Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My 100th Posting

   I went to upload some new pictures and create a new folder last night when something weird happened.  The 700+ pictures I've taken since April when I took to the road that I so carefully place in labeled folders so I could recall all the where's and when's and what's freakishly moved to the same empty folder.  Now they are all mixed up without their own captions.  My first response was less than pleasant.  Not wanting to go there, I closed down my laptop and closed my eyes.   I started to recall all the kinds of questions I've been asked along my journey so far and then something even more interesting happened...I realized that I hadn't known the answer to most of them!  So, I began to question my mind's ability to recall information.  What DO I remember?  This is what I got after quite a while of quiet.
                                                                 What I Remember
"Wow, what did you see?"  "When did all that happen?"  "Where was that?"  "What body of water was that?"  "How old was the theater?"  "What was the name of that style boat?"  "Which battle was fought there?"  "Was that a state or national forest?"  "How tall was that beautiful lighthouse?"
                                             "I don't remember."  "I really don't."
                                                       "What's going on here?"
I felt inspired watching a rushing body of water completely surrender to gravity as it gloriously cascaded over the cliff.
I smelled the passing of time in the slats of the lattice covered bridge and heard the symphony of clopping horse shoes on the wooden floor planks.
I felt the cool mist of the ocean on my face as the waves came crashing against the rocks and the salty water tickle my tongue.
I heard faint voices in song seeping through the worn velvet curtains embracing the stage and caught a whiff of a good cigar.
I marveled over the workmanship of the sea-soaked fishing rig and wondered how many sunrises had warmed its hull.
I imagined what loyalty and compassion that soldiers must have felt for each other.  I felt saddened at how many young lives were lost and found my heart aching for the families who lost their loved ones to greed, anger and fear.
I meandered in awe through paths lined with trees and bushes of various species living peacefully side by side.  I thanked them for their gifts of oxygen, shade, sustenance and beauty.
I noticed the music created by the dried autumn leaves beneath my hiking boots.
I wondered just how a sailor after many weeks/months at sea must have felt to finally catch a glimpse of the rotating light that whispered, "You are almost home."
My life has been enriched by the many "Bright Spots" and those smiling faces that told their beautiful stories to a 'perfect stranger.'
I am grateful for each moment of my life that has brought me to this grand adventure.
This is what I remember.

What?! More Pumpkins???

   First stop heading south...Keen, NH Annual Jack-o-lantern Festival.  The weather held out pretty well...overcast, but no rain!  It did however effect the attendance keeping Keene from breaking the Guiness Record this year.  Despite that, there WERE over 21,000 pumpkin-based carvings to admire, question and laugh at.

pumpkins lined the streets

used to draw him while not
listening to the teacher

How cool is Linus?




Some of them were really awesome.   They were everywhere you looked!  I had originally planned to carve one and contribute to the count, but when I heard there was a Pumpkin Orphanage there, I decided to adopt one instead!  A tree...a very cool tree!

Marie, her mom and Pumpkin Diva
   I met Marie and her mom there.  They drove up from Massachusetts.   They DID carve a pumpkin to add to the count.  It was very very cute! We found pumpkin whoopie pies with the cream cheese filling...soooo yummy!  There were kids and pets in costume and a lot of terrific crafters!






 











 I ended up leaving about the time the official count began and fortunately for me, I did.  It seems there was some unnecessary uproarious college campus behavior and I just missed it...thank goodness!   The campground where I had reserved a site for that night and Sunday night was only 15 minutes away so I was all tucked in in no time.  Early the next morning I walked down to Swanzey Lake and marveled at the crystal clear water!

crystal clear




It shimmered in the moonlight and glistened at daybreak...so lovely.  There were precious few folks around as it was the last days of the camping season.  It was very pleasant.  I got a little reading in and nearly completed my Van-Go reorganization.  Whew!  How did I ever maintain order in an 8 room house with a yard???  LOL
OK, no comments from the offspring!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Last Afternoon in Maine

  Martie and I spent the day shopping and marveling at the beauty of coastal Maine!  First, we checked out Boothbay Harbor, a quaint touristy town with a pretty good selection of shops and cafes.
Boothbay Harbor
Our last shop-stop,  Enchantment, was a treasure-trove of fun and funkiness!!!  No doubt my favorite place!  I could have done some real damage to the bank account if I had more space....fortunately, I don't!
The view outside the window
at our table

I got to wear a bib this time!!!
   We did manage to find a restaurant serving lobster.  I couldn't choose one or eat right on the dock...BUT, it was very tasty and the view just inside was still great.
   Even though it was getting a bit late, Chef Conan insisted we continue on to Ocean Point before we headed back to the house for his famous pot roast dinner because "she needs to see it!"  As we drove around every curve, it was clear to me why he was willing to wait.

