Tuesday, August 16, 2011

my love of Maine tied to family.

I love Maine. Maine is like a simple outfit that hangs on a woman beautifully covering the shoulders and gracefully making her very beautiful. A very welcome time spent away from the routine of the tryanny of the previous year. The school year always seemed like a marathon but I always looked forward to the reunions we had with our family and friends and the treasures that arose from our everyday life on the shore.

A good place to lose track of time as it suspends itself and nothing seems impossible.

I dance in Maine in the imagination of my surf. I find it a magical place where the sea dramatically meets the shore in a very personal way. I walked to the water's edge often at the North Shore beach as I walked through the forest behind our cottage and heard the soft moss underneath my feet squish at times from the wetness of the leaves. Seeing the light spreading her wings through the forest.

I looked out at the horizon. I skipped the rocks at the beach. My cousin Bruce taught me one summer the exact flick of the wrists that I needed to get the rocks to glide smoothly across the water. Causing bouncing ripples across the surface of the waters.
Once I was shown this secret place hidden behind our cottage, I kept going back and skipping the rocks in that very secluded and private spot to be enjoyed often. Many times, I regretted not being aware of the sanctuary that was behind the woods. But thankful for the curiosity of my cousins, Bruce and Carol, who brought joy to the summers we spent together.

Another fun time with family was when Uncle Lenny and Betty showed up for a week. My dad and mom and I invited them out on an excursion on our 16 foot motorboat. My father warned Uncle Lenny that it could be rough on the bow of the boat, but he bravely sat up there anyway. One day, when we were on the water, there was a rough wave that our boat swallowed and then let loose over the surface of the bow getting Uncle very wet and causing him to dive under cover.

We had my dad's sister often over at our cottage for a lobster meal or a night of meatloaf or spaghetti and meatballs cooked by my mom. One time, we went to a lobster pier outside and Aunt Marion was eating her hotdog and a seagull swooped down and took her dog from her bun. Aunt Marion said, "that poor scroundel took my dog." It was rather humorous at the time causing us to laugh and have a fond rememberance of that time.
She brought her pug dog often and Aunt Marion and the dog stayed at the camp of one of her cousins. We visited her small cabin that she had and often sat in chairs reminiscing over growing up in the 1930's in Maine.

Many times we celebrated the sea by just sitting out and watching the sunset go down over the water's edge and catching a glimpse of the warm afterglow spread across the sky painting a very vivid picture of what it was like. And we saw the birds make their evening migration to their gull rock. A very methodical commute to and from the rocks they hovered over.

Many times we walked along the docks observing the ships moored along the harbor after we had our dinner at
Boothbay Harbor. We walked the footbridge and ate our cones and cups of ice cream at the Roundtop stand. We stayed outside as the sun set and we saw the deep dark blue of the water disappear over time.

One year, we had a very rough summer with 14 straight days of fog and we never knew when it would lift. During this time, we explored many of the nooks and crannies that Maine is known for. The state is carved up and whittled into little fingers that jut out of the land. It is known as Down East and the further that one goes along the shore towards the North, Mainers say that
"you are going down East."

Our final activity that we shared as a family before we sold our house was a trip on the Windjammer, the Victory Chimes. My dad and my brother Randy and I took an excursion that summer for 4 magical days at sea. We ate the home cooking of the captain's cook and we sat along the edge of the boat as we listened to the strumming of the guitar against the lapping of the waters against the boat. We lifted the sails many times manually and then on the last day, the crew flipped a switch and the sails lifted automatically.

I only wish that we had that time to live each and every day, but my Aunt, my father and even Uncle Lenny are no longer around but the fun times and antics often bring a smile to my mind as I face the tyranny of the current day not knowing what will be around the corner.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


We all grow up in neighborhoods. Some of them are quite idyllic and others can be quite the bustle of the town in the summer time.
Life on Margemere Drive in Fairfield was such a place. When our family moved there, we settled in at our house near the end of the cul-de-sac. We had several large barking dogs on either side of the street. On one side of the street, we had a loud beagle named, Trouble, belonging to a Doctor Samuelson and on the other side of the street, we had a yippy dog. And one of our neighbors next to us constantly had pool parties with 30 kids and parents yelling and splashing in and out of the pool. Causing us to worry about the safety of their kids as we tried to sit out and enjoy our rarely used back porch.
This series of noises led us to escape to our paradise in Maine, our second neighborhood, of which I have shared much with my audiences of this blog.

Margemere Drive was lined with lavender forsythia bushes and beautifully blooming dogwood and japanese maple trees that flowed smoothly into one another from above.

It was on this street that I learned how to ride my two wheel bike on my own after several weeks of my dad running behind me on the bike so I would not fall off. After the two weeks, I was not going to get any more help and I had to bravely hop on the bike and put on my helmet and ride around the street. I never did get off the street but that first time when I could balance myself was very exciting and freeing. And I would ride around for hours enjoying myself greatly even when I fell down to the pavement several times.

