One week from today. Seven days, a half a fortnight. That's how long before Pam and I will depart Short Pump for three weeks on Quantabacook Lake in Searsmont, Maine. The closer we get to the 7th of September, the less I am able to concentrate on anything else. It's like there is a gigantic black hole with a powerful gravitational pull on that day on the calendar, impossible to resist.
Each day I'm crossing more things off my to do list. Most of those things have revolved around preparing my business to function effectively without me. However, the fact that I will not be there to screw anything up is a big plus, making the planning much easier!
Ominously, the ten day forecast for Searsmont has suddenly turned cooler, with high temperatures dropping out of the 70's. There is a chance that we will be, once again, making the drive up in the rain. Although the accuracy of weather forecasts a week out are spotty, ultimately the weather falls into a category of things that I can do absolutely nothing about, and as such, I will give it no more thought.
As long as I will be living in this place for three weeks, the weather is very much a secondary concern. At this point, the only guests we have scheduled are my inlaws who will be coming up for a week, and some friends of ours from Maine who will be coming to visit at some point yet to be determined. The rest of the time it will be Pam and I and our manic, mentally disturbed Golden Retriever, Lucy. We will sit on that deck in the mornings drinking our coffee. The edge of the lake is less than twenty-five feet from our bedroom, those French doors to the right. If it's not too chilly, maybe we will have our breakfast at that table to the left. We will walk out on the dock and read a book. We will launch out on the lake in the kayaks which will be delivered to us by Dan the Man from Ducktrap Kayaks in Lincolnville. At night, we will build a fire in the fire pit down next to the small beach on the property.
Some days we will drive into Belfast and Camden to nose around in the shops. Our favorite store in the entire world, The Smiling Cow, will get several visits. They will know us and greet us as long lost friends. We will eat several meals at restaurants next to the ocean. We will have blueberry pancakes at the Camden Deli, lobster rolls at Hazel's, and ice cream at River Ducks. We will take a ride on a lobster boat called the Lively Lady. We will hike up to the top of Mount Battie, then walk the Oceanside trails of the Camden Hills State Park directly across the street from the mountain, one of the geographical oddities about this place that enchants us every year.
But mostly, we will just be there. It's very hard to explain the feeling that comes over me just being there. When I'm at home, there are many things that compete for my attention, that pull me out of the present. I have a business and responsibilities. Everything that causes me stress is essentially within two miles of this house. That's not a knock against my home. I love my home, love Short Pump. It's more like a simple fact of life. But, when I'm in Maine, I'm truly and totally...away. Mainers actually have a term for people like us, those worn out souls who come there for relief...they refer to us as people from away. It's true. For me, every place that isn't Maine is....away.