Sacred Objects

Like Farmgirls everywhere, The Mountain Farmgirl  tries to ‘Be Prepared’ and ready for almost any emergency … but her “Go Bag” by the door has some most unexpected items! Please join her as she shares some of its more unusual contents!

Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc in the northeast recently, and many folks found themselves displaced from their homes during emergency evacuations. Fortunately, living in the mountains has many  advantages …  especially when it comes to flooding.  Although the Ellis River came mighty close to our inn, (too close for comfort, in fact), we remained ‘high and dry’ and out of harm’s way. Yet a few hundred feet away the rest of our town got clobbered. Roads collapsed, bridges washed away, mud- and landslides cut people off from the rest of civilization.  It all got me thinking more about being prepared.

Preparedness has always been my middle name. Years ago I was sitting in a restaurant, when someone remarked that they desperately needed a 3-to-2 prong adapter plug for their laptop.  No problem! I just happened to have one in my purse, and pulling it out of my bag, Mary- Poppins-style, I managed to save the day!

As a young mother I always had my magic bag of mom-tricks ready for any contingency. From snacks, to books, a sweater, game or favorite toy, I was ready for whatever might be needed whenever the occasion arose.  I was recently cleaning out an old backpack of mine, and lo and behold … what did I find? ‘Space Guy’!!  ‘Space Guy’ was a tiny little action-type astronaut figure that belonged to my youngest son Joshua.  We bought it for him when we took the family to the Kennedy Space Center when he was less than 2 years old. Josh adored him, and ‘Space Guy’ was always at my beck and call during church services, at the grocery store, wherever his magic might be needed. My motto back then?  ‘Don’t leave home without him’!
In our family car (‘still don’t have one of my own … part of that ongoing ‘Simple Living’ experiment), I keep a book, some travel games and my recorder. By recorder, I mean the musical instrument, not the voice recording device.  Whenever I get caught in traffic, no matter where I am, I just pull it out - along with a music book - from under the seat and start playing!  It beats cursing the delay and getting all hot and bothered, and I always feel so happy and centered after playing some music. Being prepared can turn all kinds of emergencies into opportunities.  I remember during a holiday many years ago, there was a storm that grounded airplanes for days on end. Thousands of people spent their holidays cooped up at airports all over the country. I remember seeing on the news that some creative, “lemonade”-type folks brought out their guitars and led Christmas Carols; a storyteller enthralled bored and angry passengers for a time, magically transporting them from the crowded airport to the world of their imaginations  … Yes, emergencies can bring all sorts of unexpected things, not all of them bad!

Then there was Y2K. Yes, I admit it: I was a Y2K-er. I will be forever embarrassed  big-time about this one, nor will I ever live it down in the annals of family history, but HAD it happened, mind you, I would have been prepared for a decade of good living, and could have saved half the county along with me!  Ha! There is real comfort in self-sufficiency and preparedness. Back when we lived on our solar powered homestead in New York State, we hardly even noticed –let alone were inconvenienced by --  occasional power outages. We cooked and heated with wood, had a hand pump for backup water and a pantry practically the size of a Whole Foods market. Power Outage, you say? Bring it on!!  Things are different these days at our inn.  Somehow upscale, paying guests don’t have that survivalist mindset … but still, I continue to be ready for most contingencies.

Perhaps I will write a blog one day about what emergency stuff you really  need to have on hand when any sort of disaster strikes. It will talk about things like first aid supplies, food, water, meds, tools, blankets and the like. But today I want to talk about what I would want to save from my home if I had to leave suddenly and might never return.  This hit home for me during Hurricane Irene, because many people I know – right down the road even -- had to be evacuated from their homes.  Besides the kids and the neighbors, the pets and the “go-Bags” of emergency supplies, what else would a Farmgirl grab on her way out the door?

