Saturday, September 30, 2017

A Final Sunset: Farewell to Another Summer in Maine

Another summer has come and gone and I sit here wondering where the time went. Summer had just begun when we arrived here at Sunset Cottage, on Sabbathday Lake, in New Gloucester, Maine. The trees were a vibrant green, folks were beginning to put their docks and boats in the water, and the lake was coming alive with its summertime traffic. And now we are a week deep into autumn and the docks and boats are coming out and cottages are being shuttered at the end of the season. Each day there is more color in the leaves and some are already beginning to fall as are acorns and pine cones while chipmunks and squirrels skitter about gathering up nuts to stock their larders for the long winter that is not too far off. It was only 39F when I got up this morning, and I have had a fire going in the woodstove much of the day.

Since our arrival we have watched the evening sunsets migrate southward along the far shore of the lake. We are indeed lucky to have a cottage situated where it is, and the decks provide the best show in town when the weather cooperates. No two sunsets are ever alike as the several hundred photographs I have taken over the past thirty years will attest.

It has been both a quiet and a productive summer. We had quite a bit of rain when we first arrived and many days were quite breezy, too much so to enjoy a lot of time outdoors. And the weather has seemed cooler than summers past, and the lake water felt downright cold most of the time which limited time spent drifting about in the cove. So it was hard to believe when the temperatures crept into the low 90s with high humidity over the past week. It certainly helped SallyAnn acclimatize for her trip to Florida. But those hot days are just a memory now.

But this is not the end. Normally, when we leave the lake, we head for our winter home in Maryland where, if we are lucky, we are able to enjoy one more approach of autumn as trees throughout the Mid-Atlantic take on their fall hues. Such is not the case this year, however. SallyAnn left a few days ago for Florida and shortly she and her mother will be heading to St. Louis to begin a paddle boat cruise up the Mississippi River to St. Paul, Minnesota. I am certain she will see her fair share of Midwest autumnal colors along the way.

I, on the other hand, depart tomorrow for Down East Maine where I will cross into Atlantic Canada for several days. I will travel the breath of New Brunswick and into Nova Scotia where I will spend a week in and around Halifax working on a new novel set in that city. After that I will head father north into eastern Québec, traveling down along the St. Lawrence River via Québec City to Montréal. From there I will wander through my beloved Eastern Townships before returning to the USA. I also plan to spend a couple of nights at my favorite lodge, in far northern New Hampshire, before returning here to the lake for a couple nights to close up, packing up for the final trip home to Maryland.

It has been a good summer although it went by far too quickly.