Maine

The average temperature during the day was 20 degrees. The air was bitter cold. The wind blew constantly from the north. Our faces turned red with wind burn by mid-morning. We all wore layers to keep as warm as possible. I grew a beard for the trip.

The orange hunting jacket was given to me. I could have purchased one for the hunt, but I didn’t because it warmed George to hand his old hunting jacket over to me. I happily accepted. I could have purchased a rifle for the trip. I didn’t. George had a rifle waiting for me. He preferred I use the old gun. He’d owned it years ago, sold it, and bought it back just before the trip. Some people truly do enjoy to give. I’ve not often been in the state of mind to be able to accept.

We drove Maine back roads to camp. We visited an old Saloon style pub that was built in 1895. The porch was beaten and perfect. Hard woods floors and a tired pine bar held mugs of beer for when we were ready. The bartender was heavy and smiled often. I thought to myself that happiness is found when we are content with ourselves and our surroundings. This bartender was doing a good job of being perfectly her. I hoped to myself that she’d never felt disappointment from outside judgment. Of course, that’s much to ask or hope for.

My beard is black with gray streaks. I like the streaks. I don’t wish to be outwardly perfect or find hair products to grow what I lost over the years. I take the streaks and the laugh wrinkles around my eyes as fitting.

We drove by a sign. It mentioned God and Hell and green.

Dark comes quickly that far north. Rick lit a camp fire each afternoon. It snowed nearly every time we stood next to the fire. Stories all around, filling the air, lost and weaving from one to the next. There wasn’t electricity to twitch our nerves. The sounds of the crunching snow underfoot spoke enough to keep me busy.

One night it became very clear. The temperate dropped to 12 and then lower. I walked with a few of the men to the edge of the lake and witnessed the sight of the stars. They were gathered in unpolluted formations.

I’m unsure if I mentioned this. To be sure- We drove by a sign. It mentioned God and Hell and green.

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3 thoughts on “Maine

  1. I could sit here all day and read your pieces. Sorry to say I have to back away from the computer and go vacuum and dust the living room…(maybe some profound thought will surface in the drone of the vacuum cleaner and under the layer of dust I wipe from all our furniture…To be sure, I will be thinking about the stark contrasts, the sensory drama of your landscape, and the stunning imagery of the unpolluted formations of the starscape in the dark, clear, cold skies of your Maine campground–heralded by the sign announcing God and Hell and green… all this, and Heaven, too…

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  2. Fantastic! I love your writing. I chuckled at myself because, as a Canadian, I was thinking…it’s 20 degrees there in Maine right now and you think that’s cold? At this time of year? (HAHA) then I realized…oh yes, F…well that mean’s it’s -6 C! Wait a sec, that’s reallllly cold—for April!! Of course it was then that I realized this post was from November, but when you sent me the link I thought it was a recent one. Explains everything 😀 I think I may need more coffee! (haha!)
    Sounds like a wonderful trip, I just love Maine. Need to get back there sometime soon, and not just drive through it en route to somewhere. I bet that old saloon from 1895 was pretty cool! My type of place for sure…

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  3. Ha yes! It was November and I had left for Maine from Rhode Island where it was warmer. By the time I arrived in Maine, with sub par gear, the wind had control of me. I’ll be better prepared for the next November trip. While in Portland I hope you visited a few pubs~! Thank you for such a damn good comment.

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