Sacred Objects, of course! What are Sacred Objects?  We all have them … they’re those irreplaceable, priceless gems imbued  with untold sentimental value  -- Things that no one else would look at twice, but tangible memories of special People, Places and Events that mean more to us than all the tea in China.  Here are a few of mine:

1. My Wedding Certificate

When my husband and I got married 9 years  after we graduated from college, we were of the Quaker faith, and married ourselves in the company of family and friends in a Friends Meeting House. (No ... we didn’t have a pastor, and yes, it IS legal!). Everything about our wedding was old-fashioned and authentic, including the wedding certificate I hand-lettered and illustrated, using the traditional wording that Quakers have used for centuries. (I created another one this year for my son Chris’ wedding to Elizabeth). Everyone at our wedding (and his) signed the certificate, a beautiful reminder of the special people who shared in that wondrous day. Incredibly, looking at their signatures written  34 years ago now,  43 of the original 98 guests have passed on.  This wedding certificate is definitely one of my Sacred Objects.


2. The Wooden Figurines

These strange and primitive little carvings measure a mere 4 ¾  inches high but they live tall in my heart and mean the world to me. Their paint is faded and I have no idea who carved them, when they were made or even where … but they have a very interesting story. My mother grew up near my husband’s mother, and all their lives they were Best Friends. Throughout their school years they did everything together (and were eventually even the Maids of Honor in each other’s weddings!).  When they were in high school, however, they had a favorite teacher named Mrs. Brooks. She was a wonderful woman who became a very special friend – actually, more like a member of our family. (She lived until 1 day shy of her 100th birthday!).  But when our mothers were still in school, they decided once to get something for Mrs. Brook’s birthday. One day during recess they walked downtown, money in hand, and went to the local variety store where they found these wooden figurines. My mom bought her the little woman, and my husband’s mother bought her the little man. They must have touched Mrs. Brooks in some way, too, as she kept them all those years, long after she retired from teaching, and long after my husband’s mother had died at age 26. As part of our wedding gift (probably the most important one of all), she passed them on to us, along with that very sweet story. For the last 34 years they have traveled with me wherever I have lived.  They usually reside on the kitchen windowsill. If my husband and I have had a fight, sometimes the figurines stand back to back; when something especially sweet passes between us, the old man and the old woman stand side by side, almost holding hands!

3. Cradle

This cradle was made for my children, but it is destined to be a family heirloom that will hopefully be a safe little nest for future grandchildren and great-grandchildren in years to come. It was artfully made by a close friend of ours, Sam, who was originally my husband’s college roommate, and who is today like an uncle to our children. Sam’s father was VP of Tiffany’s in New York many years ago. Tiffany’s used to have a whole woodworking shop in their basement, filled with exotic woods, out of  which they would fashion the silver chests for brides-to-be when they ordered their silverware patterns. In today’s world it comes as no surprise that this is no longer done. Decades ago, when Tiffany & Company decided to clean out the basement,  Sam’s father purchased all  the wood for $1. As a talented woodworker, Sam made us a mahogany cradle when I was expecting our first child, Andrew. I wood-burned all our children’s names and birth dates on the bottom. I know it’s large, but this sacred object which held all my babies, is going to make it out the door through heck or high water!  I’ll put all my other sacred objects in it, or if need be, I’ll get in it myself and paddle my way out the door! (Did anyone ever see the movie “The Secret of Roan Innish”?) That will be me!

4. The China Pig

My great-grandmother, Harriet Lucy Shepard, came to America with her new husband (John Tolley) when she was a very young bride. They came from England where she had been a housekeeper for a prominent family. (Rumor has it that this woman’s parting advice to my great-grandmother was to “Keep your mouth shut and your bowels open”! Perhaps there is wisdom there !!). Anyway, my great-grandparents had less than $10 between them, though rich in hopes for their future life together. They also carried 7 tiny china pigs she brought with her from her home town of Todmorden. I can only think that they were small, affordable remembrances of her birthplace, and in bringing them to the ‘new world’, she placed all her hopes and dreams of a good life. Through hard work and good living, her dreams came true. My great-grandmother had seven children, and eventually she gave one pig to each of them. I have the one that was passed down from my grandfather to my mother. On it is the Coat of Arms of the Todmorden  Burrough Council, whose motto is : “By industry we prosper.”  This has also been my motto in life and has served me well.  This little pig (pigs, by the way, have always been one of my favorite animals) is definitely one of my Sacred Objects.

