Friday, May 30, 2014


Writing a blog everyday is an act of faith.  While I was clicking button after button to get to this blank page, my mind was spinning wildly hoping to land on a topic substantial enough that I could write for an extended period.  After a long week preparing my three week departure from school (I am part of a team who is testing in all of our schools in the district) my mind appears to be empty. After school I walked the shore path with Rex, shopped for fruit and veggies and prepared a simple dinner of chicken, salad and broccoli. As I age, I yearn for simplicity in all things.

Most days have become simpler since the kids are getting older.  We gained a driver in the family who is more than willing to make some pick-ups and drop offs happen. After school today, I walked with Rex long before the sun set.  Everyone was busy doing their own thing which allowed me to do my own thing; to walk and empty my head.

I could get used to this simple life. Eat, drink, walk, write and read.  Repeat.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Over several days, I have been working on a little publishing project for my daughter.  The original image has been lost, so I have been trying to reformat it into a higher resolution.  I don't want to use any other for I adore the sweet, tender tone of this photo.  With the help of my photo-whiz mentor, Jeff Kirlin I am hoping against all hope that the resolution issue has been resolved. Awaiting another proof.  Have I mentioned how much I love this photo? It is perfection; at least in my mind.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Happy Belated Travelinma!

This image was among the first in a series I posted to Travelinma on May 7, 2007.  Happy Belated Birthday Travelinma. Incidentally this is Post 1231!

                                                                                    Costa Rica-Travelinma Photo (2007

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


My throat is sore. My heart pounding as though I was the runner. Today  I watched my  daughter with long graceful strides run in an invitational meet at UMO. I can't get enough of it. 

I began my running career on a sandy stretch of sand as a lifeguard. I ran everywhere thereafter. I loved to run, but never identified myself as a runner. My daughter does. I want to belong. Seventy pounds overweight I jog in short bursts. My daily walking routine ihas become faster, the more fit I become. Grit and persistence is necessary for any degree of success. Just ask my daughter.

 If my knee holds out perhaps my daughter's voice will be hoarse as she cheers her mother on yelling, "You're a runner Ma! Go!"  If only my grit and determination matched my youngest. She is an inspiration.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Reflections in Memorium

Anticipation.  Perhaps my three cousins did not regard seeing me with as much excitement as I held for spending a few hours with them.  Or maybe it was the tradition surrounded by this time of year.  Honoring those that passed before us while commemorating Memorial day strengthens the realization that we all belong to the same familial thread.  My uncle would step on the spade loosening the soil making room for red geraniums, silver fox and lobelia while we brushed the lichen from each head stone.  The galvanized watering can filled took two to carry as we shifted weight between us sloshing water; requiring a second trip to the spiquit hidden in a hedge.  Uncle George did the bulk of the work, while we all looked on; stepping back to admire the quick work of adorning the primary headstone.  Each side of the family laid to rest in different cemataries. Divided by religious beliefs.  St. Joseph's in Biddeford where my Catholic maternal grandmother and my two baby sisters are buried was always our first stop, while Laurel Hill in Saco was chosen as the resting place for my maternal grandfather and his family.  Protestant.  Even as a young kid, the injustice of this separation was evident.  Being raised as a Catholic, I still wanted to be buried among my family at Laurel Hill.  Large treks of tulips, manicured hedges and large greek style rotundas with slate floors still dot the landscape.  On Memorial Day all those years ago, we would stand beside our car on Beech Street and watch the parade pass.  Yet nothing compared to walking through Laurel Hill and visiting grave after grave of descendants. My mother sharing stories and memories that I have forgotten.  The years are not kind to memories or family stories.  The importance of what these ancestors ate for breakfast, what kinds of books they read or  exactly how they conducted their lives is lost.  I just know that their blood courses through my veins.  I belong.  Isn't that all that matters?

Sunday, May 25, 2014


The black flies joined in force trying to irritate and send us from camp fleeing. We waved them away, swatting fearlessly as they dispersed, but only for minutes at a time. Despite this late spring normalcy, we enjoyed a toodle around the pond. As usual winter mice invaded camp shredding paper to beat idleness. Once things are cleaned up the Keene Compound will be ready for a season of swimming, boating and fishing. Our not so secret secluded beach on the pond just might tease us to don our bath suits a tad too early; that is once the black flies have vacated Maine!

Saturday, May 24, 2014


The appearance of the cruise ships in Frenchman's Bay marks the beginning of summer.  (That and the black flies. Reports are that they are thick.) This morning we shared the shore path with a few tourists who stopped now and again to take photos.  I wondered if after all these years if I still viewed this place like a wide-eyed tourist.  Most days I think I do. Sometimes I stop walking and just gawk. Struck by the ever-changing beauty.

My adult children have moved away at one point in their lives, but have all returned home; to this. They are drawn to the diverse beauty-the sea, islands, mountains and lakes.  We have it all. Paradise.

