November 16, 2015, Chino Valley- A friend online has set the week before Thanksgiving as Positivity Week. No year is more apropos for such an event as this one is, in the wake of such misguided efforts by the disquiet among us, to sow the seeds of fear and doubt.
Her first day’s theme is A Vacation Memory. Let me go back to 1961, when I was ten and Dad took me to Mt. Chocorua, New Hampshire. It was my first real tent-camping experience, and my first real uphill climb. I recall the scent of pines, the feeling of security in the morning, when I awoke to dryness underneath, thanks to our having placed sodcloth and groundcloth as the first layers of our tentsite and the sense of accomplishment at having helped my father build a campfire.
The hike up Mt. Chocorua, under a crystal-clear sky, established my love of the outdoors and of trails. The chatter of chipmunks, and of blue jays, also made me feel at home.
We would visit the White Mountains several times thereafter, and I would hike the Presidential Range, alone, in 1975. That week, though, established my father’s indelible presence in my life, and that made the biggest difference.