5. Sacred Rocks

I was convinced for many years that my youngest son Josh would be a geologist.  Like myself, he finds rocks of all sorts fascinating, and has always brought me the special little ‘finds’ he comes upon in his ‘travels’.  He continues to do this to this very day (he is about to turn 15), and I have magnanimous little collections of sacred stones that he has given to me over the years, many of which have become sacred objects to me.  Like pieces of music that can bring back memories of places and events in a flash, I can look at some of his offerings and remember, “That was the stone he found for me in the stream when we had that picnic” … or “This one came from the trip we took to PA.” … One of my favorite is a heart shaped rock that has another heart shape of a different mineral embedded in it … “This is both of our hearts”  8-year old Josh had told me as he presented it to me many years ago …  A rare South African diamond couldn’t mean more to me!

6. Miss Donna Rita

When I was a little girl, my mom made us delightful homemade things all the time … from Poodle skirts, to Christmas stockings, to homemade sweaters.  For every occasion we always got something wonderful from our mother. One year for my birthday it was a homemade doll wearing a patchwork dress, with a miniature doll just like her in the pocket. She was wonderful, and we immediately became fast friends. I named her Miss Donna Rita (where that name came from I will never know!). I had her practically forever, and she was loved threadbare like the Skin Horse in the Velveteen Rabbit. One Christmas however, (this is a vivid memory), I remember kissing her and saying ,”Good bye Miss Donna Rita” … and uncharacteristically, I threw her into the garbage … an act I have always regretted. How I wish my mom had rescued her from such a cruel fate, but there you have  the truth. Whatever posessed me to do such a thing, I cannot imagine. And then one year – for my 30th birthday,  was a box from my mother which I opened with utter abandon!  In it was Miss Donna Rita!!! – well, not the original, but an exact replica!  My mother still had the pattern, and made me another, knowing how much I missed her.  I still have Miss Donna Rita the Second, and I love her as much as the First! (maybe even more).

7. The Mystery Gift

It was a difficult Christmas that year. I’m not even sure what year it was, but times were tight and it had been a hard year in more ways than one. For this Mountain Farmgirl, it had been one of those “uphill climbs” in my marriage that year, and there was a lot of tension. My kids had been sick during the holidays, and I had made everyone some homemade gifts, meager as they were.  I remember there was not a lot of joy, but we tried our best. For me though, a person who says she doesn’t like or need physical things, not getting ANYTHING to open that year actually hurt. ‘Poor me’ I whined internally to myself. ‘ Nobody remembered to get me anything’.  As everyone was opening their gifts, my little daughter, who must only have been about 4 years old at the time, somehow 'zoomed in' on what was going on in my heart.  She quickly ran upstairs, and had something hidden behind her back when she reappeared.  Taking one of the crumpled wrappings from an already opened gift, she quickly ‘wrapped’ the treasure in her hand and gave it to me with a genuine “Merry Christmas Mom, I love you!”.  As I opened it, I felt the emotion that still wells up inside me as I write this today. My gift was beautiful!!  I wasn’t really sure what it was, but that didn’t matter. It was a bit of “sewing” that my always-artistic little girl had done on her own in odd moments, bits of fabric imperfectly sewn together into a magnificent offering worthy of giving to Jesus himself!  I was overcome.  It was the best present I have possibly ever received, and it certainly is a Most Sacred Object to me.

