Dr. Steve Larmon sits relaxed on the side patio of his home in West Keene on a humid summer day, his legs crossed, arms languidly splayed out. There are heavy thunderheads on the western horizon, probably still deep within Vermont’s Windham County; it will be another two hours before the clo…

STODDARD — After delivering one of the most consequential votes of her political career, Ruth Ward drove at dusk down Route 9 from the capitol in Concord to her secluded Stoddard home, where she recalled her father being killed in China when she was just 7.

Joyce Lehman will turn 75 next week and reflects back to her childhood — to the Sunday afternoons when she’d sit in a living-room corner of her parents’ farmhouse in rural Iowa. All of their friends and relatives would gather round for lively conversation and colorful storytelling.

PETERBOROUGH — Laura Gingras well recalls the first time she drove into this town, on a beautiful spring day in 2000. She was doing a favor for a job-recruiter friend who’d hounded her to take a look at a new position as vice president of development — a fundraiser — at Monadnock Community H…

CHESTERFIELD — Kirsti Sandy had a friend, a dear, dear friend. Her name was Elizabeth Hatmaker. The two met when they shared an office together at Illinois State University when they were graduate students. Hatmaker was a poet and was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a…

DUBLIN — Margaret Nelson has what some might call “honest eyes” that look you straight in the face with no hint of guile. They convey that she means what she says and says what she means — the proverbial straight-talking Yankee trait that was probably her birthright after being born and rais…

MARLBOROUGH — John Manning’s first encounter with the wreckage of a large-scale fire — the type that devours buildings — came when he was 6 years old. A nightclub in Revere, Mass., had burned down the previous night, and Charles McCarthy, Manning’s uncle and chaplain for the Arlington, Mass.…