Me playing with the hue

The ocean shoreline

Cutest church ever

A little summer cottage

Sunset in 'blue'
 This little area was bursting with New England-ness.  The ocean splashing itself upon the rocks, the summer cottages, the tiny church, the winding road, the setting sun sparkling in the water...all so spectacular!   Words never seem to be grand enough to express how I feel when I close my eyes and just listen to the ocean play its symphony...especially for me.
   It was a perfect way to conclude my adventures in Maine...this time around, anyway...:)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Farewell Madison, ME

One of MANY logging trucks passing
Mel's house every day!


     



It was with mixed emotions that Van-Go and I drove out of Mel's driveway this morning.  We have had such a fun visit!  We probably broke some kind of record on how much of Maine you can see in three consecutive
Abol Falls
days!!!  Thank you, Melanie for inviting me to stay in your home and for helping to make my time in Maine so memorable.
Back yard

Sunrise across the road

Full moon night
Sunset at Robbins Hills...
Mel's "other" back yard

Moosehead Lake

Chia pet boulder on trail to Ice Cave...lol
Sunrise from her front yard

Bright Spot Trifecta

  Wow!  First time for 3 Bright Spots in one day!!!
Bright Spot #1- Gotta love small towns...I went to the post office at 12:30 and it was closed for lunch until 2:00!!!  So, I decided to have a little lunch myself..."when in Rome" as they say!  I met Amanda in the House of Pizza.  I asked what was great there that wasn't pizza and she highly recommended their grilled chicken salad.  It was fabulous.
Amanda
This woman had the most beautiful smile and I just wanted to talk to her...knowing she MUST have some happy news.  As it turned out, Amanda is expecting her 3rd son (Brice) sometime in January!  Her other sons are Dylan, 13 and Ethan, 9!  She told me cheerfully that she believes herself to be a really great mom!  I had no doubts as we continued to talk. She loves wanting to make someone else happy more than she does herself.  She also loves that motherhood is never boring!  She had another good news story for me...Saturday was the grand opening of the new library in Canaan.  This has been an ongoing community project for close to 10 years.  She was so excited and proud as she shared that so many people donated time, money and expertise in various areas to make this dream come to fruition.  Best wishes Amanda with your wonderful family...be sure to take them to that new library!!!


Bright Spot #2- After I ate lunch, I returned to the post office and there I met Elaine.  Aside from being extremely helpful and genuinely pleasant, Elaine was thrilled with the unseasonably warm weather!  70* in mid October is Maine...WOW!
Elaine
She is also very happy for her daughter who is making a name for herself in the TV/movie industry.  She assisted with producing and directing in several areas of the country.  She was even part of the team who worked on the new movie "We Bought a Zoo"!


Sandy






Bright Spot #3- Melanie and I went shopping and she knew the cashier, Sandy.  They got to talking and Sandy shared that she was ready to make a big change in her life.  She was ready to get out of retail and open a Doggie Daycare at her home AND her husband is willing to build whatever structures she'll need!  Her energy was absolutely delightful.  I told her about my blog and asked if I could include her exciting story and of course, she was happy for me to.  I can see the doggies' tails wagging  now!  Sandy will have great success in whatever she chooses to do...she has the attitude of champions!

A Weekend of Wonder

     Last weekend I stayed at Melanie's parents' home.  We all had such a great time!  I must say that I was totally spoiled for nearly 3 whole days and it was wonderful!
cellar holes from original settlement
in the early 1600's

Commemorative plaque
sinking of the ship...Angel
Gabriel...Conan had relatives
on that ship

old fishing boat called a trawler-
the wheels at the back reeled the nets in

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse

Pemaquid Point...where the ship sank

Fisherman's Museum
-anchor from waaay back

View from inside the museum


Conan shared amazing stories of his family and of Maine.  He also gave me fabulous tips on where to go and what to see when I come back up...not only ME hots spots, but Canada as well!  I also have a list of trivia to test my son with when I see him...I might just stump him this time..lol  Martie was very welcoming and took care of my every need.  We had a blast at the Pumpkin Fest (pics already posted) and got some great walking in!
Is that a great hat or what?

I forgot this awesome stilt-walker
from the parade

I couldn't stop looking at this one...so
intricate!!!

Window boxes are very popular

 They were both tour guides extraordinaire.  They cooked for me or treated me to meals...the best, of course was the soft shell lobster lunch that we waited to be boiled and sat and ate right on the dock at Five Islands!!!  Conan said I was a very good student as he taught me how to eat the lobster...my steamed crab days paid off!!  LOL  It was really a special treat.  Thank you so much Conan and Martie!!!
OH YEAH...the tail!

Five Islands...part of
Georgetown, ME

Is this a fishing town or what???

Lobster boat

Lobster cages

Lobster lunch on the dock...
caught that morning!

A whole lobster just for me!!!