It's a Wrap!


New Years 2016 73568061_Small.jpg

And so another year has ended. A new bucket list has begun. Well, maybe just a note or two for the little pail for 2016.  

Wouldn’t want an overload of stuff not to get done or accomplish. But then in thinking about the past year, I had a fair amount of unexpected things happen, in a good way and they were not on the list. 

So, it is wise to be open for those moments. They keep a person engaged in life but only when you’ve put yourself out there. We also need to be thankful a lot more for simple things such as thinking for yourself. That used to be so easy when there was no phone with an android like Siri telling or giving you more information than you really need. What our cellphones do is it makes us dependent (like being in a prison “cell”). It may give you the world at your fingertips for an instant but what if you were in the middle of New York City and oops! You just dropped your phone in a big puddle, then a bus came and well, there goes your lifeline. You panic first and then what? And you thought all along you were independent.

My suggestion, which is really obviously simple, is to know thy self. Don’t give away your smarts to some inanimate thing. Keep learning and figuring out things on your own. Keep the upper hand at all costs. We were put on this earth to be thinkers and doers not holding on to a hand held device while walking and driving and doing things in a zombie-like way. Unfortunately, we are all feeling the need to be ‘in the game’. Technology is taking more from us and we are letting it. It frustrates many who are forced to adapt or else be cast aside. However, there is still something to be said for the ‘old school rules’ way of doing things. And it begins with etiquette. 

But I digress.  I began this story by talking about an end of one year and to having an outlook on the next. I do believe being out in nature does a lot more for a person’s psyche. A person (and canine companion) benefits in the time spent out of doors. If you work in an outdoors environment day in and day out maybe not so much, but then again it’s all in your mind set. If you want to hate that rain coming at you sideways you will. If snow is not in your forecast everyone around you knows about it. Simple things like a walk in the woods can reinvigorate a sour mood. Things do become clearer and it can be just the thing needed for a moment in the day. 

I had forgotten that simple reflection lately and how fortunate I really am as life kept handing me pink slip after pink slip. Not being perfect, I had let way too much burden fill my plate. Behind our house there were more times than not I would take a dog or two, disappear into the woods and traipse down the deer trails. It seemed like those times were in the past as dogs in our life have come and gone and children have somehow grown up and ventured out on their own. I began to introduce our newest dog Kali to the wild side. (How did I skip doing this more often?) Out the back door, ten seconds later and I’m in the thick of it. I don’t need a map, a guide or someone telling me which way to go. This is how I grew up. The woods were our playground. We knew which trees to climb to get to the best view and where to meander to get to the longest sledding hills (at the golf course!). 

So here I am a bit older but ‘the way’ is the same. Figuring out where to cross the brook I needed to find, and then place, a long somewhat large log, over it as my bridge. I’m no Wallenda so I used long stick poles to balance my act. Each time Kali and I headed out I would clear more sticks, branches and logs that were in the way making my trail blazing more efficient and effective. We came upon lots of skidder trails made over the summer and fall months as selective log cutting happened in the Bockes Forest as part of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests stewardship.

Today the weather is still in our favor for skipping along the trails. Soon enough the mountains of snow will be upon us. It’s what happens when it’s the winter season here in New Hampshire. We’re just in a lull right now. Before the major winter white stuff happens I’m waiting and watching for the pond to finally freeze enough to skate on as well as the brooks that feed into it. There’s nothing like skating along and going into the woods right to another pond that’s connected with a few more waterways. Outdoor skating has a very short period in the winter. Days and nights have to be perfect. If there’s rain you hope a freeze will make the surface smooth. Then when the snow comes you hope it’s fluffy enough to shovel a bit off. Maybe. 

So your bucket list or whatever you call it will be calling you or challenging you to make it to the end of this year with a few more check marks from the ‘to do’ list to the “Got it. Nailed it. Bested myself. Did it. Passed the test.” 

May it be the best year yet! 

Circumstances of acquisition:   The Bockes Memorial Forest began with a 1975 donation of 71 acres to the Forest Society by Patricia Bockes Ingersoll in memory of her father, the reverend Leslie C. Bockes. In 2003 Patricia’s children then transferred nearly all the remaining family land in Londonderry and Hudson, plus a conservation easement on an adjoining 32 acres in Windham now owned by the town, to the Forest Society. The total contiguous acreage owned by the Forest Society is now 226 acres. The Bockes Memorial Forest is part of the 300-acre “Tri-Town Forest” that includes abutting town-owned land in Windham.

Read more at about Leslie C. Bockes and about the stewardship of New Hampshire forests at