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Their tales of the trail captured me...

Their tales of the trail captured me... deb-gardner-250x250.jpg

I’m not a hiker, but I have camped out – many years ago when I was a Girl Scout.

I remember clearly the unique sound of the “silent” woods in the morning, how fresh the air is when you awake, and how cold it always gets just before the sun comes up.

I’ve also spent a miserable day in a two-man tent during a deluge – and learned the hard way what happens if you accidentally touch the tightly stretched tent roof during that heavy rain (remember, Karen?) – so I can appreciate some of the joys – and sympathize with some of the hardships – Ken and Andrew Johnston experienced during their five months hiking the Appalachian Trail.

I also can’t imagine spending that much time living in the woods.

Still, I found their tale of hiking the legendary Trail fascinating when I first learned of it in a plea from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, asking our papers to help the two men with a fundraising initiative associated with their hike.

As I talked with Ken and Andrew about their experiences  – both during the hike and after their “epic adventure” – I was also glad to learn they were willing to share much of their experiences with Prime’s readers. You’ll find some – but not all – of what they told me in this month’s feature.

There was so much more that I could have written about their adventure – what it was like walking through history when the Trail crossed Civil War battlefield sites, how awe-inspiring the vistas were throughout the walk, their experience hitch-hiking into towns along the way and the characters they met ... I’m hoping Ken and Andrew are able to share these tales in some form in the future. They deserve to be read – or heard.

And I was doubly pleased that my November feature involved family relationships. This is the month when the holiday season starts, bringing with it shared meals, parties, gatherings and the potential for family disharmony. Meghan Reynolds from Glenmeadow Retirement Community in Longmeadow, MA., has shared with Prime some advice on preparing for and navigating these potential pitfalls, information I hope everyone can find helpful.

Speaking of family gatherings, my managing editor and Prime’s columnist, G. Michael Dobbs, reminds us not to overlook Thanksgiving – a holiday now “sandwiched between the commercial powerhouses of Halloween and Christmas” but one that doesn’t bring with it  presents, religious services, “songs to sing” and other expectations. It’s just “a meal, at which friends, and families gather.”

Dobbs says it’s one of his favorite holidays. My son Evan, agrees. To him, Thanksgiving is all about family, and that’s what he likes best.

On that note, here’s wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Prime, and as always, thanks for reading this month,

Debbie Gardner