Saturday, August 31, 2013

Shhh... I hear it!

It's quiet! It's a peaceful moment! I'm going to pet it and cuddle it and hope it doesn't go away!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

This really gets to me

I found this in our local news this morning: Vermont Man Gets Nearly 5 Years in Movie Fraud Case. (Click here to see the piece)

I feel really bad about this on so many levels. I don't doubt that he got what he deserved, and I feel really bad for the people who invested money in him, because I totally understand why they did. Mac Parker was a kind of hero of mine while I was a teenager. He was a simple Vermont storyteller, and he told stories well. No props, no nothing -- just a man and his stories and his Vermont accent. Stories that could have been about my grandparents. Stories that were about what it's really like here now. I heard him perform and I own many of his recordings. My mother admired him. He could make you laugh and cry and think all at once.

Somewhere, something went wrong. I feel like he betrayed himself, and the people who took him to heart, not just those who invested money in him.

One of the things he said really resonated with me, but now I'll never be able to think of it in quite the same way. It came at the end of a long description comparing Vermont to the rest of the country. He finished with the line, "Thank God I live in a quiet place, and I've remembered how to listen."

Now I wonder how he'll fare in jail for five years.

But despite what went wrong for him, I will never forget how to listen.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


We had a really nice time in Maine. The sea, as always, worked its magic.

Usually when we're in Acadia National Park, we spend most of our time riding our bikes on the gentle carriage roads, but this time we wanted to do something different, so we focused on hiking. My knees had discouraged me from doing this for years, but I decided to risk it since they were feeling pretty good. The first day, we hiked up into a place called The Bowl, which was a high elevation pond. The trail was steep, but the pond was lovely -- a little bowl of water nestled among mountain tops.

The second day, we decided to challenge ourselves more on a trail climbing up onto Great Head, which is the highest headland on the entire east coast of the US. It is a point of land that juts out into the ocean with absolutely amazing views. It was described as having "moderate rock scrambles." This turned out to be (in my opinion) scaling bare rock ledges with sheer drops into the water, a LONG way down (hence the "highest headland" title). A true rock climber would have scoffed and done it one handed, but for my poor knees and easily upset stomach, it was a challenge, especially going back down. But the photos were worth it, and the bald eagle that soared low over us twice was just fantastic.

It never rained at all because we put a lot of effort and strategy into hanging our gigantic tarp over the table and tents and even leaving a place to get the van under cover if necessary.

And, of course, we managed to consume a great deal of seafood. We also bought a lovely painting by a local artist, a book of chowder recipes, and several cheerful sun catchers. Oh, and I did some back to school shopping at an L.L. Bean outlet on the way home. (Okay, a new bathing suit on sale is back to school, right?)

The best part was returning home and finding that all the fallen tree mess had been cleaned up by our neighbors and our fridge was full of treats. Our driveway was also mysteriously repaired shortly before we left. I am SO appreciative of the wonderful community we live in.

Things are still rough, but we're doing all right.


 The Campsite with the amazing tarpage

The Happy Hiker at the Bowl
(Believe me, this was not the way the entire trial looked!)

The Bowl

Sand Beach from Great Head
(See how high we were! Those are people on the beach above the high water line)

The Eagle

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Death and Destruction

This has been a terrible summer -- there's no other way to describe it.

It began with the sudden death of our beloved dog Ruby, then progressed to the knowledge that a dear friend was very ill, which prompted our flash trip to Florida. Literally immediately upon return (that very night) my youngest daughter's boyfriend of two and a half years died in a car accident minutes after leaving our house. It's going to take us a long, long time, if ever, to come to some kind of understanding of this. Less that a week after, my father-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer. This on top of my own parents' slow but steady worsening health.

Of far less consequence, four or five trees beside our house came down in a storm while we were in Florida. They're still lying there untouched. Once, we would have tackled cleaning them up immediately. Now they're just lying there, and every time I look out a kitchen window, I realize how temporary things that I thought (or at least hoped) would last forever can be.

Did I mention that I was just told that even my car won't make it through another winter?

We're going to Maine for a few days this week. We all need to sit beside the sea for a while.

The trees will still be lying there when we return.