Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday Sunshine and Shifts

Last Blog I was lamenting and sad that my beloved Minnesota Lynx, had lost game one of the WNBA Championship Finals,  Tuesday they came back.  It was a great game, and now we are tied up, the team is in LA, and I will rooting wildly again later tonight.  Yesterday the weather shifted, the skies are amazingly clear and the sun bright, and the winds shifted.  Instead of 80 degrees we are hardly at 50, tonight there is freeze warnings, not frost, freeze.  I have canned up all the tomatoes and am enjoying the way they look all lined up in their quart jars.  Today, nothing is pressing, there are no must do's.  These kind of days still bring about mixed emotions within myself.  Not quite sure that it is ok to just lean into whatever it is I want to do, or to do nothing at all.   I have a meeting with library folks later today and I have a reminder set so that I do not forget!  What lays ahead is a whole day, of crisp air, bright beautiful sunshine and the feeling of the shifting season. 

This shift brings a little melancholy, missing my friends in the Midwest, wishing I could give a big hugs to Luke and Myah, and want to just look into the eyes of my beautiful, wise daughter.  Heart full of love and memories.  The first pulls of the coming darkness, the going within, and time exploring the deeper spaces inside.  

Stillness is all around me this morning.  Sunshine pours into the porch, it is hot in the sun, and I have escaped to the comfy chair in the shade.  Doors and windows are closed, Pandora streams in the background.  Then a wave from my neighbor Jan, she is back from her walk with Spotty, and he is ready for his treat.  I am brought back to the present, to the here and now.  Talking about camping trip, and my coming to hunt for mushrooms.  I show Jan my newest project, refinishing an old enamel top table with drop down wooden leaves.  She gives me tips, Spotty runs around, and the coolness of the day and the sunlight surrounds us in a beautiful Friday Sunshine.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Oh What a Sad Loss For My Lynx

What a game 1 of the WNBA Finals.  Before you could get settled into your seat LA jumped out to a 28 point lead, the Lynx being the Lynx did not roll over and continued to fight back and kept clouding in, and chipping away at LA's lead.  It was late in the 4th quarter that MN Took the lead, what a feat, but with 6 seconds La went ahead by 1 and they won the game.  I can't imagine whT the players are feeling, I am exhausted and feel very emotionally spent.  Tuesday is another game and I will be ready and so will the Lynx.

As an antedote I finished varnishing my bench, three coats today, and it us looking fine.  This is a bench that Org, first girlfriend made for me 49 years ago, it has been sanded and now varnished and it looks great.  Lots of good sitting on this bench, years it was a table for treasures and now it is in Millinocket and will have a renewed life for sitting and chatting g and enjoying being outdoors.

It is still very summer like and we have a few more days of warm warm weather.   The days are hot,  there is a difference in the light, dusk is here earlier, and the evening brings a little chill.  I am going to recharge and get ready to stroke back on the fan floor n Tuesday.  What a team, I am sorry you couldn't pull off the win, there are more chances, and a five game series is a lot of games!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Equinox Fall is Sharing with Summer

I have so appreciated each and every day of this month. It is the first day of fall, and we are still basking in brilliant sunshine and warmth.  It has been warm every day, and people continue to be grateful for such beautiful days.  The trees are beginning to turn, and on way to pick up vegetables at Gardiner Farm this week I could begin to see the color taking shape.  I have been busy, each day I find myself sorting, tossing, cleaning and preparing for the changing season.   I have my 2017 Lynx playoff towel and pint glass with the new Lynx logo on the fireplace mantel.  This will be the first playoff that I am missing, but I have been glued to the television and have been rooting loudly from my chair, and texting to fans at the game!  On Sunday afternoon I will be ready and cheering for a game 1 win, and one step closer to being the WNBA Champions for the 4th time.  More about them later.  September does mean the WNBA playoffs, and another reason for enjoying this glorious month.  

Today I made and canned tomato juice.  The first time I made and canned tomato juice I was 22 and living in Vernon County WI, I am now 67 and living in Millinocket ME.  I made a lot more jars of juice then, I did much more canning, but here I am using the water bath, filling my old jars, and being excited about bring my own canned food down to the cellar.  Other the next few weeks I will be canning soups, tomatoes, and bone broth.  I like that I can make my own food.  I like the jars getting filled and when you take them out of the water bath or pressure cooker.  It feels like fall, canning.  

I like fall, and I really like these last days of summer.  I easily savor these September days.  I like being on the porch sitting in sun, and when it is too hot i open up the umbrella and enjoy the air and coolness while not being in the direct sun.  The mosquitos have not been around, and it is a treat to not come into the house with bites all over my ankles and legs!  September, the kids are in school and there is a different feel in the morning than when school lets out early in the afternoon.  