Friday, May 23, 2014


The gravel shifted under my weight as I kicked a few pebbles and heard them scatter.  The road ahead seemed long and uphill.  I only had fifteen short minutes to walk during my lunch break. Inhaling I smelled the evergreens that lined the drive.  Infused with calm, I began to notice the woods, the different shades of green and the ferns once tight now unfurled.  Then. This.  I stopped. Wild strawberry blossoms. Soon the petals will give way to sweet little berries that stain my fingers with fragrance that lingers. My step lightened as I was transported to the empty lot next door to my childhood home where I discovered the tiny blossoms hidden under the brambles, impatiently waiting for fruit.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

my girl

Determination and grit:  the twin essentials of life. She has it. Today was my girl's last meet of her elementary career.  I am so grateful to the coaches who gently nurtured the athlete within with encouragement and acceptance.  I am so excited of the possibilities that come with high school.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Is it just me, or is everyone going about a thousand times a minute? Everything is bustling in town after a long sleepy winter. It seems to happen overnight.   Most people are adjusting to the fast pace of a summer in Bar Harbor.  I won’t see my children on a regular basis. Everyone will be working. They will come and go while Jerry and I adjust to eating alone.

Some days I long for stretches of time alone with my husband.  Yet, the reality is I will miss the phone calls, “Can you come pick me up?” The plans, “I have a track meet on Thursday and practice all week.” The athletic antics, “I’m gonna dunk.” I may not miss the dirty dishes piled up in the sink or the long, long showers of teenagers, but I will miss everything else.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Contemplation of a Habit

At this point of the early evening, there ain’t much left.  Like every other working woman; I’ve worked all day rushed to two medical appointments, went to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription, dropped a kid off, picked another up, wrote 750 words, made a gourmet meal and I now look forward to a walk in a bit to clear my head.  

Once I start the habit of walking, I wonder why I ever stopped.  The routine soothes as does the normal route of travel-along the shore path and through town.  For a stretch of two years, I walked everyday.  Nothing stopped me.  A little grouchy, there were days that my husband would offer to cook supper if I just went for a walk.  My hope in life is always renewed after a walk.

For weeks now, I have been thinking about going to the gym. The reality is that I am just content to walk outside.  I tend to walk the same route, starting in the same location, but taking an opposite direction each day.  The view remains the same, but from a different perspective.  The tide changes and the light varies with the weather. Boredom is never a threat.

Tonight as I walk the path that winds along the craggy shore, I will contemplate all the good that comes and proceed through the evening content and at peace.

Monday, May 19, 2014

the view

The world is distorted through rain.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Exercise Fun

     Photos courtesy of Angela Dalrymple

Although it was a weekend the alarm was set and  I was up before it went off at 5:45.  We were all off to a 5K Color Run.  Water bottles filled, bananas on board, we drove over an hour to get there. Gabrielle and I have been walking everyday.  A little over three miles? No problem.  We let our long and leggy girl run the race and come in second for woman, while the rest of us brought up the rear.  Walk, walk, walk, jog, walk, walk, walk, jog.  There was not really any rhythm or method, but whenever I felt the urge; I jogged. It was fun exercising amongst a crowd. The rain waited until the afternoon.  I'd say the day so far has been a success! My First 5K.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

mother earth

Come to think of it, when I was a child I spent much of my time close to the ground or in the trees. Alone. The draw for me in my neighborhood was an expanse of land referred to as Shaw's Hill.  At the edge  was a big estate lined with a thick stand of lilacs that created a natural boundary between the two properties; one manicured and the other wild, overgrown fields and hills leading to the creek and forest.  I spent days on the wild side attempting to fly kites, picking wild berries or sliding down the hill on waxed cardboard or toboggans. Summer days my mother would send me out to pick huckleberries or wild strawberries.  Once my cup was filled, I would lie on my back and watch the cloud formation; lost in the promise that the clouds would move and change. Other times I would just walk randomly through the field and when it felt right, lie on my back. With time I would shift to my side and open my eyes to ants and other creatures as I peered through the tall grass.

The sandy beaches near my home provided another place to connect.  Here the weight of my body was supported by the tiny grains. Comfort was gained from the soft breeze and constant shift of the sea. I was always at peace near the sea with sand between my toes.  It seems that when I was young, instinctually knew what I needed; drifting off to Shaw's Hill or the beach when I needed quiet renewal.

Now, I walk through fields and into the woods and crouch low under the tree branches.  Here I find a soft bed of pine needles and I rest looking up into the blackness of bare branches that nearly obstruct the sky.  I share this space with deer and other creatures. I am surrounded by sea here on this beloved island and I seek refuge taking long walks as the sea collides with the land or is calm and still. Clearly, I am drawn to the earth, the sea and the sky. Mother Earth provides.

