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.

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