I like the getting ready feeling of September, preparing for winter and enjoying the warmth and light.  So today I feel the balance, I feel the Equinox and the presence and memories of fall.  

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

What a great day!

This morning has been an A+ weather day.  I love these glorious September days, you just savor them, and that is what I hit you do this morning.  I have spent the morning on the porch, it faces east and the sun is shining brightly.  Pandora is playing Cecile McLorin Salvant, I love it.  There are lots of dog walkers this a.m.  it is hilarious to see the combos walking by.  The kids are in school, so it is much more quiet.  I have been going each day and I am enjoying just hanging out, reading paper, doing some emails, and just appreciating how much I like Milly Haven!  Tina is cleaning and I get a clean house and contribute to the very local economy.  We have little moments of conversation, she likes my organic products and I have ordered more for her to use.  Jazz in the foreground and sounds of sweeping and dusting just barely heard. 

It is such a gift to have a day like this when nothing is niggling to get done, no unattended job that shouts and whispers a long heard tape inside my head.  I have things that have to be done.  But not today.  Today I get to have this morning, and later this afternoon I go off to the Library to do my weekly shift.  I come home and get ready to be a diehard Lynx Fan.  I will be yelling and pacing and texting and watching and listening through each play of the game against Washington.  The Minnesota Lynx are playing the Washington Mystics in game one of the semi-finals.  They are playing in Williams arena and I think the barn will be rocking tonight. 

I will be rocking here in Millinocket.  Starting the day with sunshine, warmth, quiet and ending the day with unrestrained commitment to my basketball team.  Go Lynx.  Yeah for glorious September days.  Hope it ends on a winning note!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Diving a Little Deeper

Yesterday I gave you a quick tour of my weekend of sharing my new life in Millinocket with friends.  In thinking about that blog what I did not talk about is what touches me, opens my heart, and grounds me in this beautiful region I am learning to call home. 

Millinocket itself is quite the place, once a booming "magic city" now it is struggling to find a way forward, honor the past, and facilitate believing that this once bustling town can find a way to thrive.  I am one of the "retired" people that still live in Millinocket, some never left (and many of them spend their winters in Florida) and some like me came for a variety of reasons, one being affordability.  Millinocket needs more than old people, we need families, in order to have families you have to have jobs,  in order to have jobs you have to have a skilled workforce .... all of this is yet to come!  The businesses that have survived and the ones that are new all are begging for workers. 

I am not a "worker" anymore,  I am a volunteer and I am a customer.  I like to walk to town from my house.  It if just a few blocks.  I like to stop and see Marsha at North Light Gallery, we often sit and talk for awhile, she sells my needle felted berets in her shop, and I get art framed and keep looking at paintings to buy.  It is like a little museum of Katahdin art work, and Marsha is a delightful curator, easily and freely sharing information and stories that delight and inform.   Her husband Wayne is a plumber, and he has done work in our house, he is a very good plumber.  He has a great smile and takes pride in doing very good work.  Taking Kathy and Irv there was another time of listening and watching as they asked questions and Marsha answered and entertained!

Woods and Water was another stop on our trip, it is one of the newest businesses on our main street.  It is a part of NEOC and they are able to have their staff at gift shop and be able to do reservations and other administrative tasks for NEOC - a win win and one of the smart ways that a business can make a go of it in a town that doesn't have a lot of capitol to keep things going on its own.  The building which has been wonderfully renovated is shared with another business, Maine Heritage Timber.  They pull logs out of the bottom of the river, and make amazing furniture, paneling, and more.  I just sent a breakfast tray to James for his birthday.  Each time we stopped at Woods and Water this weekend, we not only got good things to eat and drink, but I got to have a little visit with people that I am getting to know.  I feel welcomed and I like to support what they are trying to do.  I like shopping local, and this is very local, and very good!

We rode past the library and stopped at the Monument Contact Center, these are both places that I volunteer.  I am grateful that each wanted and needed volunteers.  Giving my time gives me so much - meeting good people, learning about community and being a good steward for my new community.  Volunteering provided a little structure to my life, a life that had changed so very much, and it is good to have these times on my calendar each week, and when I go I know that there is work that needs to be done, and I enjoy doing it!

Outside of Millinocket, there is this vast beautiful world.  Forest, mountains, lakes, rivers and more.  I notice my own inner shift after about 5 minutes out of town.  The light shining through the trees,  the ways that Katahdin hides and emerges as I drive down the rode.  The lakes that can be so very calm, and the loons that call out soothe my soul. 

Going off to camp was so much fun.  I like to nest.  I have nested in travel trailers, in tents, in cabins and now at "camp".  I loved that looking out any window the lakes were there, that is the fun of being on an island.  The warmth of the sun on the deck in the early was luxurious,  bundled in sweat shirt and wool socks, and the sun shining brightly and heating up my face.  The sun sparking off the water as I slowly drank my tea.  Such a tiny little island and so much be grateful for. 

