Thursday, August 28, 2008

"If You're Opposed to Logging, Try Using Plastic Toilet Paper"

(I apologize for the lack of pictures ... still no camera cord ...perhaps my friend Kendra can email me some pics and then I will post them...hint, hint. Edited to add: Kendra pulled through for me! The pictures are posted here.)
When you wake up to your husband slowing the van into a rest area, and the first thing to enter your consciousness is a bumper sticker bearing the above quote, THAT'S how you know you're in Maine.
Wide smile. Maine truly is Vacationland.
You know how you can listen to a very busy piece of classical music, and sometimes the most poignant and striking parts of it are the strategically placed rests? The quiet? This was the much-coveted "rest" for us.
It only took us an additional day and an additional alternator to get there, a successful trip by our standards.  Ethan spent two Sundays preaching to a delightful group of people in Bucksport, Maine.  We stayed at a vacation rental in nearby Stockton Springs. The landlady had left a list of suggestions for enjoying the area, and we systematically went down the list, finding each item a winner.
We watched a sea otter dip and dive as we towered 420 feet above it in the Penobscot Narrows Observatory, and the pirates were just leaving as we arrived at Fort Knox at the tail end of their anachronistic Pirates' Day at the Fort. We wore out before the children did as they played hide and seek in the shadows of the fort, running ahead to explore the next darkened corners.
Sears Island, the largest uninhabited island on the East Coast, brought shrieks of shock and thrill as the children quickly disproved my "You don't need swimsuits; the water's far too cold" piece of motherly intuition. A quick trek back to the van provided said unnecessary swimsuits (and, as it turned out, I only SAID they were unnecessary -- they proved quite helpful -- grrr), and stubby fingers stained red from berry-picking scratched the shore for sea glass and sea shells. A few hours later, the children dribbled ice cream on their swimsuits as we surprised them with the rare treat of ice cream cones ("Papa and Mama! We love you FOREVER!").
On the way to Schoodic Point, we found the BEST! lobster rolls at Chase's Restaurant ("strictly a local's place," in the words of our landlady) in Winter Harbor. Benjamin and Lily shared a shrimp basket, and Abraham and Miriam shared a platter of fish-n-chips (and fought over the FISH! They never even touched the fries!). Edee took a little from everyone. Schoodic Point coaxed frightened giggles as the children played on nature's version of a playground, every child demanding, "I can do it!" as they picked their way from rock to rock to rock, the ocean lapping at their feet.
The Big Chicken Barn (one of those unusual places that sells antiques at junk prices instead of the other way around) proved to be one of our favorite stores.
Ethan marveled over the model boats at BlueJacket Shipcrafters (and I have to admit, even I was having a hard time maintaining a bored look).
We enjoyed the view (and the blueberries!) at Camden Hills State Park and then strolled around the boardwalk of downtown Camden.
(Incidentally, this is where we were sitting on benches eating freshly-purchased pastries when a woman pushing two yappy puppies that were dressed in doll clothes in a pink pet stroller saw us and loudly proclaimed, "ARE THEY ALL YOURS? OH, MY WORD! MY DOGGIES JUST LOVE CHILDREN. DON'T YOU, DOGGIES? LOOK AT ALL THE CHILDREN! THEY'RE ALL YOURS? ARE YOU MORMON???"
And she thought WE were a sight.)
And after this delightful week was over, we ended our stay in Maine with a few days of fellowship, fine food, and fine wine at our friends' home in Freeport. Despite the almost constant rain, we got out and about and had grand fun. We made the requisite Freeport trip to L.L. Bean (the kids always get a kick out of the big boot ... well, not literally ...) but also enjoyed kayaking and going for a mini-hike with a grand view at the top. But the most fun were the hearty laughs and honest discussions after the kids were tucked in bed. I had forgotten what deep friendship (outside of marriage, of course) feels like ... that settled feeling where you don't always have to be talking but it's OK if you are.
Aaaah. It was good. It was restful, it was rejuvenating, it was needed.
Strike up the band.


  1. I saw the title of your post and I had to let you know I love it. I live in the city where they don't even know where all that stuff in the produce department comes from so I will definitely have use for that.

    Loved the "are you mormons?" I'm still laughing. I haven't had that, but the other. And I only have four.

    Sounds like a great trip. I'd check out all the links but I'd get vacation envy. ;-)

  2. That's the first time we have SERIOUSLY been asked if we were Mormon. Loudly asked. With much excitement and incredulity.

    I still can't get over the fact that she thought WE were such an oddity.

  3. saw that up here in MT and laughed out loud...stuck with me all day :)


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