Monday, July 30, 2012

Land Ho!

Hello Land Lubers!

This past weekend was a great time at the annual Lee Lobsterfest up at my parent's house in Maine.  Much lobster was eaten, many rousing and competitive games of croquet were played, and some tears shed as we presented our parents with their 40th anniversary gift.  Previously, we had all gathered at my sister's boyfriend's home on Plum Island in Massachusetts where we had a photo of we three daughters, our significant others and our children photographed on the beach by my friend, Leila Mattila (of Grand Strides Photos) who is a wonderful and professional photographer.  My parents did not know we had done this, so it was a great moment to present them this beautiful photo of us all and another of just their grandkids.

It was fun three day event that also included a wonderful community breakfast at their local church.  They serve breakfast every Sat in the summers and for a mere $6.00, you get a big fresh fruit cup, a stack of pancakes or french toast or eggs and a baked goodie made by the ladies at the church.  There are a lot of older community members serving and also enjoying the camaraderie of each other's company.  As it's a small town, I think it's how many catch up with each other, share a laugh and coffee and check in how each other is doing.  You get the sense that if someone is missing on that Saturday morning, one of the members of the church will be calling later to check on them.  It's a very nice feel to the breakfast and the ladies always make a fuss over the boys, making sure they get enough to eat and  feel welcome.  It's best to do some of the things the locals do when you visit an area to be sure you get a sense of the true community.  I feel that this little community is a caring one.

In true homesteader fashion, we also ordered an additional 10 lobsters for our winter freezer.  My father gets the lobs fresh off the boat and they are cooked mere hours after they are procured.  Sweeter, tastier and more succulent seafood you'll not find.  Music Man and I even made converts out of my niece and her boyfriend.  We never use butter on our lobster and talked them into trying it without, they were convinced it did not need it either.  As they come right off the boat and my parent's neighbor works for the lobsterman, they get them at a ridiculously cheap price, which is still more then the lobsterman makes off the grocery stores. We ordered 10 extras with the intention of shelling them and storing the meat in the deep freeze for winter lobster stews or pot pies.  Luckily, they were soft shell (or as we know them locally "shedders") and the removal of their shells proved to be pretty easy.  Music Man steamed them up, we cleaned them and ended up with almost 3 1/2 pounds of lobster meat for less then you'd pay for a good steak.  Score!

At Little Red's request, we visited Mount Batty in Camden and took in the gorgeous view of Camden Harbor.  We picked a few blueberries, but they were mostly gone having fruited earlier then usual, but the boys enjoyed that, perhaps no boy enjoyed it more then Music Man.  We saw an artist painting the harbor scene, climbed a castle tower, watched a turkey vulture flying below where we sat on the summit, many lobstermen at work in the harbor and just enjoyed the serenity and beauty of the place. God's own work for sure, just stunning views of the harbor and islands beyond.  I like to imagine what it was like when the Native Americans lived there, before it was houses and marinas and feel connected to that time and place.

Perhaps the highlight of the whole trip for us was the sail on the Morning In Maine sailboat.  My parents chartered this beautiful 45 foot ship to sail us around the harbor, out to Owl's Head Light and back.  Here's a fact that many may not know.  When the boys were very young, Music Man and I contemplated seriously buying a sailboat, homeschooling the kids and sailing up and down our lovely coasts.  Finding work in a port enough to move on to the next stop.  I think once we got the mortgage on the house that dream fell away a bit, but it's something we contemplate doing in retirement on a smaller scale.  We are both lovers of the sea, through and through.  I love the rugged beauty of the ocean, the smell, the spray, the power of the sea.  I feel connected to it in a way I don't feel connected to anything else, and Music Man feels the same.  I love farming, and I'm very connected to the earth in that way as well, but I'm never more peaceful then when I'm on a boat, or watching the rise and fall of a tide from a seaside place, feeling the fish on a line, or cracking a lobster.  I love the beauty and formation of seaweed and the briny smell of  low tide, exploring the wonders of tide pools.  It all makes my soul peaceful and joyful.  I crave it on the very level of my soul, ingrained and I'm helpless to resist it.  The reason I could never move to Colorado and be truly ocean.  Mountains are beautiful and I love them, too, but they don't nourish my soul like an incoming salty wave does. 

Though we all had a good time, no one quite got the connection of this trip to their souls like we did except perhaps my mother and father, who are also lovers of all things salt water.  My father ended up talking to the captain for most of the cruise and got himself a part time job crewing for him a trip or two a week while he's on summer break from teaching.  I could see the envy in Music Man's eyes, what he would not do to be in the situation where he could do the same. 

Music Man did get to help hoist the main sail and pilot the boat, as did the boys, who thoroughly enjoyed their sailing experience as well and kept their eyes busy trying to spot seals and porpoises (both of which we did see!).  A truly moving experience, this cruise, on many levels.  Can't wait to do it again some day.

Thanks, Mom and Dad for an experience we will never forget and some dear memories for our boys.

Wishing you salty spray and gulls for your soul, ~Peacemom

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