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Best Time of the Year

Carrying Your Weather with You

'Karen and Jay share thoughts on this wonderful time of year and appreciating the good in every day.’

This is such a wonderful time of year. The weather is great, the days are still getting longer, staying light later and we have the whole summer to look forward to. So, in many ways, this is the best time of the year. Or is it? Some will say that fall in New England is simply the very best. Others of us love the winter. But the truth is that any time of year – and really any day – can be the very best – if you have the ability to ‘carry your weather with you.’ In other words, if you can be the master of your emotions and see sunshine every day.

And, right now, summer is officially upon us. With the passing of Memorial Day and the summer equinox just around the corner, we’re approaching the longest day of the year! I’m sure some of you are looking forward to the summer heat, while others can’t wait until the coolness of fall comes back around. Regardless of what season it is, each one gives us an opportunity to appreciate what it has to offer, or even appreciate the things we like most about other seasons. Perhaps you love the heat, and the outdoor activities summer brings with it, or you prefer the crisp temperature’s that fall brings, or the snow of winter to hit the slopes. No matter the season, each one provides us with a unique perspective that gives clarity, a chance to plan, and the ability to practice gratitude.

But how is it that seasons can do all that, even when it’s summer when we prefer fall or vice versa? Well as any farmer will tell you, spring is for planting, summer is for nurturing, autumn is for harvesting, and winter is for rest and rebirth. Just the same for each of us, each season, whether it’s our favorite or not, is a moment in time where we can take specific actions that help us learn, grow, and achieve. This is where gratitude comes in. With each season, we’re allowed a chance to not only be grateful for what we have in the moment, but for what we have to look forward to in the future. Each season gives us a different opportunity that we wouldn’t be afforded during another part of the year. For example, during the height of winter, I’ve found myself saying I’d really appreciate some summer air. However, without the absence of summer, would I truly appreciate it? The same metaphor often works in life.

This is where the seasons play a powerful role in our lives. They shift and they change, just as we do. We might lament the heat or criticize the snow, but we can use these moments to benefit ourselves, plan, take action, and practice gratitude for what we have or what we have to look forward to. Whether we choose to do so is completely up to us, however. As someone once told me, each fall is not the same as the previous one and every winter eventually comes to an end. When put into practice, we allow ourselves to take a larger perspective on the ebbs and flows of life, preparing us to face challenges or celebrate long sought victories. So, if you’re a summer person, I hope you’re able to be present at every turn, savoring each moment that is now upon us. And if you’re not that’s ok too, there’s still much to look forward to. It works both ways.

100 Things You Should Do to Know the Real New Hampshire!

What makes New Hampshire, New Hampshire? Is it the buckets hanging on maple tree taps, covered bridges, or Old Home Days? With so much variety in landscapes ranging from mountains, lakes, rivers, and ocean fronts, how can one experience the real New Hampshire?

Long-time New Hampshire Agricultural Commissioner, newspaperman, and farmer Steve Taylor asked this in the 1990’s when he thought about what makes New Hampshire special. He realized that there were multiple things one can do to experience the real New Hampshire, and he made a list of 100 things for the 1996 class of Leadership New Hampshire (LNH).

The list encompassed the entire state, from Moose Alley in Pittsburg to Hampton Beach. Examples included: Visiting a dairy farm, going to a county fair, riding a snowmobile, picking berries and apples at a local farm, heading up to the top of Mount Washington, finding a purple finch (the state bird), or volunteering at a community transfer center for a weekend.

Along with this list came an enticing challenge, whoever was the first person to complete 60 of the 100 tasks would be taken out to dinner by Taylor and his wife. Additionally, there were rules to this challenge. To prove that a task had been completed, one had to provide receipts or pictures related to that particular task.

A friend and neighbor of Taylor, and member of the LNH 1996 class, Margaret Drye took her seven kids around the state from September ‘95 until June ‘96 checking off the list. Drye was the first to finish the challenge, and showed up at Taylor's house, complete with receipts and photos documenting their amazing family adventure and of course to accept her prize.

Wanting to share this experience with the rest of New Hampshire, Taylor published his ‘100 Things to do to Know the Real New Hampshire’ in the January 1997 edition of the New Hampshire Legacy magazine, with Drye introducing the list with stories of her adventures.

As happens, things have changed around the state in the last quarter-century, a fact not lost on Taylor. In 2021, he revised the list for New Hampshire Magazine. As you look for interesting and fun things to do this summer, check out the new list for inspiration 100 Things You Should do to Know the Real New Hampshire. And hopefully, you will get to know the real New Hampshire…just like the Drye family!

Destination … The WOW Trail

Imagine connecting expansive areas of New Hampshire via a trail for cyclists, walkers, runners, and other outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy – unencumbered. Thus, the WOW Trail – the Winnisquam-Opechee-Winnipesaukee Trail.

