Scenic New Hampshire – Statewide ideas on how to spend your next New Hampshire vacation. Travel Ideas, Lodging, and year-round activities for your enjoyment in New Hampshire.

Mike Cote HeadshotComedian Tim Hawkins reduces the storyline of “Cat’s in the Cradle” to a single verse: “My son got mad because I worked all the time. He grew up to be a jerk just like me.”

There were stretches in my journalism career where it seemed like I worked all the time, but thankfully none of my three sons grew up to be jerks. 

Yet, the song still resonates with me. Chapin, who died in a car crash at age 38, left behind a wife and five children.
Its theme — the brevity of our time on Earth and the consequences of the choices we make — cuts deep.

My three sons and their families are scattered around the country, which makes connecting with them difficult. I’ve had many video chats with my grandchildren that inevitably lead to a 2-year-old running around the house with a phone, offering great views of the floor and a soundtrack peppered with grunts and giggles. Those moments have helped fill in the long gaps between our in-person visits, especially during the pandemic.

When I think of Father’s Day, I look back on moments I’ve shared with my sons over the years, especially as they reached adulthood and I had opportunities to spend time with them one-on-one: a road trip across the country from Colorado to Washington, D.C., with my oldest son, Paul, riding shotgun for most of my journey back to New Hampshire; kayaking at Lake Sunapee with my middle son, Ben, when he visited us on his own one summer; building a fence with my youngest son, Eric, at his North Carolina home to keep his sheep (yes, sheep) from escaping.

Making time for fun

The greatest gift to give or receive is time. My ultimate Father’s Day fantasy would be to gather with my wife our five collective families — which include eight young grandchildren — and plan some adventures in New Hampshire. 

This issue is packed with ideas for such excursions. Our “Summer of Fun” feature (page 48), compiled by Assistant Editor Elisa Gonzales Verdi, spotlights perennials like the Prescott Park Arts Festival in Portsmouth and newer traditions like the live music series at Vernon Family Farm in Newfields.

Assistant Editor Emily Reily presents a guide to the Granite State’s outdoor music venues (page 60), including a selection of communities throughout the state that offer free concerts all summer long. Gonzales Verdi and photographer Jenn Bakos serve up scoops of “extreme” ice cream from various New Hampshire locales. (page 20)

The caring kind

This issue also celebrates professionals in two sectors of our economy whose impact resonates through all our lives. Our Excellence in Nursing feature (page 70) spotlights 13 nurses who spend their workdays caring for others, including helping people cope during their greatest moments of need. In “Purpose and Passion” (page 38), we profile several nonprofit leaders who chose to make a career change during a pivotal moment in their lives. Most of them work for nonprofits dedicated to improving the lives of children — especially the kids who have never seen a silver spoon.

Categories: Editor’s Note