Posted tagged ‘Maine’

“Such bees! Bilbo had never seen anything like them. “If one were to sting me,” He thought “I should swell up as big as I am!”

September 12, 2017

Alexa woke me up this morning as I had an early library board meeting. When I heard her dulcet tones, I said thank you without thinking. Alexa said, “You’re welcome.” I’m going to start calling her Hal.

Today and tomorrow are predicted to be perfect fall days. It will be in the high 70’s today and down to the 50’s at night. Tomorrow will be about the same but a little warmer when the sun goes down.

The flowers on my front fence are bee magnets. When I went through the gate this morning, I brushed against the flowers and disturbed a few bees who then flew around  Gracie and me. She didn’t care, but I was a bit unnerved because when I was a kid, I was stung by a bee. We were in Maine on vacation. The house where we stayed was up the hill from the ocean and was surrounded by trees, but if you walked a bit, you came to fields overgrown with wildflowers. One day we explored. As we walked through the fields, bees rose from the flowers. I swear there were hundreds, but I admit the sting probably skewed my perspective. One bee flew around me and then stung me on the head. I yelled, well, maybe I screamed. I said I’d been stung. My parents checked my head and said the bee wasn’t there. I knew it was so I yelled again. They rechecked. They found the bee which I swear had bitten me two or three times. I can still see that field in my mind’s eye. I’n not afraid of bees despite that experience, but I don’t like them either.

I’ve mentioned how much I hate the Dole ad about the mixed doubles fruit cup drainers who are assailed by the Dole sipper who tells her husband, “Oh, they’re drainers.”  As she says this, the sipper’s face shows perfectly the distain in her voice. This commercial has disappeared, but the sipper is back. This time she is in the aquarium, and she is still a know-it-all who just happens to have an extra Dole juice cup on hand to give her drainer friend when she has her fruit epiphany.

Yesterday I took a nap and stayed around the house so today I have yesterday’s errands That’s it for my list. That’s it for the day’s activities.

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“The family is always the family but during vacations it is an extended family and that is exhausting.”

July 15, 2017

They’d be cornToday is another dreary day, cloudy and damp. Movie night is postponed as it may rain and the deck is still wet from the rain yesterday. Tomorrow night we’ll be watching Gunga Din and munching appies and assorted movie candy. We pause for bathroom breaks.

My old MAC is totally defunct. It needs a new fan, a new battery and a new hard drive. May it rest in peace.

The house next door is rented this week. A car is in the driveway, and I can hear their voices. They have a kid or two.

I went to the library this morning. Traffic was bumper to bumper even on the back roads. I dread the rest of my errands as I have to go on main roads. Beaches are empty on days like today so tourists take to the main roads to find something to do and souvenirs to buy.

We never came to the cape when I was a kid. If we were going away, we went north. My father’s friend had a place in Ogunquit, Maine. It was a tiny cottage in a row of side by side tiny cottages. There was a small kitchen with a table and chairs, and there were beds, lots of built-in beds. We never slept one to a bed as there were too many of us. In one room were two sets of three bunks. It was like a couchette on a train.

The Maine water was so cold only my father went swimming. He used to body surf. We’d go at low tide and try to catch the small swift fish in the tidal pools. We’d walk the dunes. I remember my horror at seeing naked people sunbathing among those dunes. Meals were mostly catch as catch can except for dinner which was usually hot dogs or burgers on the grill. They’d be corn on the cob and sometimes potato salad. The informality of the meals was part of the vacation.

When I reached my mid-teens, the last thing I wanted was a family vacation in close quarters with nothing for anyone my age to do. My father had to threaten me with dire consequences if I continued moaning and complaining. I used to pout with all the teenage angst I could muster.

The last family vacation I remember was the one to Niagara Falls. I was sixteen that summer. Woolworth’s was a summer away.

“What shall you do all your vacation?’, asked Amy. “I shall lie abed and do nothing”, replied Meg.”

May 26, 2015

Today, according to the paper, will be a warm one, in the 70’s. I, however, am a bit skeptical as the clouds have obscured the sun, and there is a stiff breeze. My list is long today. I have several places to go. Yesterday I bought herbs and perennials and a few tomatoes. I wanted more veggies, but there were none, all had been sold. I’ll try a couple of other garden centers hoping to find my snap peas.

Lots of people were down for the weekend. The line to go off cape was miles long, but the wait was not unexpected. It happens every Sunday and turnover Saturdays until Labor Day. The sun and surf carry a big price.

I never cared whether or not we went on vacation. Saturday night was usually the drive-in and Sunday the beach. We went to Maine a few times and stayed at my father’s friend’s cottage, the tiniest place ever. Beds were build-in wherever there was space so the place could sleep 10 or 12 people. On both sides of the cottage, the nearest neighbors were within spitting distance. The water was too cold for swimming. There was really nothing for me to do. It was my least favorite vacation spot, but it was free so I was stuck.

We never came down the cape. We went north. I remember seeing the Old Man of the Mountain, now gone, the flume and the top of Mount Washington. My dad drove our car up he mountain on what I thought was a really narrow road. We were on the outside and there were no rails. I could see right down the mountain, but what I remember most is how cold it was on the top of Mount Washington ever though it was summer. I think we did that trip in a day.

There was a lake we went to which had a slide into the water, a regular slide, nothing fancy, and a zip line you held onto with both hands. I don’t remember the name of the lake, but we it was always a day trip. I liked lake water. It was always warm, and if I happened to swallow some water, it wasn’t gross like salt water. We would swim almost for the whole day stopping only for lunch and then the hour wait so we wouldn’t die of cramps.

It never occurred to me that we seldom went away. Summers always seemed busy. We had that one huge trip to Niagara Falls, but that was it. I still remember every stop on that trip. It must have taken my parents a long time to save enough money. I remember it as my first visit to a foreign country.

“For after all the best thing one can do when it is raining, is to let it rain.”

January 12, 2012

Miserable is the first adjective which comes to mind in describing today. The rain is constant, and the wind is strong enough to blow the bird feeders back and forth, even the heaviest, the squirrel buster feeder, is swaying. Gracie hasn’t been outside since last night. She never even bothered to stick her head out the door as the rain is loud enough for her to know it’s pouring. Just in case she needs to rush, I’ve left the back door open.

My den is dark. I had the light on earlier when I was reading the papers but I turned if off when I finished. I like the darkness and the sense of being surrounded by rain. Fern and Gracie are with me but both are asleep. Fern is on the back pillow of the couch and Gracie is stretch across it. Every now and then I hear Gracie sigh, but mostly I just hear the rain.

Even when I was a little kid, I loved the sound of the rain. I remember one vacation in Maine when we were all stuck inside on a rainy day. We played games and listened to the radio, but I could take all that closeness only so long so I grabbed my book and headed to the car. Lying on my stomach and reading, I was comfy and dry and could hear the rain on the metal roof and against the windows. I don’t remember how long I stayed there, but I do remember it was one of the best afternoons.

Summer rain is my favorite. When it gently falls, I sit outside on the deck under the umbrella and read. All around me is rain, but I stay dry, and I listen as the rain make its music. I hear it on the deck, and I hear it when it drips off the umbrella.