Our house at 166 Margemere was nestled down in a little valley. In the wintertime, I used to slide down the driveway when it was not fully shoveled and I also sled down the back yard. It was especially beautiful when we had a crust of snow and ice in the backyard. I would put on my boots and head out to the garage to get my red flyer sled and sit on the sled and go down the backyard until the snow stopped the blades from gliding forward. The trees glistened with the snow on them and occasionally some snow would fall off the trees and fall onto my face.
I would do this for an hour at times and then put away my sled and come back into the house for a cup of hot cocoa.

It was also on this street that I walked to the corner of the street to catch my school bus to my elementary, junior and senior high schools. I lugged my bookbag up and down this street many times and I grew up while I was on this street going through my adolescence and emerged into adulthood. And on this street that I invited my first friend , Barbara,from elementary school to share some times with our family.

Inside our home, my mom tenderly decorated the house with warm wallpaper with flowers on it and plush carpeting throughout. We had plants hanging in every room and it would take mom several hours a week to tenderly take care of the plants for she had a green thumb and extended it to the gardens around the outside of our home.
Pictures of seascapes and birds hung on the walls and mirrors were on the walls that extended the reach of the rooms.

It was always inviting to come home after my days at school and to smell the aroma of fresh cooking coming from the kitchen. Whether it was the homemade meatloaf or spaghetti and meatballs or the chicken stir fry that was simmering on the stove.
I was the chief table setter and I got the napkins out and the silverware from the silverware drawer. And the milk glasses and the condiments for the table.
In the kitchen there was a brown bar stool that I would sit at while my mom cooked and looked out and saw the birds flying to the bird feeder and the squirrels making their attempt to swing from the roof of the garage and land precariously on the bird feeder itself, sometimes to awkwardly fall off of it.
When my dad came home each day from work, mom dished us the food from the stove and we carried it into the dining room to sit down and have our evening meal and to discuss what went on during our days.
I also did quite a few chores along our property from the edging of the walk to the mowing of the grass and the shoveling of the snow.
And also I began to try out for the home basketball team by playing with the backboard that my dad set up but never did make it to the big leagues with all the tosses I made to the skies which often bounced back to the ground never making the net.

Our lawn care professional loved our street and especially our house and when Tim saw the view from our kitchen window, he knew that this would be the home that he wanted in the future. When it came time for us to make a move, we contacted Tim and he took us up on the offer.

So this sense of neighborhood extends to where we lived both on a street and also in our home itself. Both provided a great sense of neighborhood. Even though we never really knew our neighbors well except for when we had to call late to a neighbor to quiet a yipping dog, it did also extend to future neighborhoods for me in the wild blue yonder of Maine.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Creating the Bucket List

It is a scary trying to form a bucket list. There are many things that I want to try but involve a great deal of risk. Many times I go about my day using the contraction of "can't." It occurred this morning when I was presented the idea of selling a product and I responded to the automatic red flag of no as I began to make excuses. I must learn to live outside of the box which requires a great deal of risk.
I have many friends in my network that are willing to help me launch out new ideas and I need to engage them with me in this process.

In such circumstances,I must go to the bow and arrow store and grab a set that will innoculate the no beasts and make me immune to them. To just say Yes and not be so afraid. I need to make that self-imposed no to have no life at all. To make it extinct. I need to declare to the world that I CAN do all things. It is in the Scriptures all over the place, especially in Philipians 4:19 which states, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." While I won't be jumping off of planes or buildings with a parachute anytime soon, I can be open to the idea if it was presented to me.

There are three risks that I need to defeat in my life. The first is fear of the unknown. Right now, I am facing the fear of not knowing what is going to happen with my situation of employment. I do see glimmers of hope within the horizon. I am being given an opportunity to learn QuickBooks as I help update a local church for their audit. I also have had the opportunity this summer to be an intern with a local ministry that is holding their benefit in New York City. Now that is something that requires a great deal of faith.

Which brings me to the next lesson about risk. Being willing to step out of my comfort zone. I have had to learn many lessons along the way in getting to the methods of free event planning. After 10 days, I stumbled upon Zvents.com which allows me to announce the event to a wider audience. I also have mastered most of Constant Contact and have a fairly good working knowledge of the way it works. I have found that the technical aspect of learning the job at my own pace has brought me some more confidence. Now I will learn how to present the concert and missions to several local businesses to see if they will promote the attractive black and yellow post card.

The final lesson that this brings is that I must be willing to climb out of the boat and have faith to walk on the water. Or from a lesson that I learned as a 15 year old as I was in the middle of Cozy Harbor in Maine and ended up in the middle of the harbor without an oar lock. Having to ply the heavy waters with the big bulky wooden oar. Taking a very long time to row that boat. But knowing that dinner was waiting at home and being determined to make it back to shore and not stay in the middle of the harbor feeling sorry about myself. It all boils down to having perserverence. Something I am currently trying to learn and master!!That can take a lifetime but it is well worth it!!!

A good analogy is that of a puzzle box. Normally when you go to the store to buy a jigsaw puzzle, it is neatly shrink-wrapped and has the solution on the cover. Ye, life is not this way. We get pieces that are not always cut to size and we must work with what we have been given.
The key to any endeavor is to have the willingness to have the support of your friends with whatever you undertake for they can help lift you up out of any uncertainty that one may be facing.