First conceptualized as the Lakes Region NH Bikeway System in 1982 by the Lakes Region Planning Commission and the City of Laconia, the WOW Trail, Belmont’s Winnisquam Scenic Trail, Tilton/Franklin’s Winnipesaukee River Trail, the Weirs Action Committee, and the Greater Meredith Program are partners in a renewed regional trail effort that will one day transform the State of New Hampshire’s owned railroad corridor in the Lakes Region into a spectacular, year-round public recreation space for residents and visitors to enjoy—ultimately connecting Meredith, Weirs Beach, Lakeport, Downtown Laconia, Belmont, Tilton & Franklin with NH’s Northern Rail Trail.

Back in 2003, City Councilor Fred Toll, Allan Beetle and others got together and formed LTREC (Laconia Trails and Rails Exploratory Committee.) Beetle’s interest goes further back than that as when younger, he used to live along the railroad right away and would mountain bike alongside it.

Eventually the effort became known as the Winnisquam-Opechee-Winnipesaukee Trail or the WOW Trail. Fundraising was done and in 2010, a grand opening took place to celebrate the first phase of 1.3 miles. It offers access to the Laconia Public Library, views of Lake Opechee, and the Freighthouse Museum, where visitors can learn about the area’s railroad past and view historical artifacts.

It slowly gained in popularity with the second phase of the WOW Trail opening in the fall of 2016 and continues the trail from downtown Laconia’s train station, past Pitman’s Freight Room, and Laconia’s Bartlett Beach to the Belmont town line where it meets with Belmont’s Winnisquam Scenic Trail at Belmont’s Leslie Roberts Beach. This Belmont section winds through the woods and offers picturesque views of Lake Winnisquam. Together, Phases 1 & 2 of the WOW Trail and Belmont’s Winnisquam Scenic Trail offer users nearly 4.5 miles of continuous rail trail with wonderful opportunities to stop for a picnic, swim, or venture off the trail to shop and grab a snack or lunch at one of downtown Laconia’s many wonderful restaurants and shops along the way.

In 2018 Alta Planning was selected to study the pros and cons of extending the WOW trail next to the railroad track along Paugus Bay, or in place of those tracks. This will include analyzing the economic impact to the region and the state based on the current use of the rail system versus having a trail from Weirs Beach to Franklin in place of a rail system. And assessing recreation, transportation and health benefits that might be realized from a completed rail trail.

Staying true to its mission, which is to promote, design and maintain a nine-mile recreational path through the City of Laconia as a part of the regional rail track network that will one day connect Weirs Beach to Franklin – the WOW Trail has become a unifying landmark and point of pride for the City of Laconia. Learn more at The Wow Trail

Positive Profile of the Week: Tom Griffith

This week we are delighted to highlight a New Hampshire legend – a leading personality in our state’s media for many years, Tom Griffith.

I first got to know Tom nearly twenty-five years ago when I was running for Governor in 1998, and Tom was the lead anchor at WMUR TV, Channel 9 in Manchester. I developed a great admiration and warmth for Tom – as an honest, smart and fair reporter. He just announced his retirement this past week and he will be greatly missed.

Here’s a fun question: What do Jack Hannah, Bill Clinton, and John Travolta all have in common? They are people who over the years have had interactions with Tom Griffith in New Hampshire. This past week Tom signed off for the final time from WMUR after over 35 years on the air here in the Granite State. Tom’s career is as fascinating as it is long, and he has been honored many times over the years for his excellence in journalism and broadcasting. For decades he has been the face viewers saw every night informing them of the happenings in New Hampshire from the Seacoast to the White Mountains.

Tom grew up in western Pennsylvania, just outside Pittsburgh, where he was a star athlete, captaining his high school championship football team. He also distinguished himself as a leader at a young age, being elected President of the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils. Then, graduating from the University of Delaware and on to a 45-year career in the broadcasting industry.

Before starting with WMUR in 1988, Tom was working in Ohio, where he hosted “Discover Columbus,” a show that often featured animals from the local zoo which happened to be run by the now celebrity animal-expert, Jack Hannah also known by many as Jungle Jim. Upon coming to New Hampshire, Tom co-hosted ‘New Hampshire Chronicle’ and soon thereafter went on to anchor on the nightly news. Famously, in that role, Tom was the first person in the media to press then Governor Bill Clinton on the rumors circulating about him, making national headlines and eventually impacting his Presidency.

Tom is so well known that he’s even been offered parts in movies - eventually even playing himself in ‘True Colors’ with John Travolta!

I want to wish Tom the very best in his retirement. New Hampshire is losing an icon, a giant in our state’s media landscape, and a man of true integrity. Thank you, Tom Griffith!

Enjoying the Weather

"I've got sunshine on a cloudy day."

- Smokey Robinson, 'My Girl', 1969.

"There's no such thing as good weather or bad weather. here are just weather and your attitude towards it."

- Louise Hay.

"People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy."

- Anton Chekhov.

"I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June."

- L.M. Montgomery, 'Anne Of The Island', 1915.

"Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather."

- John Ruskin.


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