8. The Painting

This painting is definitely another of my sacred objects. It was given to me by my father many, many years ago. It is not a “good” painting, as far as paintings go; it is not fine art -- but I love it more than any Rembrandt.  I have looked at it for many years.  Do you see the clearing through the trees? That is “my” place … and I have gone there countless times throughout my life. I have pitched a tipi there in my mind; I have built my very own ‘tiny house’ there.  I have ‘gone’ there just to sit and ‘be’ and listen to my thoughts.  It is my very own mental/emotional ‘real estate’ which no one can ever take away! I love this painting --- I love that “place”!

9. Beaver Lodge

Now this IS fine art … at least in the eyes of this mother, whose son made it 20 years ago as a gift for his father’s birthday! It is one of my very fragile, sacred treasures which has survived several moves and still remains intact. My husband and I raised our family on a magical tract of land which was our very own nature center. We had a beaver pond, with a live colony of beavers who became members of the family. When my son Christopher was 5, he wanted to make something very special for my husband, and he decided to make a replica of our beaver lodge.  He used little twigs the beavers had gnawed, and glued them together.  One day in a box of tea we found a little ceramic beaver. Voila! Now Chris’ beaver lodge had an official resident, just in time for  giving my husband the gift. This little sculpture,  that I’m sure no one else on the face of the earth would look at twice (except my husband and me) -- signifies all the excellent years  that we raised our family at Frog Hollow, and will forever be a priceless treasure to me.

10. The Glass Globe
This beautiful hand-blown glass globe is not mine. It belongs to my son, Noah, and I am keeping it for him until he has a permanent place to hang it. It was a gift to him from someone during an arduous recuperation from a serious illness. Looking at it though, reminds me of this precious person with the red hair, who was such a round happy baby and who has grown up to be an exceptional young man,  of whom I could never be more proud! From his childhood chess accomplishments, to the evenings we spent together going to his bagpipe lessons over the years, to his incredible entrepreneurial successes and his extraordinary achievements as an honor student at Johns Hopkins University ... he is one of my heroes.  This globe, however,  also reminds me of how I almost lost him a few years ago, and how close we came to the unimaginable. It started with a bad virus my youngest son Joshua  brought home.  He was wickedly sick. I took him to the doctor, convinced that he must have appendicitis. They sent me home, but it worsened, and I took him back in, saying I was certain he had appendicitis. Then my daughter got sick, even worse than Josh.  I took her in totally convinced SHE had appendicitis! When Noah came down with a worse case than the other two combined, I truly thought he had appendicitis, but knew that if I took him in to the doctor saying so, that they would surely lock me up for being a crazy hypochondriac! Over the course of the week he worsened to an alarming degree. It was a Sunday night and I was planning to take him to the doctors the next day, but I phoned a friend who was a nurse and explained his symptoms.  “Get him to the emergency room NOW. Don’t wait!” she had counseled.  And THANK GOD!  Noah’s appendix, it turned out, had been ruptured for at least 5 days and he was so septic that they could not operate until they got him stabilized.  We nearly lost him. I was told that if I had waited until Monday morning it would have been too late. The team of  surgeons who worked on him said they had never seen anyone with such a bad case ever recover. The glass globe, a get well gift from a friend of his, reminds me daily of how beautiful – and fragile – is this thing called life.  In one moment we can be shining in the sun, and the next we can shatter like glass…

