Tuesday, January 4, 2011

January 4

Maine is a winter state. By that I mean to convey that we have long winters that go very deep. But this has been a really agreeable one so far. Of course, it is less than one month old and has nearly three months to go. The sun still warms the earth and melts what snow there is, and the nights get cold which creates "black ice" in unexpected places. I went to put out my trash Monday morning and my driveway was slick with the treacherous glaze. I tossed a scattering of ice melt product ahead of myself, and it did it's job efficiently so I got the trash out. However, the sun does not get to the driveway until around noon, so before long the driveway was again frozen over, ice melt pebbles and all. After seven months of above freezing temps, we forget how to watch out for such things as "black ice" and sudden squalls. I was driving east one day recently and drove right into a driving, blinding snow storm which lasted about two miles. Then I drove right into a beautifully sunny landscape dusted with what looked like frosting sugar. I saw some drivers who seemed not to know what to do as they drove into the squall. Some even pulled off to the side hoping, I guess, that it would move on, which it did. Either that or it just spent itself out.

The papers are full of stories of descriptions of wonderful places to ski; the outdoor memorial family skating rink in Falmouth is open. The information is out about upcoming winter carnivals and "winterfests." All wonderful, winter-in-Maine traditions for the young, eager and able. Maine is also one huge art colony. From the renowned Portland Museum of Art, Barridoff Galleries, Jameson Art Group all in Portland to
such interesting galleries as Bayview Gallery in Camden and Brunswick, Carver Hill Gallery in Rockport, The Firehouse Gallery in Damariscotta, Home and Away in Kennebunkport, Turtle Gallery in Deer Isle, and the Kicking Bull in Wells. These are just a few, and of course, there is a lot of art in such places as the Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk. And if art isn't your interest, there is music and theater from high schools to very professional productions in many community theaters.
While "summer theater" is widespread, local thespians strut their stuff all year round.

An award was given recently to an artist for his rather comic illustration of tennis lessons at the Kennebunk(port) River Club. It shows a crowded country club tennis court with dozens of people in various poses of lobbing, backhanding, stretching, underhanding, overhanding, hanging over the net, in and out of bounds, facing off, flopping down. It's one of those pieces of work you can look at over and over and always see something amusingly different. It caught my eye and I would like to see the original, but would settle for a nice reprint.

Maine in Winter. No need to get bored. The University has classes, the Community Colleges have classes, the local high school and senior services programs have much to do. Enjoy.


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