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How Guideposts Readers Can Spread the Love

If you don’t save your issues of the magazine, consider doing this.

Edward and Gracie
Credit: Katye Martens Brier

This morning was surprisingly cool for early August in the Berkshires, ideal for a hike in the hills before the workday began. I leashed up Gracie, filled our water bottle and headed for the nearby Appalachian Trail, hiking north towards Benedict Pond and Beartown State Forest.

Leashed because I don’t trust her. Not that she’ll run off but that she’ll find mud. I made that mistake last week and look what happened. (See Exhibit 1, right.) I had to take the rest of the day off just to get her clean. It wasn’t going to happen again. 

The first mile or so is a slog, equivalent to climbing 50 flights of stairs according to my iPhone. Then the trail flattens out as it winds through the forest and runs along a farmer’s field. The cows weren’t out this morning for Gracie to bark hello to. We pressed on. We hit a patch where the air was scented by wildflowers and the birds were in full song. Yes, a God-given morning for sure.

Finally, we came to a section that had been washed out by last night’s thunderstorms. Mud. Stinky mud. Gracie stared longingly. “We’re turning around,” I said. I had to induce her with bits of dried bison treats. 

On the way down we passed a young couple huffing and puffing their way up, loaded down with camping gear. I nodded. “You only have about a half mile to go,” I said. A second later the man turned around.

“Hey,” he said. “Are you that guy?” 

I stopped. “What guy would that be?” 

“You know, the guy in that little magazine.”  

I’m rarely recognized, especially in the East, so this was a shock.

“You mean Guideposts?” I said.

“Yeah,” the woman said. “I recognize your dog. You’re even prettier in person!” (This was addressed to Gracie, not me.)

“You read the magazine?” 

“Last night we pitched our tent on a platform at the shelter on East Mountain,” the woman said. 

“I know it,” I said. 

“Someone left some magazines in the hut, and we grabbed a couple to read in our tent. It was raining.”

“We’re not churchgoers or anything like that,” the man added, “but we enjoyed some of the stories.”

I smiled. “I always ask if there was one you especially liked,” I said. 

“Yes,” said the woman. “The one by Michelle Williams about her depression. My sister has depression. I have that issue in my pack to give to her.”

“That’s great. You can always send her a link to the story from our site.”

“Maybe I’ll do that. Coverage isn’t great out here, though.”

With that they were on their way. “Watch out for the mud!” I called.  

I imagine a lot of you are vacationing this month and bringing your Guideposts along. I know some readers like to save their issues but if you’re not one, why not leave your magazine behind? Maybe whoever picks it up might not be a churchgoer or anything like that but they may enjoy the stories. And that’s a start. 

Do you leave your Guideposts where others can read them? Let me know by emailing me here. Safe travels!

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