11. Sisters

My sister and I are as different as night and day, yet we are as close as two peas in a pod! I am a  brunette, she is a blonde; I am studious, she is ‘Party Girl’! I like to read books, she’d rather play cards; I’m serious, she has a magical way of walking in a room and making every person there start to laugh cathartically. It is her gift.  I could write a whole blog on how we are entirely different from each other … almost opposites to be exact, but the wondrous thing is that despite all the externals, we are sisters, and we share each other’s hearts.  This little angel figurine she gave me embodies our sisterhood and it is one of my special, treasured objects.
12. Nana’s Heart
Nana was my father’s mother, and she died the year I started Kindergarten. I have such vivid memories of her to this day, although I knew her for such a short time. I remember visiting her house once at Christmas time. Her tall, slender Christmas tree was set up along the stairs to the second floor.  In order to put on the decorations I went up the steps and reached through the railing … but I dropped a glass ornament and it shattered into a million pieces on her hardwood floor.  I was mortified, but she was so kind and non-judgmental.  She cleaned it up so I wouldn’t get cut, and handed me another exquisite antique ornament, showing me that she still trusted me.  I also remember her washing out my dirty socks once in the sink before I went to bed; I remember eating rainbow sherbet in her kitchen while sitting on the red vinyl kitchen stepstool so popular in the ‘50’s. I remember coloring in a coloring book with her on one page and me on the other, and her telling me what a good job I was doing. And I remember the last time I saw her, lying in a hospital bed in an oxygen tent, and reaching inside where she squeezed my hand and told me she loved me. My sacred object from her is this little gold heart with my name engraved on one side and her signature (in her own writing) engraved on the other.  Although I haven’t seen her in 52 years,  I feel like I still have her heart to this day.

13. Boy with Dog

When Dana and I first got married, we were soon afterwards  expecting our first child. I was ecstatic. I KNEW it was going to be a boy, and we named him Andrew almost from our first awareness of his existence. Unbeknownst to me, my dad bought a bronze sculpture for the baby, called “Boy and His Dog”. (My dad was an avid dog-lover).  Andrew died shortly after he was born, and knowing it would bring me more pain about losing my baby, my father  never told me the sculpture was intended for him.  It wasn’t until years later, long after my dad had died, that I was helping my mom pack up her belongings for a big move from the house in which I had grown up, that I asked her about it, and she told me the story. It has been one of my sacred objects ever since.

14. My Shining Star – and the Prayer Shawl

My Aunt Ruth (right) is like my adopted mother … except that  I adopted HER! (My real mom is on the left!). Aunt Ruth was married to my Uncle Bruce, my father’s twin brother, until he died last year.  They have a daughter, Barb (center), who is much more like a sister than my cousin!  Because my dad died relatively young,  I ended up knowing  my uncle longer than I knew my dad, and as a result, over the years Uncle Bruce became my surrogate father figure. In a nutshell, I describe them both as the ultimate Good Samaritans.  Last year my Aunt Ruth finally made it to New Hampshire for a visit; a difficult feat because of her bad back. It thrilled me to have her see the life we have carved out here.  As a housewarming gift she brought me a gorgeous leaded glass star to hang in my window.  There it shines and sparkles – even on rainy days -- and every time I look at it, I think of her. Because of this, I would definitely grab it as one of my special treasures on my way ‘out the door’. Another item which reminds me of her is a very lovely Prayer Shawl. The night before my Uncle’s funeral I stayed overnight at her house.  In the morning, she wanted to show me something that a lady in her church had knitted for her.  It was a Prayer Shawl in the most  lovely blue and purple colors. It had been made expressly for her during my uncle’s final illness, and the maker (a woman named Dolores) knitted love, prayers  and good thoughts into every stitch.  At the funeral I sought out Dolores to tell her what a lovely gift she had given my aunt. She said, “Oh … you REALLY like it? That makes me so happy.  Would you let me make one for YOU?”  Certainly, I wasn’t phishing for such a thing, and told her I could never impose on her to do that. With such Christian love and sincerity in her eyes, she said that it would  be such an honor if I would accept one from her. And several months later, my prayer shawl arrived, in the same exquisite colors as my aunt’s.  I have napped under it when I’ve been under the weather and awakened feeling fit as a fiddle! It has taken away the chill on cold evenings.  It is pure knitted love, and because of that, it reminds me of my aunt, and it would be one of the items I would take with me!

