say that I was touched. The two of us traded a few short stories about skiing in the River Valley, and then he told me how he met his late wife. Just so you know, she did not kiss him good night when he walked her home after their first date. Smart woman.
Chummy Broomhall and Rich 
Chummy far right.
Chummy racing

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Gifts from Germany

Can we open the package yet????

What do we have here?

Well, how about getting a big package of Christmas gifts in late January from Sönke Hanneken and his family? I think that has to be the best. Bailey thinks so. He landed a new pal that we've named Bailey II the Beaver. Thanks so much Hanneken Family. We'll make sure that Connie & Ben plus Brenda receive their gifts. Way too kind....

My baby... :-)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Friends for Lunch

Today, Bailey and I welcomed my friends Maja Wilson and Tom Newkirk for work and lunch. Maja is a professor at UMaine Farmington and Tom is professor emeritus at the University of New Hampshire. They worked on a book Maja is writing about assessment. Maja and I worked together at UMaine. The three of us caught up over lunch from the Rumford House of Pizza. I've know Tom since the early 1990s when I applied to UNH's graduate school. He liked the sound of my book-in-progress and end up editing that book and a follow-up book (Room 109 and Beyond Room 109) for Heinemann Education Publishers.  We also co-edited a book titled Teaching the Neglected 'R'. Tom and Maja are a couple of the good people in education. Don't forget to click on the photos below to enlarge.

Click on Photo to Enlarge
Click on Photo to Enlarge

The Mountains of My Home

Now that I've had a slew of trees taken down in my yard, including several 4-story Blue Spruce trees, I have a much improved view of the mountains of the River Valley. I still have some smaller trees to take down, and when I do, the view will be less obstructed. My late neighbor, Steve Davis, a WWII veteran, planted those Blue Spruce when he returned from Europe in the 1940s. He went on to manage a greenhouse and his wife, Mary, was the florist.

Bailey's room

I joke with people about Bailey's bedroom, but truth is, it's a good room with a great bed. Each evening he heads off to bed by himself between 9:30pm and 10:00pm. He makes his grand exit by barking at me looking for permission. "Go to bed, Bailey." And off he goes. Some nights, however, he waits for me to head up. Like an old couple, he heads into his room and I into mine. Usually he curls into a ball, but when he's just taking a quick nap during the day, he lies on his back. I know it's unusual that my dog has his own room and bed. If I have exchange students they take over the room. Then Bailey crawls into my office and sleeps on the wooden floor and wandered down into the living room to sleep on a Victorian couch. He never sleeps in my room.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Discovering Glassface

We missed the Mahoosuc Land Trust's ribbon cutting this morning, but arrived at the mountain by 2:00pm to take our inaugural hike. I parked at Hastings Landing boat launch just across Route 2 from the Rumford Center Cemetery. Created by the Mahoosuc Land Trust (MLT) and the Androscoggin River Watershed Council, Hastings Landing celebrates the life of our community friend Ann Hastings Morton.

To get to the trailhead, walk through the cemetery to an MLT sign. The first section of the trail is gradual uphill through a thin forest. The trail enters deeper woods and turns to switchbacks. Where needed, the Mahoosuc Land Trust trail builders and stewards created sturdy rock steps and drainage outlets. It's so well done.

At certain sports, the trail offers glimpses of the Androscoggin River, but at trail end, the open ledge greets you with the full Monty. Though the ledge is not quite at the summit of Glassface, those of you who are peak grabbers  won’t be disappointed.

We hiked the trail in about 60 minutes round-trip. It’s a bit like sections of Mt. Zircon or Whitecap before the open top. I leashed Bailey just before the ledge because I had visions of him sailing off the edge like Wonder Dog. (Squirrel!?)

Get up to the Glassface Trail. You’ll love it. And thanks a lot Mahoosuc Land Trust.

Photos from the trail summit.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Visiting Maggie... Bailey's Mom at 11 years old

After climbing Sunday River, we stopped by to visit his Mom, Maggie. At 11 years old, she has slowed down a bit so says her mom, but she's still a loving pup. She and Bailey roamed the yard a bit and I worked to get photos. In America, the average Bernese Mountain Dogs lives to the age of 6.5 to 7 years old. It's usually cancer or hip dysplasia that brings about their demise. Not much fun to think about, but I was heartened to see Maggie doing so well.

Mother Maggie 
"Where's Mom?" 
Bailey (l) and Maggie (r) 

Exploring the yard

Mother and son. 


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Life with Bailey

This afternoon, I took Bailey to the ski area for a hike. We go there several times a week during the spring, summer, and fall. There's a trail race at Black Mountain tomorrow, so I figured the 15 or 20 cars in the parking lot belonged to race volunteers. Because Bailey's somewhat clumsy with his greetings, I led him away from the lodge and up through the cross-country ski stadium to the alpine slopes. As always, I put my head down and started motoring up the mountain. Within seconds I heard "HEY!" I looked up and then to the right. A wedding party… the bride in a white flowing dress, her attendants in a subtle color I can’t quite name, the groomsmen in their shiny tuxedoes, and, romping amongst them all, a big smiling mountain dog welcoming everyone to his mountain.

My mother raised five kids, and she used the word “mortified” a good deal with us. Now, I know the word’s true meaning.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sabbatical Hiking

Over the first 2 weeks of my sabbatical, I've enjoyed sustained writing time in the morning and hikes on most afternoons. I've even done a bit of painting and mowed the lawn; I also dropped out of a couple of speeches and travel opportunities in hopes that I can find my writer self again. I'm still a bit jittery about time and keep waiting for some outside assignment from the University.  So far, my friends at UMaine have respected my time away.

Recently, I hiked Black Mountain to take pictures of the new trails. These photos and the link to my complete Facebook page album will give an idea of the mountain's expansion.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Aunt Connie & her Luke

This morning my friend and neighbor Connie came by with her grandson, Luke. Talk about a cute couple. I picture the years ahead when Luke calls out, "We're going to Memere's!" Such things to be. 

Connie & Luke

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Seminar in Poetry Writing

How lucky am I to spend time with dedicated poet-teachers? That's right: very. We read and wrote, revised and revised some more. What's most fun about teaching a seminar such as this one? The variety of themes and ideas that surface from the poets involved.