Monday, September 1, 2014

What a Summer It Has Been So Far - Dispatches from Maine

We have been in Maine for nine weeks so far and oh, and what a summer it has been.  I have read 26 books; organized and given two lectures - on the Holocaust, delivered in Augusta, and on the Indian Stream Republic, delivered in Colebrook, New Hampshire; drafted two more lectures to give in September - on war crimes prosecutions, at the Maine State Prison in Warren, and on the American Revolution in Maine before our local historical society here in New Gloucester; worked on the drafts of two novellas and read from one at the Monhegan Island library (and I will read again at our local library this month); drafted an outline for a short story; written 25 letters and several postcards; driven roughly 4500 miles since leaving home in June, exploring the back roads of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, with a quick weekend trip to northern New Jersey and back for a wedding; taken roughly four thousand photographs; met a very famous artist (Jamie Wyeth) and hob-nobbed with others; eaten several lobsters and dozens of clams . . . and a few Whoopie Pies, but who is counting?; had dinner a couple tables away from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; seen two moose and lots of other wildlife; spent another week on Monhegan Island (our 15th year to do so); had friends and neighbors from home stop to visit while others stayed for a few days to share our tranquility here on Sabbathday Lake. And still, there have been long periods of quiet and solitude.

Better yet, we still have five weeks to go before we must return home to Maryland.  My mom will visit for a week (her fifth summer to do so), and we plan to return to Monhegan Island for the annual “Trap Day,” when the local lobstermen set their traps for their winter fishing season.  We look forward to more peace and tranquility as we watch autumn arrive in Maine.  People always asks me why we return to Maine every summer - this is our 27th year here.  Now you know why.

Check out the "Looking Toward Portugal" Facebook page for more information and photos.

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