Farmgirls, I have MANY other precious treasures, too numerous to name, but these are the extra special ones, and I have loved sharing them with you all. But please … I would be so interested to know what some of YOUR sacred objects are … What would you save If you knew that your family was safe?  What special ‘memories’ would you grab in your mad dash out the door? I’m sure we’re in for some touching stories …

Until next time,
Mountain Bounty, Mountain Blessings from
Cathi, The Mountain Farmgirl



By: bonnie ellis
On: 09/19/2011 09:45:22
Cathi: Wow! what a precious list. You really made us think about what we would take. We have tornadoes in Minnesota so I'm always preparing. But, I think the treasures are the most important. Thank you. Bonnie
By: drmolly
On: 09/19/2011 10:17:15
This is such a lovely sentiment. I actually had not thought in such terms. I shall give it a good hard thought and appreciate so much more the items that are a part of my life's memories.
Thank you Cathi.
By: DWanna
On: 09/19/2011 15:01:17
Cathi~After wiping the tears from my eyes, I had to write a comment to you. Like you, I'm the "crazy" one in the family who is prepared for everything. Even, yes, Y2K! I have many treasures and think often of which ones I would absolutely take. There are so many! But if I could only pick one, it would be my grandmother's rose gold wedding band. My grandmother (born in 1892!) was married 52 years to my grandfather. I spent much of my childhood with her and credit her for teaching me about gardening, sewing (on a treadle machine), canning, and many other useful tasks required for self-sufficiency. She passed away 2 weeks before my 10th birthday. My grandfather presented me with her ring because he said "I know she would have wanted you to have it". My grandfather and I had a good cry together and I wore it until my fingers got to big, (She was very tiny person of 4'10") I sometimes wear it on a chain, but it mostly stays safe in my jewelry box. If we have a threat of bad weather, etc., I usually get it out and put it on, you know~~just in case!
By: Patricia Yelle
On: 09/19/2011 16:46:36
Thank you for sharing your touching and beautiful stories. You have made me stop and think of the simple things that are of real importance in my life. Your blog is always a pure joy!
By: Shery
On: 09/19/2011 19:28:22
I read and enjoy every one of your blogs...they are so thoughtfully written. This one really tugged at my heart strings and I feel I know you better because of the things that mean the most to you. Things are just things and yet they provide a place for memories to live and that makes them more than just "stuff". You reminded me to make a list of the things I want to rescue! When people's home are destroyed by fire or weather, I grieve with them over the loss of their family heirlooms and especially photos. Life goes on, but that would be heartbreaking to be sure.
By: B Lamotte
On: 09/20/2011 09:17:53
I really am always going out the door- both my husband and I, and that has meant extensive downsizing. It started when we had to down-size and move into a small bedroom at a family member's house and again when my husband got a job traveling the country a year later. I'd started collecting my household well before I'd left my mother's at 19 years old so by the time I started culling at age 22 I actually had a lot of clutter to lose. It was therapeutic! Now that we've been living out of suitcase 'Go-Bags' for a couple years I'm down to storing keepsakes and heirlooms only- about 5 boxes worth in an attic in Idaho. In order to make sure we can still fit into our suit cases we are sending clothes to the town-of-the-day's thrift store every season, use the i-Pod for audio books and music, and we use laptops and Facebook for book-keeping, correspondence and photos. Life on the fast lane is spent in hotels, motels and rentals. We, too, keep instruments handy to help keep life grand- harmonica for me and guitar for him. Our beloved Brittany Pointer safe-guards Family Morale and home life is preserved by cooking. We bought a hot-burner last year when we spent winter, and Christmas Eve, in a Best Western. Cooking like that is not pleasant but being forced to eat out constantly is fattening and depressing. This is where certain 'charms' come into play. Along with our trusty cast-iron skillet, there are 2 spoons I travel with that stay in rotation. The first is a desert spoon from a French bistro I used to work at- when I reach for a spoon and find it's elegantly twisted handle stirring my morning coffee I am urged to enjoy the 'otherness' around us, to find the best of it. My other traveling spoon 'charm' is one from the set stored in the attic back in Idaho. I bought the set at Macy's in down-town Boise when I was 20. I was browsing the different personalities conveyed by silverware when I spotted the set that Mary Poppins could serve tea with. For a couple weeks I waited nervously for that last box-set to go on sale and bought it with money I'd made from tips that week. For me, it was a step into the future I want. Simple, pretty and provided by me. In a 'Go-Bag' lifestyle, these spoons take me back to my Self and keep me charmed.
By: donna
On: 09/23/2011 12:06:04
Very precious..when our barn caught fire on Jan. 1, 20000 and the fireman better take out of the house your valuables..all I could think of was my dogs..the trees were burning and were close to falling on the house..
By: Tony Laidig
On: 09/25/2011 17:53:38
Hey Cathi,

