When I was a little kid, my sister and I would invent crazy, involved worlds, often based on settings created by others (think Narnia, LOTR), and sometimes based on history. You see, I myself am a nerd, and I come from a family of nerds. My sister has always been an especial nerd for history, and as the older of the two of us, she usually got to dictate the finer details of the Game.

The plentiful but peaceful snows at our small New England house would transform the yard and surrounding woods into an utterly different creature than it was in the verdant summers, affording countless opportunities for new imaginings on our parts.

One afternoon, tired from running around thigh-deep in snow, my sister and I retired to one of our favorite resting spots: between our neighbors’ property and ours, at the corner of where ours ended, stood three pine trees — a little green island in a sea of white fields and a row of sleeping maples. The branches and needles of these pines would pile with snow and bend to the ground; and, if you crawled beneath them towards the trunks, you would find a secluded, relatively snowless shelter. There we would lie and catch our breaths, beneath the winter.

Such a place needs a name. My sister, who was in the fifth grade and learning about (and obsessed with) the American Revolution at the time, was reminded of something she had read in her history text book. She described a place called Fort Ticonderoga — an outpost that was stormed by a small militia of Americans, giving us our first victory against the British. I will not attempt to explain how the minds of a ten- and seven-year-old work, but as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, we dubbed our own fort: Threepinederoga.

Many people have blogs, and so many of the desirable words and phrases for blog names are already taken. I had to find something so obscure that it was actually invented in my own mind, and therefore significant in its own right. Threepinederoga was the clear choice: it represents innocence, but also invention, creation, education — a lively mind.


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