[I’m hopeful and looking forward to what summer might bring since spring has nearly leveled us – unprecedented times. As I looked through potential posts, this one struck me. It says so much about me and how I’m coping with sheltering-in-place (as an introvert, I’m ok) but it also shows the beauty & calm in simplicity and solitude....especially in the state of Maine.]
“Who’s got it better?” he said, smiling, as he walked by me. “Front row seat!”
I gave him a thumb’s up.
Yup, I know what I like and I know where to find it.
I have a treasured memory of one of my favorite days. I was in my 20’s, so it was many moons ago. My-then-boyfriend-now-husband was deep sea fishing, like he is today. It was the day of the Old Port Festival, I recall, which may be why I was the sole sun-bather on Ferry Beach in Scarborough.
For me, that was like winning the lotto! I had never been the only person on a beach before, the only person for miles around. I absolutely reveled in the solit...
Together, we’ve traveled around Maine through the posts of this blog. We’ve visited state parks, trails, cozy Bed & Breakfast get-away’s. We’ve kayaked and snowshoed and walked. We’ve explored together in winter, fall, spring, and glorious Maine summers. Photos have given credence to the posts, shown what my words are telling, and hopefully enticed you to write down the place in your journal of wishes to someday visit. We’ve lived Maine seasons, together.
But today, we’re “sheltered in place.”
It’s a term I had never run into in my prior 56 years. As this time of such a harsh and quick halt of life as we know it, some of us are faring ok. Others of us are having more difficulty acclimating. Those living alone may have passed the point where this is still do-able and begun to creatively reach out to others for much-needed human connection.
My son said that for our family of introverts, this change isn’t much of a stretch. We are each home bodies; our...
My friend and I walked Gooch’s Beach, post-season, in late September. Visiting in late winter can be equally enjoyable. Albeit, the key, for this Mainer, is “off season.”
There’s no question any of southern Maine’s beaches are marvelous during our short summer months with white sand, windswept grassy dunes, and wooden or sand footpaths. But crowded is the only problem in summer, with nowhere to park. Tourists flock to Maine, understandably, during our brief season of sunshine and warmth.
Don’t misunderstand -- we locals love it, too….after our long winters and muddy springs…..
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.*
But as locals, we also get to enjoy our beaches throughout all four of Maine’s seasons. Hence, our walk in September, when parking spots on Beach Avenue were free and available to non-Kennebunk residents.
The sun shone brilliantly that day in September. The tide was low –...
The first snowfall of the season is always pretty to us. It starts pretty.
We pause to watch the snowflakes from our windows drift gently, daintily from the sky and quietly blanket our brown winter fields, unraked fall leaves, bare branches of oak trees and back gardens. Ice begins to form on the edges of the stream. The watching is calming.
The boughs and holly berries from December remain in the window boxes of our shed, and the snow begins to cover them like sifted confectionary sugar.
I go toward the nostalgic – appreciating the change of seasons, the circle of life on this planet with the dying and subsequent rebirth and awakening of all of nature. As a writer, I dwell in the details and the introspection.
On a balmy 30 degree day in January with brilliant sunshine and a deep royal blue sky, just one day after the first snowfall, we grabbed the snowshoes, LL Bean boots, fleece jackets and down vests and drove the short distance...
Sea Glass Restaurant at Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth became our go-to place for brunch before cutting down our tree at the Old Farm Christmas Place each early-December. And we loved it. It’s been an annual tradition for years now.
We went with both teen-aged sons, then with just one at a time when the other was away at college, then with Matt & his fiancée to celebrate their new engagement, and now sometimes, like this year, with just Frank and me – adult sons far flung across the U.S., now beginning their own holiday traditions.
We picked Sea Glass for the close location to the tree farm, but also because I love restaurants with a view.
And Sea Glass has that in spades.
The small restaurant, wrap-around back deck, and grounds look out onto Kettle Cove, Richmond Island, and Crescent Beach across an expanse of brush, and woods on one side. There is a wooden boardwalk from the lawn that meanders through the trees, bare of leaves in December, down onto the dark gray sand...
