Sunday, September 25, 2011

Our Days in Maine

Fall color is beginning
Two days of fog and intermittent rain have lifted, and we have a gorgeous blue-sky day of 77 degrees.  The leaves have begun to change, and the apples are coming into season now (including some tart varieties in our back yard!).  Chris & Dad watched the Patriots lose this afternoon, and before I left for my swim this afternoon I put spaghetti sauce in the crock pot. We are having a good day!

Since I last posted, I've celebrated my 41st birthday. My Dad was here and my sister Elizabeth drove up from New Hampshire.  As a happy bonus surprise our beloved cousin Sallie drove up for the night from Camden, ME, and our old family friends Bob & Barb Frazier drove down from Lubec. Put them all together, add a Whoopie Pie cake and boom - you've got a birthday party. It was really great, and I received lots of charming and thoughtful gifts and cards from near and far.
At West Quoddy Light in Lubec, ME

Chris has had one business trip since we arrived. He had to fly out of Bangor, a 2 hour drive from our house. As you all surely know, we often wonder if we could ever spend a full year living up here in most eastern Maine. Business trips are always one of the sticky wickets. This one became a bit of a nail biter when his flight was delayed. You miss your flight in Bangor, you are hosed. If you're not familiar with this area because you're related to me, then the only reason you've ever heard of Bangor International is because its where they land airplanes from Europe when they have mechanical trouble or people lighting their explosive shoes on board . He made it, but we learned that he needs to leave himself more margin when flying to Texas from so far away.

While we were in Bangor, the boys and I had a great time visiting a historic Transportation museum, and the Bangor Children's Discovery Center. I could live in Bangor, it is such a charming city. And hardly anyone wants to live there because it is as close to the north pole as you can get without being in Canada, so I have to think property values are low. Also, in the Did You Know department, Bangor Maine Public Library has the highest circulation per capita of any library in the United States in a town over 30,000. As in, either they have 3 books or THESE PEOPLE LOVE TO READ. If I find a similar statistic about cupcake consumption, I'm packing my bags and yelling, "THESE ARE MY PEOPLE!". Forwarding address to follow.

Roques Bluff State Park

I woke up this morning and laid in bed staring out the window. Without my glasses on, I couldn't be sure what I was seeing, but it seemed that one of the branches of a spruce tree was twitching, and losing chunks of itself. I put on my glasses, and could tell that it was the work of a hidden squirrel, and that the chunks were small closed pine cones he was hurling to earth. When he moved to a new more heavily-laden branch I ran for the boys, and we all sat and watched him rain down a steady stream of pine cones. It must have been a two handed job, those babies weren't falling, he was chucking them, but good.

On the Kennebec road, going home

Entering into Machias, ME

We have settled into a very pleasant and relaxing rythmn here.  Any day without rain starts with coffee on the deck.  Chris has started leaving the house to go work downtown at Dunkin' Donuts, where he has Wi-Fi and cell reception.  We typically shop for our meals every day or every other day, since we are always in town once a day, anyway. I would never attempt this in McKinney, where any given grocery store occupies enough acreage for a single visit to constitute a legitimate workout, whether you need 1 or 20 items. The grocery store here is so nicely sized, and so well stocked, it is no problem to visit daily. We also have a natural foods store here that has all of the organic staples we need.
Chocolate in Lubec

We have managed to visit all of our favorite haunts at least once. Most of these involve food.  There is a new donut shop called the Town Fryer, and he makes fantastic raised honey donuts. While Elizabeth was here we had lunch at the Bluebird Family Restaurant, one of the two dueling Family Restaurants that straddle Route 1.  We chose to align with the Bluebird when the other one, Helen's, served me Chicken Parmesan fried into a sphere and topped with cheddar cheese.

We've eaten at our friends Matt &Faye's restaurant, the Fat Cat Deli, once. They make great pizza. We've hit one of the Lubec chocolate shops, spent copious amounts on chocolates, dubbed it so-so and now must return to spend more at the other chocolate shop. It's a hardship.

We are at once sad and grateful that our friends Ed and Diane are no longer making their fabulous bread in Lubec. That's about 2,000 calories per week we can now redistribute to the Town Fryer and other haute cuisine.

In a lengthy discussion of food on the coast of Maine, one might expect the mention of seafood. There, I mentioned it.

My father leaves tomorrow morning to spend the week farther north in Maine with some friends.  He will be back at the end of the week.  The boys and I have been to the pool at U Maine Machias many times, so I imagine we will do that this week, maybe visit Lubec again for the yarn shop, and then Chris and I celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary on Thursday.  I am still working on the babysitting factor there, hoping we can at least grab a quiet dinner together.


Some of our new fall color

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