Friday, May 17, 2013

MAINE! (Excerpted from "My Friends with Wings")

I am a contributor to another blog geared to a juvenile audience.  More precisely, it's geared to an audience of gravely ill, hospitalized children who have little hope and practically no opportunity to venture outside their antiseptic world.  If you read the post entitled "Do you want to play with me?" from April, you already know their story in large part.  I thought of "translating" the following excerpt from that blog for an adult audience but upon re-reading, I don't think you'll mind if I leave it as-is!

I hope you enjoy reading about my favorite little corner of the world.....

"My mom and I are just returning from our annual trip to Maine to open the small house that our family owns there.  Maine is in the extreme northeast corner of the United States (upper right corner, if you look on a map).  Since it is so far to the north, the winter can be very cold with lots of snow and ice.  But the springs, summers, and falls are beautiful and much milder than in the southern part of the country. 

Our house is called "seasonal".  It was never meant to be lived in during the cold of winter and so, it has no insulation to help keep it warm when the weather is at its worst.  Every autumn, usually in October, we close the house for the year and our plumber drains and prepares our water lines for the cold.  Every spring, he reconnects our water service and we arrive to clean up any winter mess.

We call our small house MooseWalk Cottage because every spring, one or more of the local moose like to hang out in our yard.  Normally, moose are very shy and only rarely come so close to where humans live.  I guess they get "spring fever" like humans do and do things that aren't normal for them. Moose are very large and have huge, funny-shaped antlers.  Actually, they can be much larger than a normal car!  Since our house is in the country, we see a lot of different wildlife in addition to moose.  Turkeys, deer, skunks, guinea fowl, chipmunks, field mice, bats and other animals all share our spot near the woods.  They can be entertaining to watch but you don't want them to come inside!  We once chased a bat out of the house with a broom and a bed sheet.

My mom and I felt a little lonely this week.  One of our neighbors, Ruth Winter, is not here this year.  She died just last November at the age of 99.  Part of our trip each year is to celebrate Ruth's birthday on May 10th.  And even though Ruth wasn't with us, we celebrated her 100th birthday with her family and other friends last Friday.  It was a beautiful warm, sunny day; the kind of day that Ruth would have loved!  It was a sad reason to gather but we all agreed that having had a wonderful friend like Ruth Winter helped with the sadness of losing her.  We had dinner with Ruth's daughter and son-in-law and met several new friends that we didn't know before.

While in Maine, we mowed our lawn, put down mulch in our flower beds, cleaned the inside of the cottage and got the house ready for summer.  In addition to our visits, we sometimes have friends stay at the cottage when we are away.

Maine is famous for seafood.  So we ate fish, oysters, crab and clams while there.  Mom usually likes to have a lobster when she visits but I guess that will wait for her next trip up.  

There's plenty more to tell about visiting MooseWalk Cottage but I want to save some for later.  Right now, I'm looking out the window of our flight back to Atlanta and I see that we are passing over New York City.  It's a beautiful late-spring day and the skies are clear.  Everything looks so small from here.  It's hard to believe that New York is the largest city on Earth!

There's a great big world out there.  And its just waiting for you..."

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