Thursday, September 4, 2014

Going Back in Time (Sort Of)

Why yes, that is the Webhannet River...
Google Maps Street View
When I was a wee lad it was a rare summer which did not see at least one family excursion to the great state of Maine. Even if it was only for a single day.

I well remember the excitement as we got closer and closer to the sea. It was always a contest to see who would "smell the sea air" first. (And yes, I know it wasn't exactly the sea we were smelling, be still, it's my story.)

Of course, my oldest kid brother (The Olde Vermonter) always claimed to be able to smell it first. Once or twice he may actually have been first. Then again, the time he proclaimed "I can smell the ocean!" and in reality we were just crossing the Connecticut River into New Hampshire (quite a ways from the sea I might add) might have damaged his credibility just a bit. But (surprise, surprise) I digress.

I loved Maine then, I love it now.

But many of the amenities which Maine offers are also right here in Little Rhody.

Par exemple:

Maine is on the Atlantic. As is Little Rhody.

The Maine seacoast has some superb seafood restaurants. As does Little Rhody.

The Maine seacoast has some lovely beaches. As does Little Rhody.

On the other hand...

The ocean water along the Maine coast always feels like it could freeze at any minute. And that's in mid-July. The ocean water temperature around Little Rhody is much milder.

Maine is more rural than Little Rhody (for the most part). Which can be a plus (which it is for me, I'm not a city kinda guy) or a minus (if you prefer the bright lights and bustle of a metropolitan area).

But for me, Maine has hundreds of memories. Nearly all of them pleasant.

And Maine is...

Well, it's Maine. Those who've been there, will understand.

One memory which is funny in hindsight (wasn't that funny back then) was the time my parents decided to spend the night in Maine rather than head back to Vermont after a late day at the beach. (And some time lingering over dinner at one of those seafood restaurants.)

Dad found a place, nothing fancy, essentially a shack with windows and a door, bathroom and beds. There were a lot of places like that back in the day. The idea was to spend the days on the beach and visiting all the other cool places along the coast of Maine. Motels were simply a place to sleep.

So we check in and hunker down to get some sleep. Round about oh-dark-thirty in the wee hours of the morning we were all awakened by a loud roaring noise accompanied by the earth shaking and quaking.

Seems our cabin was roughly ten yards from the train tracks.

At the time it wasn't that funny.

Now? It's a hysterical memory. One I cherish.

I haven't been to Maine in a few years. Not since my parents lost their vacation place in Maine. Let me explain that "lost" thing.

Back when Dad was alive and still working, he was presented with the opportunity to buy a pretty good size trailer home on a rental plot in Maine. In Wells, Maine to be specific. The price was right, the rent for the plot of land the trailer sat on was more than reasonable, so Dad made the deal.

Without consulting Mom.

Yeah, she was a little steamed. Then she realized, what they would pay over the course of a year for this place was much less than what they'd have to pay to spend a couple of weeks in Maine in a motel. So she was sold on the idea. They both loved that place.

Now time passed and a group of people with money to "invest" decided that buying the park where Mom and Dad's place was and putting up condos would be a wonderful idea.

The owner's of the land were glad to take the condo peoples'

End result: three elderly couples lost their homes. (They lived in their trailers on that land full time.) My folks lost their vacation place.

I'm sure the condo people made lots of money. (My sincerest hope is that they all went bankrupt. But then, I'm vindictive that way.)

So I haven't been to Maine since then. I forget how long ago that was. I know it was more than four years ago, as Dad passed away that long ago and I haven't been to Maine since he died. So a long time it's been.

Now Mom still goes up to Maine, usually for a couple of days and usually "off season." Recently she informed me that she and one of her friends were going up "after Labor Day" and perhaps The Missus Herself and I would like to come up for a day.

Now my vacation time is not unlimited. I have a few days left and was going to save them for later. (Having the daughters and senior granddaughter come to visit was unplanned, so that burned up a week.)

The other day 
The Missus Herself stopped by the computer room and asked, "So are we going to Maine to see your Mom?"

I hemmed and hawed and prevaricated. At first I said, "No."

She countered with the devastating female argument of "Why not?"

Having no answer, I called my Mom. Found out what days she was going to be in Maine.

Mom convinced me to stay overnight.
The Missus Herself was appalled that I agreed to said scheme.

Eventually she convinced herself that it might be fun.

So it's off to Maine I go. Today and tomorrow.

Back in time in some ways.

Blogging may be light.

See you on the flip side.

We just might have to get a bite to eat here. It's not Lord's but it's pretty good. See here.
(It's on the same road where Lord's used to be. See below...)

Google Maps Street View

Google Maps Street View


  1. Maine is indeed a special place.

  2. Well, as always, have fun. We'll be here when you get back.

  3. I enjoyed Maine the two times I was there. The major attraction for me? LOBSTAH. Good beer, too.

    Have fun.

    1. I did have fun.

      I made a serious dent in the clam population.

  4. We were there 3 years, '82-'85. The Mrs would move back immediately. I think her fond memories fogs her mind as to how cold it was during the winter and the black flies in the summer. We had a passive solar home on 3 acres in the woods in Woolwich across the river from Bath. The 'woods' really goes w/o saying when talking about Maine for you're in the wood w/n momments of leaving any town. After living in SoCal for the past 30 years I think a milder climate would be more to her liking, which is why we're planning a retirement move to my home state of North Carolina, hopefully. next year.

    1. Yeah, winter. Never been there during the winter.

      My Dad spent a lot of time up there in the winter. Walking the beach, he enjoyed the lack of tourists. The cold? Well, that's another thing entirely!

      (North Carolina is one of the most beautiful states in this country!)

  5. I've never been to Maine, but it was the state I claimed for the license plate game as a kid when we went on long (3 hour or more) road trips.
    That's because the odds of seeing a Maine license plate in Northern California during the 50s were almost nil.

    Also regarding road trips... we (mom, dad, my brother, and I once overnighted at a motel in Red Bluff that was right next to the railroad.

    1. The license plate game. My word I remember that. California was always a hard one back in the day.

  6. I hve to take a road trip of New England. My idea of a great vacation is to just jump in the car, head east (not much left west) and go where the road takes you. Did that in 2006 when my niece got married in MN - took a "mini lap" around the country - got as east as VA - New Orleans - 7,496 miles in 14 days.

    I would imagine some of the coast in ME is beautiful.

    A bit of Trivia: For those who remember the series Murder She Wrote and the town of Cabot Cove, ME - Cabot Cove was......Mendocino in No CA. Forget the name of the hotel where the production crew stayed - but I can't forget the place - the toilets got clogged .

    1. When you do, let me know. First round is on me.

  7. Replies
    1. Indeed, though I didn't have any this time. (I'm a big clam and scallop guy. Figuratively AND literally.)


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