In a very curious juxtaposing of viewer, view and vantage point, today, I had to attend a pre-bid meeting for a gas collection system at the local landfill.  The landfill is situated in an alpine valley high above the city of Berlin, New Hampshire in a wilderness at the foot of  Mt.Carberry.  The road curves gently from the city below and rises approximately 800 ft  to the disposal site.  As a part of the meeting, all the participants had to walk up to the top of the garbage heap (technically known as a cell).  From that vantage point, I viewed a breathtaking panorama looking north and west.  To the north, I could see the new windmills stretched along ridges nearly up to Dixville.  To the west, I had a clear view of the Kilkennies and could see nearly to Colebrook.   How ironic that such an incredible view can be had by walking up to the top of a garbage heap.  How sad that such a pristine area with vies of some of the most incredible scenery in the country has been given to the storage of garbage from as far away as New Jersey.

Sandwich, New Hampshire  is far enough off the beaten path to have escaped the “up scaling” that has afflicted many of its neighboring towns.   Its proximity to Squam Lake  (On Golden Pond) could have doomed it to occupancy by the  droves of cash carrying Massachusetts misanthropes looking to spread their misery northward.   Somehow, the town was spared.  It remains one of the most quintessential New England towns imaginable.  It is a living breathing Norman Rockwell painting, and the residents could easily be moved into any of his depictions of idyllic life!   Suspendered old men watch and comment on the construction in town.  Gardeners tend to their flowers and vegetables.  Automobiles move slowly because the line between vehicular traffic and pedestrian traffic does not exist.

Colonial homes, tidily kept, sit behind flowered fences and weathered farms are encircled by  lichen crusted stone walls.  The people who live here today are the direct descendents of the men and women whose sweat and blood cleared the fields and piled the old stones.  Rolling hills rise sharply to the encircling mountains that hold the rest of the world at bay.  Church steeples rise above the towering hardwoods.  Behind the whitewashed town hall, frogs bellow from the lily pads and cattails. .  Sidewalks are scarce, flower gardens abound.  Signs are discrete and nicely done.  Nothing is garish or demanding of your attention.  All is in conformity with the New England tradition of dignified reserve.

Neighbors know each other.  They meet at their fences and talk.  They share coffee and gossip.  A selectman walks by and a townsman wants to voice a complaint.  Here, it is possible for a complaint and a smile to be in the same mouth at the same time.   Neighbors are civil, pleasantries are exchanged at every chance encounter.   There is a pervasive sense of community.  It is intangible, it cannot be quantified or even described, yet  it is part of the core values of the town and the many generations of people who have lived there.  Sadly, it is an oddity, an anachronism, existing out of its  time.  Sandwich is another great treasure at the end of a dusty road.

It is a wonderful time of year.  The morning air, damp and thick, is heavily scented with sweet fragrance of lilac and honeysuckle blossoms and the punky aroma of freshly turned earth.  My bedroom window opens to my back yard and the garden that waits to be planted.  Wildflowers abound in the unkempt lawn and keep company with the perrenials in the shade garden beneath the tall spruces.  We’ve been picking and eating the dandelions.

  A raucous crow is rudely calling out to his criminal friends and the mourning doves are cooing. My hammock, newly pressed into service  sits under the apple tree near a swarm of lillies.  In the fall, the netting of the hammock will fill with falling apples and I will once again consider an alternate location… The table and chairs have been taken out of winter storage and are ready for the first outdoor outing of the summer.  Summer in New Hampshire is a short but very sweet time of the year.  The stubborn snows still clinging to the Presidentials are a reminder that, here, winter is never far behind or far ahead. 

I met an 84 year old psycho- analyst from New York today.  She is still practicing out of her 40th st. office at an age when most professionals have been retired for twenty or more years.  She drove up from New York to spend time with her daughter.  I had met her briefly last summer, and she remembered Darlene and me.  How remarkable that she is still working, is undaunted by a nearly 400 mile solo  trip and has such a keen memory…  She is very animated when she speaks and her eyes sparkle with enthusiasm, whatever the subject of conversation.   Among the topics discussed was Robin Williams career all the way back to Mork!  She remembered all of the movies and roles.  I was still working on the third or fourth by the time she had rattled them all off, and then she went into detail about his performances.   Astounding!!!   I am inspired and humbled.

Foreword:                                                                                                                                    Well, after so much procrastination, it seems that I have finally managed to establish a blog page.  I will no longer burden my Facebook friends with my florid prose, mindless musings and saccharin observations of the beauty of life.   Now, anyone who subjects himself to my missives is doing it of his own free will.  I need not apologize for anything in these pages and that is truly exhilarating!  Presumably, this blog has the title “Dusty Roads”.  I chose this title after much deliberation because it is a reflection of the fact that I chose to leave mainstream America many years ago and returned to the rural lifestyle of my youth.  I am far from an interstate and I spend a lot of time on gravel roads.  I am close to to the land and in touch with the passage of time as nature marks it, and that relationship provides the basis for most of what I write. 

 I like to paint with words.  In  the process, my eyes become your eyes, my world becomes your world and I am quite happy to welcome you to it. I will be pleased if you are moved in any way by the thoughts, observations, writings  and whatever else I eventually post on these pages.

I am living in a world which is probably quite different than yours.  The world I live in is in a different time zone, not pacific, not mountain nor central and not eastern.  The clock and the calendar say that we live in the same world, but we don’t.  Time runs differently here, not neccessarily slower or faster, just different.  According to the laws of physics, time is relative to the perspective (position) of the viewer.   Theoriticians have written volumes about the witnessing of events.    Of course, that all has to do with physics, not life.  There are many parallels, though.

Most of you witness the world from within, you participate in life as it happens.  Up here in the northern forest,we witness the world from a different time point.   Our distant viewpoint subjects our perspective to a “gravitational red shift”.  We are not participants in the present, but rather, we are a step behind  of what has just occurred.  Consequently, we are separated by a kink in the timeline, living in a separate world.  It’s just a tiny kink, but a kink, nevertheless. Obviously, we move in and out of each other’s worlds but we are aware of out respective  differences.  Some are drawn to the way life is on my side of the time kink.  Others are amused by it.    I  prefer living  in back time.