My sister, three brothers, and I grew up on a Vermont dairy farm in a region known as the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, USA, where my Scottish ancestors settled almost two hundred years ago. Our lives revolved around our church, our community, and the hard work of farming. Along with milking and feeding the animals each morning and evening, there was the work of each season: maple sugaring, plowing, picking stone, planting, haying, corn-cutting, harvest, cutting wood.
While my parents lives were consumed by farming and providing for their children, they managed to pass on much more to us. My mother, a teacher, instilled in us a love of books and reading, and a curiosity about everything, while my father, besides being an excellent athlete, has also encouraged our interest in the natural world, whether it was identifying birds, trees and wildflowers, or pointing out constellations on a starry night.
My book As Long As There Are Mountains is based on my childhood and my love of the farm, the land, and the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.