Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Visit to the Beach

Tuesday was lovely, so we made the drive to one of our favorite spots on the coast, the Lincolnville/Camden area. We weren't the only ones with that idea; Lincolnville beach was crowded! Tiny Girl caught (and released) two small crabs among the rocks. Both girls actually swam in the frigid waters of Penobscot Bay. I walked in the water briefly, then retreated to my place in the sun with a book. After a few hours at the beach, we went to Camden Hills State Park and drove to the summit of Mount Battie. What a glorious view!

See the crab in the seaweed?

The view of Camden and Camden Harbor from atop Mt. Battie.

Fabulous Frescoes

On a recent rainy day when dh was in town, we made a trip to a nearby town to see the South Solon Meetinghouse. This wonderful nineteenth-century white clapboard church was falling into rack and ruin when the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture rescued it in the 1930s. Then, the school turned it over to their students, who went wild with their paintbrushes, covering every interior wall (including the ceilings) with frescoes.

Visiting the place turned out to be a bit tricky. My 2001 Maine guidebook suggested the meetinghouse might be locked, so I should call ahead; but the number listed rang to someone's home. The woman who answered was friendly but had no idea what I was talking about. She suggested I phone the Skowhegan Chamber of Commerce, who suggested I phone the South Solon town office, who suggested I phone a man named Andrew Davis. Armed with his phone number, I made the call and asked the young man who answered if he happened to be Andrew. No, he was Caleb. Apparently, I had called another residence. Andrew was at work. I explained why I was calling, and Caleb assured me that the meetinghouse would be unlocked.

Here's a tip: if you're ever in Maine, fork over the cash to buy a DeLorme atlas. This very detailed map is a necessity of you plan to hit the road, which we do quite often. And if you've heard the adage about Maine, "You can't get there from here," let me tell you that it can be true. Due to the highly irregular coastline, numerous rivers, and few number of highways, planning your route is essential. You often have to go someplace in order to get someplace else. If that makes sense.

So, I had a general idea of where the meetinghouse is located, and I had my DeLorme. What more did we need? (A highly developed sense of adventure, which we have in spades, even if the girls tend to get nervous at times. You're never lost if you have a De Lorme! I wish life were that simple, sometimes.) We hit the road in the rain.

The meetinghouse itself is not marked in any way. We sort of took a guess we'd come to the right place, although white clapboard churches dot the Maine countryside. We wre the nly visitors. Once inside, we were amazed. The frescoes were fabulous. I wandered around the interior, taking them all in: angels, the last supper, the crucifixion. I've never seen anything like it. I have to say, though, that the girls were more enamored with the ancient pump organ in the choir loft and ringing the old church bell. I even plunked out a few chords on the organ. Pump organs are very difficult to play!

We signed the guest book (a spiral notebook) and made a donation in the tin can set aside for the purpose. Glancing over the last few guest book entries, we saw that a wedding had taken place the previous weekend. And a few months ago, a woman wrote in the book that her parents had married at the meetinghouse in the 1950s, and this was her first visit to the place. Apparently, we weren't the only ones struck by the beauty and peace there.

The photos, of course, don't do the frescoes justice. But they'll give you a taste of what the meetinghouse is like. Just use your imagination.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Making Our Own Fun

When the weather refuses to cooperate, which is often this summer, we do what we can to ward off cabin fever. We have no television and only dial-up access at the cabin (I have to go to the library to update my blog!), so media-based entertainment is minimal. Thank heavens for a DVD player! However, sometimes it's good to be forced into creativity. Here are some projects the girls have made lately:

Painting. Tiny Girl's depiction of our weather, basically since we arrived at the end of June.

Embroidery floss bracelets and necklaces.

Foam craft kits.

Fields Pond Audubon Center

The girls and I spent some time at the Fields Pond Audubon Center in Holden, Maine, one day last week. (You can see the fairy houses they built in an earlier post.) Although the day was overcast, the site was still lovely and peaceful.

The flower alongside the visitors' center. We caught sight of several hummingbirds among the tall, dark red bee balm (monarda). I must plant these flowers next season!

Our adventurous and never squeamish Tiny Girl tried to catch a frog at the (somewhat viscous) frog pond, but the frogs were not cooperative. One jumped slightly toward her when she touched it, prompting a blood-curdling scream that shattered the peace for a moment.

These lovely water flowers bloom at the pond's edge.

Mildewing in Maine

Rain, rain, go away. Here I sit with a cup of P.G. Tips (with milk and sugar), watching the rain drizzle down this morning. A commonplace scene this summer. The girls are sniffly and sneezy and a tad cranky. We are playing a lot of card games (Trash being our current favorite) and making quite a few crafts. Oh, and DVDs.

Two days ago was an almost perfect summer day. We all went swimming. The girls have been in the lake many times already, but I've protested that the water's too cold, the breeze too strong (I'm most definitely a Southern girl), and other excuses. But I made an exception on Monday, since the sun was out and the breeze was gentle. So we all swam out to our floating dock and had fun jumping off the dock into the lake. Talk about jolting a person out of her stupor! The water was frigid.

But that was a brief moment, and now we're back to the typical sort of day for this summer. Ah, well.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fairy Houses

The girls enjoy making fairy houses when we're out and about. Two days ago, we ventured out under overcast skies and a few sprinkles (a severe case of cabin fever) to the Fields Pond Audubon Center. We picnicked by the pond, did a little hiking, and took what photos we could. Both girls made a fairy house or two with found natural materials.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sum- Sum- Summertime??

Here we are in Maine! And it was 59 degrees this morning. Lots of wet, cool weather -- not what I expected for July. I only have three long-sleeved shirts, so I'm wearing the same things over and over again. We're managing to have some fun anyway.

However, I've hit a few technical snags. I only have dial-up Internet access at the cabin. There's only so much one can do with dial-up. And waiting for pages to load. . . It's like having your toenails yanked out without the pain, just the mental agony. I can't make updates to my blog. So here I sit at the town library, blogging under the gun. Way more pressure. All the good ideas I had have flown out of my brain.

The drive up was fine, although if I never hear the song "You Can Call Me Al," by Paul Simon, ever again, that will be fine with me. It became one of Tiny Girl's favorites along the way.

Then we arrived (raining and 61 degrees for a high the first day). Despite the weather, we've seen friends and eaten lobsters and clams. We've been out on the boat a few times, whenever the weather cooperated. What more could I want? Well, maybe a little sunshine.

Oh, joy! I just heard the librarian tell a patron that she can use her laptop here in the library to access the Internet. I'll do that next time and post some photos.

Until then, I'll keep my fingers crossed for some summer weather!