You know I can never resist a flower picture with a bug in it. Especially bugs that look like a little kid’s toy they’d pull behind them as they learned to walk. I wonder if they have toys like that anymore? No batteries, just kid power. Those photos make flower pictures without a bug just look boring in comparison. These photos are also from the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden. Such a lovely place to visit, and just a short drive from this campground. I’m beginning to wonder if a week will be enough time to see everything I’d like to see while I’m here. And there I was, contemplating heading back home just a couple of days ago. I usually do keep my promises, but I don’t always keep the promises I make to myself. It’s about time I did…
I’m told that the green smiley-faced caterpillar has fake eyes on his back to make his enemies think there is a big, bad, bug looking at them. I just think he’s cute!
After I arrived at this very nice campground, and got myself almost set up, I was starving and I couldn’t resist heading to Boothbay Harbor. I had been here a couple of times before. Once was supposed to be a day trip to Acadia National Park with my husband and kids. We were a couple of hours into the trip from MA when I turned the page in the atlas and discovered that we had MILES to go. Oops. So we stopped at Boothbay Harbor instead. I guess this flying by the seat of my pants thing is nothing new.
This time it’s only a 10 minute drive from the campground, so I headed down and spotted a wharf where I could get a clam roll and sit on the wharf and take pictures. I saw Bud Light/happy hour sign and asked the bartender if it was too late for happy hour. He said it depended on whether I was happy or not. I said I was. Then he asked if I wanted a pitcher. I told him I wasn’t that happy. I ate my clams and drank my (one) beer, and exhaustion set in. I thought I was going to wait to get some sunset pictures, but there was an hour to go and I just couldn’t manage it. I always have been a cheap date.
I told myself that I needed to do this, camping I mean, ‘while I am still able’. I may have been a bit optimistic about how able I really am. Yesterday kicked my butt. All I left myself to do yesterday was hitch up the car and I’d be off. Thought I had that down to a science. Not quite. I got it done but it took driving the car up onto boards to raise the hitch up to match the camper. There was a hill involved. Did it by myself, almost, though my friend flipped the lever to actually hitch it up. Then a 3 1/2 hour drive, then set up. But here I am, and I’ve been here before. I lived near here one summer while my husband’s ship was being worked on at Bath, ME shipyards. Do I remember being here? Sorta. My two memories are that I was filling the tub and my daughter, 15 months or so, tossed my favorite leather shoes in and basically ruined them. And a failed photo op. She was bending over trying to smell a flower, picture the position, the grassy lawn, the dandelion, the chubby cheeks. I got A picture, but not the one I wanted. Maybe I’ll get a second chance while I’m here, but with someone else’s adorable daughter…This morning’s challenges were to figure out what was up with the electricity so that I could make coffee and charge the computer. Done, thank goodness! It’s another day, gloomy, with a possible storm later so I’d better get moving…
Her husband said we were two peas in a pod. He said it was a shame we haven’t lived close enough to be part of each other’s day-to-day life all along. And now we are both alone, and I’ve come to visit for a while, but I’ve been a little too comfy with my oldest, dearest friend. And too well-then-care-of, what with the toasted tomato sandwiches with just-picked tomatoes. It would be so much easier to stay here and enjoy the conversation over coffee, and the cribbage by candlelight out on the porch, with a glass of wine.
But change is in the air, it’s time to move on, for both of us. I will move along tomorrow, heading for coastline and lighthouses. And that’s as far as my plan goes. Her plan is still writing itself. I looked into this gazing ball in her garden today, and wondered if it were a crystal ball would I want to know the future? Would she? Or would we rather keep putting one foot in front of the other and trust that we are heading down just the right path for ourselves? Okay, maybe just a little peek???
My hiker friend made sure to see the train he called the Yankee Clipper before we headed back from our White Mountain expedition. And just when we thought we had seen all that we could manage in a short time we stopped for a last meal, and found more nice views. I said that there was no shortage of beautiful scenery in NH and I haven’t found a reason to change my mind. Growing up I didn’t come to New Hampshire much. Ot at all. I’m glad I’ve gotten to spend as much time here as I have on this trip. I could not be happier to have spent time with the friends I made in my early childhood. I was a good judge of character back then it seems, they are still my most cherished friends. Soon it will be time get back in the camper and find more nice places to visit. And visit with more old friends, and even find a few new friends. One new friend said I was spunky to have headed out on this adventure by myself, and at my age. Now I feel guilty for having stopped to enjoy the comforts of my friend’s house, and gotten so comfy that I have failed to move on. It’s about time to get back on the road, but not quite yet.
Canterbury Shaker Village was the destination yesterday. I was so distracted by the dramatic sky that I didn’t spend a lot of time wishing for a prettier day. Well, when it was raining on us and we were taking shelter under a crab apple tree I may have wished for a better day. But the porcupine in the tree was kind of fun, but he just plain wouldn’t say cheese so I don’t have his picture. And we munched on huckleberries that were growing on the apple tree like a trellis, so it wasn’t all bad. A sprinkle here and there was as bad as it got.
We took the guided tour of the village and that was well worth it. The volunteer guide was terrific, and it was quite amazing to hear of the accomplishments and work ethic of the Shakers. I was lamenting that I had been so distracted by the dramatic sky, which doesn’t always translate into great pictures, that I didn’t think I had taken any interior pictures. Thankfully there were a few.
The rest of these are just the grounds of the village. The members lived in dormitories. They were issued 120 garments each upon their arrival in the village. These were their only possessions. Their laundry facility was amazing. The Shakers invented the first washing machines and sold them to hotels and hospitals around the world. The garments were washed, dried, folded, and returned to the proper person by a system of baskets. They were delivered by the children of the village, to the proper building, identified by letter, room number, closet or drawer number, and the initials of the owner. Very efficient.
And if you are paying attention you may be wondering how a religious community that practiced celibacy managed to have children on the premises. Shakers took in orphans and educated them as well as trained them in trades. They were not automatically considered Shakers, because the belief was that you couldn’t make a decision as important as that one until the age of reason, age 17 – 21. The more I learned about this group the more I admired their practices. Each person worked at a job to benefit the whole, in 30 day shifts, and everyone rotated through every job required. In that way no one was stuck in the less pleasant jobs and these rules applied to everyone, including the elders of the village. The guide didn’t elaborate on the perceived benefits of celibacy, we’ll all have to ponder that one…