It is quite wonderful to be somewhere that all of this is right outside my door.  I am making a new home, making new friends, and also being able to share with those who have been in life a very long time (Marsha since i was 18 and Kathy and Irv who are "new" old friends of about  8-9 years - I am not really sure, it might be more. 

My new friends here are precious, and I am aware that their lives were quite full and didn't really have a need to open up to someone new.  Their openness has been a gift.

All of this I have been thinking about as our nation remembers the tragedy of 9/11.  I remember that day, just like I remember when Kennedy was shot.  I have been watching as people live through their own new tragedy of nature in Florida, the Caribbean and Cuba.  I am remembering that Houston and other parts of Texas have hardly recovered.  I am wondering what people think about keeping government out of our lives today.

I have lite a candle, acknowledging my own blessings, and wishing the best for all of those who suffer and grieve.  It is September 11th and a good day to dive a little deeper.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Home from Camp

It was quite fun to be host to my friends Kathy and Irv.  Since Thursday we have done my version of the Katahdin Woods and Water tour!  Kathy and Irv drove up from Stonington CT.  That is where I visited with they in late August.  I got to have some sea salt time and they got to come to the fresh water. 

Thursday afternoon began with a tour of Milly Haven,  so fun to show friends the amazing house the Debbie, Debbie and I have created in Millinocket.  We then took our first tour of main street, stopped out to the camp, and made our way out to River Driver's.  (More about Main Street later!)  We met the Fanjoy's for supper, had great fun, leisurely drinks and lots of good stories and connections.  They loved the location, the building and the company.  We stayed in Millinocket and got ready for more sightseeing and camp the next day. 

Friday after breakfast we headed out on the Katahdin Woods and Water Scenic Byway, the National Monument and Patten, Maine.  We had a great car ride on Hwy. 11, stopping many times to see the East Branch of the Penobscot River and looking at stunning vista's and views.  We then headed on Swift Brook Road towards the Monument.  This is not a fast ride, Swift Brook is essentially a logging road, unpaved, lots of potholes and surprises as you slowly made your way to the Park land.  We took the "loop road" and made lots of stops as we drove the 15 mile loop.  We did not see any large animals, but did meet a number of other visitors - birders, biker and other Mainers in the Monument to see this gift to the National Park Service.  The views of Katahdin and the range were spectacular, couldn't have asked for a better morning.  Then back on 11, heading towards Gardiner Farm Stand.  Got some veggies for the weekend, had a little visit, and heading towards Patten,  we were all getting hungry and was on our way to try lunch at the new Flatlander's!  The clouds had started to come in and rain was very close.  We got our sandwiches and ate in the car, laughing about the good food and being such wimps in the rain!  Next stop the hardware store, I got a sleeping bag and Irv got chips for his smoker - trying to put a few dollars into the local economy!   Then off to I-95, and back down the road to Medway and Millinocket.

Next stop, the Woods and Water shop, Irv needs a cap and we need wine to take out the camp!  Wine in tow, back to the house, pack the car and on our way!  Last stop before camp, Rideout to get drinking water and a powerball ticket! 

Camp is on an island, we parked the car at the association lot, and got into sherpa mode,  first over the railroad tracks, then across the foot bridge, through the woods, past the beach, and there was our camp.  We encountered a few bumps, couldn't figure out how to get the water on, thought there might have been fleas, the porch windows had plastic on them, but one phone call to the owner and answers abounded and very quickly we were settling into camp life. 

The water, the trees, the vista  all of it just embraced us.  The camp is a little tired feeling, but had all we needed.  Good food, good drink, and fun conversations  flowed along with the evening. 

Next morning, a hearty camp breakfast, then a little commerce in Millinocket and a visit to the "rock".   We hiked back out of camp, and drove into town.  First stop North Light Gallery, both Kathy and Irv bought a painting, then a quick trip through Picker's Paradise.  Then a stop into the Monument visitor center, Kathy got her Passport stamped and then off for a few more stops.  More wine and gifts at Woods and Water and used books found at Turn the Page.  There was more to do, but the "rock" was calling, so a drive out to get our picture taken with "Keep Maine Beautiful"  the painted rock just outside of Baxter State Park.  Then snacks from the Trading Post, and then the camp was calling and we headed back out for our last night.

Camp was good,  it was more than good!  My friends saw and experienced how beautiful and amazing this part of Maine is.  There are so many things we didn't do, places we didn't stop at, and I look forward to the next time I can share the wonders of the Katahdin region to the next visitors! 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Gone to camp!

Pictures and stories soon!  It is a very good day!  Hope all stay well and safe as yet another hurricane approaches!