Thursday, July 12, 2012

Short Cuts

I was sitting in my car this morning waiting for the AC to kick in, meanwhile, with the window open letting out the heat from the early a.m. sun.   I was on my way to music class in Portland, with plenty of time to spare so sititng for a minute or two was pleasantly relaxing.   The butterfly bush had begun to bloom with great purple blossoms, and the bachellor's buttons, also purple were in bloom.   I can hardly wait for the little humming bees and humming birds to return to enjoy their nectaring.    My neighbor came out to chat and while standing there a rather agresive bee flew between us.   She stepped back and the bee flew into the car.   She said, THAT IS A BEE!" and I said, "I hope it finds it's way back out."   But it already had.  It was taking a short cut through the car to the butterfly bush.   Smart bee.

When I got on the road I contemplated which route I would take.   Of several ways from Scarborough to Portland, all have ongoing construction.   The Maine Turnpike seems to take me too far afield to be a practical choice.  SO, I opted for the shortest route, which I have navigated many times lately so I do know the construction routine:  stay right here, go left there, watch for the shifting lanes, etc. Jersey barriers, (you know, those cement monuments to construction crews) orange barrels,signs that say Double Fines for Speeding.
At least this route would take me to an off-ramp which would put me on the correct avenue for my destination.   Getting to the construction area, traffic stopped.  A screaming police car passed in the "NO TRAFFIC" lane. (I am already thinking I should have taken the long way around.)  We crawled several miles, and several minutes, finally coming upon a tank truck a quarter of a mile long (well, maybe that's a littel exaggeration) which had broken down.   Once past it, traffic began to move at a normal speed.  And then, at the off-ramp which would have taken me to Forest Avenue, there was an army of orange barrells and signs "Ramp Closed" .  Now I had two more choices:  the next off ramp which would necessarily take me through three lighted intersections; or the next one after that which would take me further away from my destination, but onto a scenic route on which to backtrack.
I chose the next ramp thinking it is, after all, the shortest route, and once again found myself behind a street sweeper going five miles an hour and leaving more dust than it was taking.  So much for "short cuts."  And speaking of same,  I had my first grade grandchild and a four year old pre-schooler girl I was taking care of in the car with me.   I asked my grandson how come he was not where I expected him to be and he said, "I took a short cut."  The four  year old said, "I had a short cut once and I was mad at my mother.   I like my hair when she braids it."    I still chuckle when I think of it.  American English is hard to get around even for natives!

So, in the heat of July, and it is hot today and predicted to be hot for the next three or four days,  I will avoid "short cuts" except at my hair dressers, where I am headed as I end this.   I expect her to give me a very "short cut." 


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Deep Summer and Loving It

This is what I call "deep summer".   When July 4th arrives it signals we are into what Maine is all about.   The last couple of weeks, since summer was marked by the calendar, have brought us rain, thrunder, hail, wind, humidity and what some think is unseasonable heat.  Now we settle into summer with all the tourists,  town fairs, old home days, art shows, clam and lobster festivals, and the great MOXIE DAYS, which is held in Lisbon Falls, Maine, the second weekend in July (this year on June 8th).

A doctor* created Moxie as an elixir which was given by the spoonful for a variety of symptoms.    Then in 1876 it was made into a carbonated beverage in Union, Maine.    My father liked Moxie.   When we went on picnics that was the drink we took.  I didn't like it as a child, but acquired a taste for it as I grew older.   I haven't had any for many years, and don't know that I would like it so much now.   I have a tendency to like sweet things as I age, and I hardly ever drink carbonated drinks.   The Moxie Festival has grown since the first one in 1983, and now includes a 5K road race, car show, lots of memorabelia and souvenirs.  It is a "three day powwow."  (It's a wonder that is still poliltically correct language, since it's not connected to the Indians in any way.)  There is no reason to be bored in Maine in the summer.  This year, lobsters shed their shells early so the delicacy is plentiful and slightly less costly as they re-emerge with soft new homes; the beaches are clean, (yes they are, in spite of what the government says) and the  ocean and lakes are warmer than usual for this time of year.   

I deadheadded the roses; poor things were beaten and battered by the recent high winds, hail and rain.   And cleaned out the foxglove which is so beautiful when in bloom, but downright nasty looking when they "go by."
I cannot keep the weeds out of the mulch bed, but the mulch bed was a bad idea to begin with.  It seemed so reasonable that it would be a good place for Nick to "go" and much easier for me to keep clean.   He doesn't "go" there, but he loves to lay down in it, and being a hairy monster, he drags in mulch with every trip.   I have taught him to shake on command out there, (which proves you CAN teach an old dog new tricks)  and it eliminates some, but I am constantly fighting to keep it out of the carpet.
I think in the fall I will spread some loam and seed it for next year.  

July's moon is the Buck Moon.  It was full last night, but in the early waning nights it will still look bright and wash my yard with cool light.   The mosquitos found the patio last night, so I will enjoy the adjoining four-season room with the screened door and windows open.     A well known poet implied there is nothing so "rare as a day in June" but I am inclined to think evenings in July in Maine are practically idyllic, and pretty rare as in a good year we probably can only count on 25 of them at most.

*From Maine but practicing in Massachusetts 


Credit: Moxie