Monday, August 23, 2010


This is not really about Maine, although it applies here as well as everywhere in every side of life ~ in my opinion.

Trust may be the most important thing in our lives above all. From infancy we have to have trust: that our parents will protect and provide for us; that what they tell us is true as far as they know it. We are carried to doctors and have to trust that they will "do no harm" in our care. Children who go to day care have to trust, as do their parents, that those people will become parents "in locus" with the same conscience as our true parents.

We are taught to trust a "higher being" for those things over which we have no control. We pray to that end - trusting faithfully that our needs will be met, although we have no physical presence for reassurance. We place trust in our armies to serve and protect our country against all enemies from within and without. We trust our elected officials to uphold our laws, to not burden us with excessive taxes, suffocating laws, or intrusive inspection of our private lives. I believe our country was founded on principles of TRUST.


I could iterate a whole diatribe in answer to that question. It would be my opinions, some backed up by actual facts - like the money which has been trusted to governing bodies to provide for specific benefits and has been "borrowed" for other uses and never repaid - and some by assumption or opinion, but I am going to leave it, and the following as questions for you to think about.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Orange Colored Sky

The air today was beautiful. Last Wednesday a.m. I attended the AAA Driver Improvement Program. It three hours long and I highly recommend it. It is for seniors - reminders of law changes such as the bicycle 'share the road' rules; passing laws; seat belt, cell phone and distraction reminders. One of the issues the class leader kept stressing was to stay alert. I think I am an alert driver - but I suppose everyone has lapses now and then. Anyway, today I saw several dead animals (possum, skunk, porcupine} and wondered if being alert would have avoided them. I think not. They are not respecters of road rules and are apt to wait until a car gets almost to them - then dash. Of course, none of those three animals are "dashers." I think all three have poor eyesight. Anyway, there is a place where a hawk almost always can be seen catching the up-drafts and having such a wonderful time doing it. Today I noticed it and wished I were able to watch it longer. It makes soaring look so easy. But, alas, I was on the highway and stopping is not an option except for an emergency. With the construction being done in that area, even an emergency might not make it wise. In many places work is being done to widen the exits and entrances. Construction is definitely a distraction. ~~~ There are some areas on the drive to Yarmouth where blasting through ledges was necessary. I love rocks, so I observe them as I drive along. I don't know one type of rock from another, but these are striated with black, white and browns. When they are wet they look entirely different than right now when they are thoroughly dry. The trip is the same day in and day out, except that it constantly changes in roadside grasses and flowers, the trees take on different hues and even the rocks actually change appearance.

Coming home - yes, there was an orange colored sky. I waited a bit too long to head home so the sun was setting and the western sky became very orangy. Must be going to be hot and dry tomorrow again. There were no clouds and the temperature stayed around 70 until well after dark. A beautiful day in Maine, Orange Colored Sky and all. And the smell of the ocean when it turned was sweet to my sense. There can be no other place better this week.


Saturday, August 14, 2010


MAINE has a law which is supposed to stop people from dumping along the roadside. There are signs as you drive along warning that we fine people for doing it. But does anyone ever get caught?

Last week I was driving from home on USRoute 1 heading into Portland. As I entered the 295 ramp a dark blue Chevy van with cargo doors sped past me. I tried to get the license number and drove a little faster than legal in the attempt.
The license was a bit battered but I think it was either 5057 or 6057, and it had some letters. Anyway, as they drove along five or six miles to the first exit, they ejected a barrage of paper (looked like napkins and wrappers) from the passenger side. The papers fluttered and flew around in their wake,and ended up in the recently mowed grass.

As I drove along into the Falmouth-to-Yarmouth area, a six-pack carton with what I presume was empties laid at the edge of the road. It's unlikely that a cartman would be out there. It would be illegal, and dangerous to be walking in that highway. Further on there were plastic bags and all manner of trash; bottles, cans and clothing. Someone's shoe - a child's car seat.

Yesterday I saw a truck with some young men stopped beside the road. There was an assortment of furniture in the truck, and a sofa on the side of the road. I don't know if they lost the sofa off and were trying to get it back on the truck, or if they were just out picking up peoples junk. I hope they weren't thinking of putting that furniture in a dorm room somewhere. It looked pretty bad. AND-

this week's Leader tells of the bed bug infestations in Maine and elsewhere. Taking in furniture from the roadside could prove to be a disaster. According to the article bedbugs do not have economic standards. They love the poor and dirty and the rich and sanitary. Enough about that ugly topic! Back to DON"T DUMP ON ME -

WHAT'S WRONG WITH PEOPLE????? Everyone rants about recycling and the environment. I think I know what the problem is - no one ever gets caught. I have never seen a piece in the paper about someone getting prosecuted and fined or incarcerated for littering. IF you've ever been caught littering and had to pay up, please let me know. It would restore my faith in ---something, I just don't know what. Anyway, if you are in Maine and you have trash to dump,
DON'T DUMP ON MAINE! Take it home, please.

NOW on the plus side of all this, I saw a large truck being driven by a very able looking man, going slowly along the edge of the highway coming back from Yarmouth to Scarborough. A couple of orange-vested and capped men were in the grass beside the highway with sticks with picks on the end, carrying large black plastic bags, picking up the litter. Your tax dollars at work. A very uneconomical truck, and three employees paid by the state cleaning up someone's misdemeanor. But then, isn't it always the way? Someone makes a mess and someone else either cleans it up or pays to have it cleaned up.