I really enjoyed what you shared about the sacred objects in your life. I've been exploring the idea of sacred myself at my blog, "A Day with the Sacred," as well. I'm posting a photo a day for the next year of what people consider sacred. I'd love to have you share some of your sacred items with us there! Tomorrow's picture is going to be one of my personal favorite "sacred" daughter at nine months pregnant!
By: brigitte farmgirl in the heart
On: 11/03/2011 06:56:42
I too am a rock lovers...Always have one in my purse, or pocket to reasure me by is power. And I too am pretty prepared for emergency...We have Luggages with basics and some canned foods, for us and the pets...A copie of everyone important on pictures...A copie of our pets vet books...Our prefered teddy and doll are in too...But you inspired me to look again for SPECIAL ITEMS I must miss if something happens...Can wait to look at what you put in your 'Bag by the door'...Don't forget to show us your list...It could really help us...Have a nice day...
By: Renee
On: 01/04/2012 01:01:44

Though the sentiment is a very agreeable one, please don't play a recorder while in traffic! Or do anything else that requires two hands, looking away from the road, etc. I am quite sure you're in control of your own family car and where it's going at all times, but these are the sorts of little habits that can pull a driver's attention away just long enough for the wrong moment to happen, and we know well enough that that impacts another person's life, as well. All the rest of your suggestions are great ones, and inventive, but I hope you and everyone else will remember that preemptive driving is the best thing you can bring with you!

Hi Renee, Thanks for writing ... although it would never have occurred to me in a million years to drive while playing the recorder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for bringing our attention to this however, as stopped traffic does require awareness, because something out of the ordinary is obviously going on. (Glad at least that recorders do not yet come with federal warning labels, though!).  Have a great day, and thanks for 'stopping by'! 

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Cathi Belcher

Cathi Belcher,
an old-fashioned farmgirl with a pioneer spirit, lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. As a “lifelong learner” in the “Live-Free-or-Die” state, she fiercely values self-reliance, independence, freedom, and fresh mountain air. Married to her childhood sweetheart of 40+ years (a few of them “uphill climbs”), she’s had plenty of time to reinvent herself. From museum curator, restaurant owner, homeschool mom/conference speaker, to post-and-beam house builder and entrepreneur, she’s also a multi-media artist, with an obsession for off-grid living and alternative housing. Cathi owns and operates a 32-room mountain lodge. Her specialty has evolved to include “hermit hospitality” at her rustic cabin in the mountains, where she offers weekend workshops of special interest to women.

“Mountains speak to my soul, and farming is an important part of my heritage. I want to pass on my love of these things to others through my writing. Living in the mountains has its own particular challenges, but I delight in turning them into opportunities from which we can all learn and grow.”

Column content copyright © 2010– Cathi Belcher. All rights reserved.

Mountain Bounty

“Keep close to Nature’s heart ... and break clear away once in awhile to climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods, to wash your spirit clean.”
– John Muir