I will be posting several “Dispatches from Maine” throughout the summer months.
Where has the past year gone to? It seems like we were just packing up the cottage last October for our return to Maryland and here we are again on the shores of Sabbathday Lake where we will be in residence until the leaves are once again taking on their autumnal colors. It has been a busy year, especially the past few months of spring. “Long stormy spring-time, wet contentious April, winter chilling the lap of very May; but at length the season of summer does come.” So Thomas Carlyle (1795-1851), the Scottish essayist and historian, reminds us. And that was certainly the case in the Mid-Atlantic states, as well as here in northern New England.
We are happy to be back here among the peace and quiet of this lovely lake on the edge of the foothills of the White Mountains although the first few days of our stay have been accented with cool temperatures and rain that seemed not to want to stop. But now the skies have finally cleared and the sun and the warmer temperatures have returned just in time for this mid-year holiday weekend marking the true beginning of summer in New England . . . and with more humidity than we have come to expect up here. Luckily we have the lake nearby, when the heat and humidity become too much to deal with. Still, I would prefer cooler days.
The last time I was here was back in mid-January, when I was passing through Maine on my way home from my annual wintertime escape to Tall Timber Lodge, in the far northern extremities of New Hampshire hard on the Canadian border. At that time the lake was covered by a thick mantle of ice and snow and populated with a few bobhouses manned by intrepid icefishermen. Not wanting to get bogged down in the deep snow, I parked out by the main road and hiked into the cottage, just to know that it was still standing sentinel again the frozen winds and snows of a typical Maine winter. What a difference a few months can make.
Today we are heading back up to New Hampshire for a couple days. We look forward to visiting with friends over this holiday weekend . . . and I can never get enough of the wonderful North Country scenery with its rolling, forested hills and its many pristine lakes and ponds. We also plan to pop over the border into the Eastern Townships of Québec just to show our Canadian neighbors there are no hard feelings. In fact, just a few days ago they celebrated their own national day with fireworks and BBQs. When it comes down to it, we are not all that different.
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