I remember when friends started buying second homes, get-away’s, not for their children when they were in the midst of raising their families, but as the next stage – looking toward their own fulfillment and retirement years. I remember feeling happy about it, satisfied. Not old. Not mixed. Just happy and curious to see what friends were choosing.
Purchased close enough to travel to on weekends, still working during the week, they bought at Bayside in Northport, Boothbay Harbor, Rangeley, and Little Sebago Lake. And one life-long friend bought and introduced us to Cundy's Harbor in Harpswell.
Harpswell is just beyond Brunswick, a town with the longest coastline in Maine at 200 miles. It comprises Bailey Island, Eagle Island, Haskell Island, Orrs Island, Harpswell Center, West and South Harpswell, North Harpswell and the village of Cundy's Harbor on Great or Sebascodegan Island.
Cundy's Harbor lies in East Harpswell on the southeastern portion of Sebascodegan Isl...
Married to the constant gardener, Farmer Frank, I’d never needed to go somewhere to pick blueberries. I’d never done so in my entire life.
I do go to an orchard to pick apples nearly every fall. It’s something I love to do and have done since my boys were toddlers. Now-a-days, we head to The Brothers in Alfred to pick McIntosh apples (per our best friends’ recommendation) and buy apple cider donuts, still warm. McIntosh apples – small, crisp and slightly sour are my favorites, and I eat one every day. “An apple a day keeps the doctor…..” Each autumn, I make apple sauce (with pork chops), apple pie, and apple cake in a spring form pan. (The cake has a stick of butter, 6 ounces of sour cream, and lots of cinnamon/sugar which makes all the difference.)
But blueberries (and raspberries) were such a staple in our home on Bramblewood Drive because of Frank’s amazing vegetable garden and berry plants. We must have had a billion blueberries each season by the t...
Impromptu, a husband, sitting on Scarborough Beach on the most gorgeous first day of fall, suggests to his wife dinner with friends on the deck of the Black Point Inn to watch the sunset.
The friends are called, friends who generally have to book out months in advance to get something on the calendar, friends busy with work, adult children and very full lives. Both couples say YES enthusiastically.
What a great idea!
They can, and they’d love to.
Sometimes, impromptu is the best way, catching someone in the moment.
The six have drinks overlooking Ferry Beach while they wait for a table on the outdoor deck. This Labor Day weekend, Black Point Inn is crowded. The restaurant is filled with chatty two-somes – older couples, beautiful young married couples, and middle aged couples escaping their city lives wearing sun dresses, madras shorts, sandals and deck shoes. They all have colorful cocktails in festive glasses; they sit in the white Adirondack chairs overlooking the expanse of l...
Unbeknownst to my friend, my husband and I will be attending a wedding at the Stone Barn in October, but she invited us to one of their Thursday night farm-to-table dinners open to the public throughout the summer….and what a marvelous evening the three of us had!
The Stone Barn is on the grounds of St. Joseph’s College which borders Sebago Lake on Whites Bridge Road. The barn is part of the original Verrill estate and was renovated by the college in 2016 as part of their deep commitment to sustainability, wellness, and the local community. It reminds me, on a smaller scale, of the magnificent stone barn for horses at Shelburne Farms on Lake Champlain in Vermont, built by one of the Vanderbilts that began a tradition of agricultural innovation.
The Maine Stone Barn at St. Joseph’s can hold events for up to 250 guests for private parties, fund raisers, weddings, and corporate gatherings.
On the summer weeknight we visited, the weather was perfect – cool-ish with br...
My adult son, home from North Carolina on his summer holiday, said riding bikes on Peaks Island was the one thing he’d like to do while home. Hmmm. Interesting, my husband and I thought. Of all the things…..
We took our two sons to Peaks Island several times when they were kids. We took our kids everywhere that we wanted them to see and experience. Our goal was to expose them broadly to see what ticked.
On Peaks Island, when they were boys, we rode bikes, looked at towers made of rocks on the backside shore, took photos used in Christmas cards, and basked in the sea air on the 20-minute ferry from Portland.
As teenagers, both sons brought friends to Peaks Island several times. Our NC son would have his cousin take the train from Boston and with the guys, they’d ferry out alone. They no longer needed my husband or me. They’d bring or rent bikes. Independent. Free. Get an ice cream. Do whatever they wanted, unfettered.