Gardens, moose, some smelly dogs and a bus ride
IT'S ALMOST the Fourth of July, an unbelievable thing for me because it was "only yesterday," in mid-May, that I was trying to pull a fast one on Jack Frost by planting my garden after the full moon.
My father's parents, Carl and Fannie Harrigan, lived in Lisbon and I, being the favored grandchild, spent all of my early childhood summers with them, during which I was spoiled rotten. My grandfather, whom I worshipped, bought a kid's gardening set and, as I grew older, taught me how to plant a garden in a little plot on one end of his, and told me things as soon as he thought I was old enough to remember.
One of these was if there is a full moon in mid-May and you're feeling lucky, go ahead and plant your garden. Chances are there might not be another frost before frosts generally end in early June, although that's not a truism. I've seen a year here, where Vermont and New Hampshire pinch up together against the Quebec border, we had frosts - or at least hunts of them - every single month of the year.
So I planted two weeks earlier than usual, with my grandfather there beside me in my mind. We'll see.
I'm on Jack Heath's "New Hampshire Today" on WGIR 610 AM and 96.7 FM Seacoast at 8:10 every Friday morning, and sometimes (well, most of the time) we don't take things too seriously and are there to banter and laugh and get into unusual topics.
Somehow, this past Friday's show wandered around from traversing the Presidentials (Jack's organizing a hike with a dozen or so lifelong friends to revisit their youth) to dogs rolling around in a slowly disintegrating dead moose to New Hampshire's two major bus routes taking riders straight to Logan Airport without so much as a nod to the Manchester Airport (sorry, I can't help using the old name).
I asked Jack about the date for his hike because I wanted to be ready to call Search and Rescue (just kidding, Jack's in good shape and is an accomplished and frequent downhill skier and hiker), but wondered aloud if he'd remember how many people he started out with.
Actually, I wished I could tag along. I spent a good part of my life in the high country, and miss those long hikes sorely. Why? Because my knees are shot and walking downhill is a killer.
But there's hope. I'm getting both knees replaced at Littleton Hospital in mid-July, and may yet again enjoy the incomparable experience of bursting out above timberline after a long, slow trudge up the trail from the valley floor.
There is indeed a moose carcass out near the end of my back pasture, and dogs being dogs, our two escaped during their usual outing on the front lawn, followed their noses, and rolled around in it with abandon - and came home stinking to high heaven.
Vinegar and lemon juice in a pail of water works wonders on the odor of rotten moose, and the dogs are now allowed back inside. Ah, the little joys and rewards of Dogdom.
As far as I know, New Hampshire's two long-distance bus runs (from Littleton and Berlin) do not stop at the airport in Manchester, but rush their passengers (who would perhaps prefer to spend their money at a smaller and much more convenient airport here at home) straight to Boston's Logan Airport.
It's been that way ever since I began patronizing the Manchester Airport decades ago, which meant that I had to drive, because I've always preferred and supported Manchester and hated going into Logan.
What this has to do with an outdoor column is a valid question, but I've never understood why some apparent sweetheart deal bypasses Manchester, negating customer choice, and perhaps someone will explain it.
John Harrigan's address is Box 39, Colebrook NH 03576. Email him at email@example.com.