Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Vacation For The Mind


For all of you who have been quietly annoyed at me for posting Maine pictures, you will be happy to know that yesterday Camden experienced rainfall that can only be described as Noah-esk.  By 8 o’clock last night the radio was screeching out one of those horrible emergency broadcast warnings, the ones that sound like a cross between a fax machine signal and a dial-up internet connection. There were flash flood warnings for half of the state. There were reports of cats drowning in the raging torrents of water! We were reduced to eating take out clam chowder and fresh, warm biscuits from Cappy’s. I’m telling you…it was horrible!

But here I am at 5:45 in the morning looking out over the still as glass water of the lake watching the powder blue skies creeping in from the ocean, replacing the last of the low clouds from the night. I’m in long sleeves and my coffee is helping to keep me warm. I’m told that today is to be mostly sunny and 72.

Random observations about this place:

1.     The reason I’m up so early is because the sun rises earlier here, I suppose because we are so much further north. I generally wake with the first streams of light, so at home that usually means 6:30 or so. Here it’s 5:30.

2.     Maine should be called The Flower State instead of Vacationland. Everywhere you look there are lush flower beds, flower boxes in windows, flower pots outside of businesses. In the town of Camden, they even have flowers boxes on the top of the public trash cans. And even though it’s almost August, they all look May fresh, like the arrangements you buy at Strange’s for Mother’s Day to put on your deck at home. Only, in Virgina, by August first those flowers are an eyesore, looking as if they have just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan where they contracted the AIDS virus. I suppose flowers thrive here because they never have to endure stifling heat and humidity. Whatever the reason, the results are beautiful.

3.     Almost none of the public buildings here have air conditioning. The ones that do make a big deal of it, posting little signs in their shop windows, “We’re air-conditioned!!” It makes me wonder why these environmental non-profits like the Sierra Club and the Environmental Defense Fund have air conditioning in their office buildings. Seems to me that all these save the planet tree hugger outfits should be setting a better example for the rest of us by housing their headquarters in giant mud huts along the banks of the Potomac river instead of glistening towers on K street.

4.     You should see my wife in a kayak. The woman is amazing, she becomes a completely different person, transported to another place. The sound of the water lapping against the sleek hull, the speed of the thing cutting through still water, the majestic views all around do something to her. She’s been out twice so far and would have gone out in the rain yesterday if it hadn’t been for the wind.
There is a television at this cabin, but it hasn’t been turned on yet. I haven’t read a newspaper. For all I know peace could have broken out in the Middle East and I wouldn’t find out about it until they were fighting again. But I am reading a great biography of Ted Williams, so I haven’t abandoned all intellectual stimulation, just the kind that ages me.