Been to Florida? There are stretches of highways there adopted by civic-minded companies whose employees regularly go out and pick up trash. OF course, that probably puts some unionized state worker out of a job. Bummers!

That's it. DON'T DUMP ON ME (Maine, that is.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Manana -

You know that song - Manana - All the tasks that can be put off for tomorrow~~
Summer in Maine means this is MANANA. The roofers are in the Creek doing all of the units. It was a necessary job as the original roofing by the builder was so shoddy, our roofing material did not last and the shingles were, according to the inspector, "fried." Each day at the very reasonable hour of 9:00 a.m. they arrive with machinery and men and the tapping begins. They are still a couple of units away from me, but I hear them and the sound is actually welcome. I don't want to wake up some rainy morning and to find water water everywhere.

Other things that have to happen in Maine in summer is road repair. It has been said we have only two seasons, "road repair and winter." It makes timing my usually routine trips become uncertain treks. Closed lanes, shut down ramps to the interstate and state routes, impatient drivers, overloaded trucks with overtired truckers - and thousands of tourists.

Tourists! Amazing that they keep coming and coming from all over the world to this vast state with its variety of attractions. I saw in today's paper that a ski resort which is struggling to find the right mix of all-season reasons for becoming a destination, is holding some kind of competition for supermen.
They will have to slog through a mud wallow, climb through pipes, scale walls, run up hills, and various other challenges to prove they are "the best." I am not sure what it proves they are the best at, but some one of them will go away with the trophy, and if the event goes well, the resort will have made money, as will the surrounding communities where tourists will spend, spend, spend.

There are cruise ships coming in to Portland all summer; five will be in this week alone. The Old Port, Portland's "shoppe" area will do well as long as they passengers don't all decide they need to see the Bush summer home in Kennebunkport, or make a trip to L.L. Bean in Freeport.

The beaches, beautiful sandy stretches or secluded little coves among the great rocky shoreline, are filled daily with colorfully almost-clad, well SPF oiled folks, some of whom actually go in the ocean to swim or play. Kids don't mind the cold ocean. I spent many hours in it myself as a child. The lakes have shore areas too. I cannot bring myself to call them beaches. The sand is commonly more like fine gravel, and the little swells that reach shore cannot be called waves - unless, of course, a large speed boat passes near by. Or a summer storm churns up the usually placid fresh water. The first time I swam in fresh water, I was about eleven years old, and I gagged. Warm and tasteless, not at all tangy and icy like sea water.

Maine is a beautiful state from May to November. And even from December to April, if you don't mind cold, snow, ice, mud, the quiet of no roofers doing their jobs, roads that are already constructed, and many fewer cars on the road.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Maine in August

Maine in August is very green. The evergreen tips have all matured and there is very little "coming in" right now. It has been unusually hot and somewhat dry for the past several days which means some of the green is turning a nice gold. However, a good rain will bring color back yet again until fall really sets in.

The daylight is shorter, of course, but most evenings are lovely and cool. The lakes will cool quickly with the cooler nights, and the summer vacationers with kids will begin to drift back to their "school zones." My own grandson, the youngest, is heading out soon for Ohio State. (Much too far away, in my way of thinking.) He stops by often to see me on his way home from the local race track where he is a ticket seller or teller or whatever they call them now. Perhaps because he always knew he would go to college, or maybe because he is just a very confident kid, he doesn't seem to have all the excited angst I expected.

Anyway, back to Maine in August. There is a lot of political bustling. We will go to the polls in November to elect a new governor; ours is term limited out. And not too soon, I might add. I really don't know what he has done that has been outstandingly good or bad. But I am all for the 8-year rule. He won't be among the unemployed, I am sure. We will also, along with the rest of the country, take a long look at our Congressional Representatives. If Maine goes for "kick the bums out" it will be interesting to see who gets in. Dean Scontras is hoping to unseat Chellie Pingree. I am hoping Dean will succeed. I am one of those dissatisfied people who got invited to participate in a telephone town hall, was told I was "next in the queue" and waited while several people got in and Ms. Pingree recited LOOOOOONG pat answers, which served mostly to tell what she had done for us. Thanks but no thanks.

The fairs are starting up, beginning with the "up-state" ones. The Common Ground Fair is one I have always thought I would attend, but, alas, now that I am old and my knees complain when I expect them to trek overly long, I will probably never get there.
I will hope perhaps to get to the Cumberland Fair which is one of the last in the state.
The Acton Fair is a smaller agri-fair. I am not much for oxen-pulling or rabbit raising.
But actually, I do like the roosters with their fancy headdress and foot "feathers."

Maine still has a lot of summer camps for kids. With schools opening earlier every year (or so it seems) they will be winding up their activities. Two lake beaches ( a beach is at the ocean, in my vocab, but fresh water fans call those yellow stretches of shore "the beach") have had to close this year because of e-coli contamination which the health authorities attribute to soiled diapers being improperly disposed of. But don't panic. Maine has hundreds of those "beaches" so if fresh water is your choice, just keep moving on until you come to on.

Cool night, warm days, the quince bushes are dropping their leaves exposing the bitter fruit (looks like an apple but - whoooeee! - are they sour), bee balm, asters, late roses.
Maine is lovely in August.