Friday, May 16, 2014

slow the days

This time of year we stuff wool sweaters and shorts in our drawers.  It's an odd dance between seasons and I find myself thinking about everything I am going to do during the summer months.  Long walks on the beach.  Camping.  Swimming.  Boating.

I got my first dandelion gift from a student; limp from being held in her hand all through recess. Very soon I anticipate the presentation of a clump of blue-its torn up by their roots; picked with love. How I love spring.

Slow down.  Listen to the peepers.  Wait for the black flies.  Summer will come.  Right now, I am mindful it is spring. I am so grateful.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


The Shore Path crawls with strangers and their dogs.  Rex breaks the ice as he wags and sniffs.  We strangers laugh and smile. What would we do without dogs and their non snobby ways?  The Shore Path would crawl with strangers minus the dogs.  With hands in pockets, the strangers would brush pass each other looking at their feet. The potential for connection is gone.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Growing Accustomed

I am recording everything I eat.  Years ago I lugged food diaries in my pocketbook for easy access.  Today I just use an application on my iphone. Remarkably it can save individual items that I eat and provides a bank of foods that I can choose for future meals. It tracks water intake and exercise too.  Already I feel more in control of my health and that is a good thing.  

Here's a view from many of the walks I have taken recently. And why wouldn't I walk?  I live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. This photo was taken with my iphone that was slipped into my pocket.  

Some of my best little poems or thoughts were written on my iphone.  What would I do without it? I have grown accustomed to the ease of organizing a crazy busy life through technology and having fun doing it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ain't Bad

A renewed goal is to walk each day. Tonight I shared the Shore Path with my daughter Gabrielle and my dog Rex.. For three nights in a row I have walked dogs and chatted with my son or daughter. Treasured moments indeed; and the scenery "ain't bad" either.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Wondrous and Mysterious

Life is arranged
In ways
Wondrous and mysterious.

This oxymoron
Our attention.

Sunday, May 11, 2014


After a long long winter, 
We turn toward
The sun
And unfurl,

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Facing the Changes

Lowering my head into the gusts of wind and driving rain, I cradle the stack of books in front of me; tightly pulling my jacket around them to protect from the elements.  Instinctively, I looked at my feet as prepare for the stairs. My protruding front is all I can see. Not quite trusting my footing because I can’t see my feet I gingerly make my way down the granite steps.   Suddenly, I remember times that I waddled here and there not being able to tie my shoes nor see my feet. Now instead of carrying the weight of a baby, I swaddle books; huge stacks of books from the library, from bookstores and borrowed from friends.  They are all through the house.  Books.  My children are mostly 
grown now, while the others are finding their way in the world through athletics and friends.  Meanwhile, I sit and contemplate how quickly all this change seems to have transpired.  The house is quiet.   There is a big chicken roasting and turkey soup simmering. This rain makes a perfect day for slowing down and savoring the quiet.  My books are stacked beside me, ready for devouring during the quiet serene; that is now often my life.

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Return

We returned to the place we belong: the field, woods and blueberry barrens. A 45 minute walk before supper makes everything right.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

This Time

Every time I do it, I start with the notion that this time will be different.  


I was about eight sitting in the back yard in shorts.  I grabbed the inside of my thigh. Fat I thought.

Where did my convoluted self perception originate? And most importantly, why has it been perpetuated into middle age?

I loved climbing trees and found the perfect set of branches to nail a few boards across.  Perched high above the world, I would stand and gaze in all directions; imagining that I could see all the way to the White Mountains.  With books piled high, I would sit and read.

Not all the neighborhood boys bullied me, but a pair of brothers did.  A large shed stood at the corner of their property. They liked to climb up on the flat roof.  They wouldn’t let me up because, “The roof will cave in.  Too fat,” they said laughing and snickering. I walked away and retreated to my own high place and dreamed.


Over the years, I have lost a few hundred pounds.  Losing weight has been easy.  I never starve myself, but begin determined to make lasting changes.  It just never sticks.

Now it will be different. I am working on accepting my imperfections and loving myself bits at a time.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Driving along the rolling hills between Bangor and Bucksport, I noticed green. Seconds later I got my first whiff of cut grass.  Near the road a man was on the slant of a hill pushing something. At first I thought it might be one of those grass seed spreaders or push fertilizer mechanisms.  The aroma that never seems to grow old confirmed that he was cutting his grass.  A few doors down, two elderly men were talking as one sat on a ride-on  mower while the other stood near.  They were either contemplating cutting the grass or just taking a break.

Driving along with my driver-side window opened; heightens my senses of smelling and hearing, whether it be the smell of freshly cut grass, the clam flats as I cross the bridge or the sound of cardinal song as he is perched atop the highest branch. These experiences help me to appreciate the ever-changing cycle of time. Truly, we live in paradise.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

First Sighting

I stopped mid-sentence, leaving my daughter on the sidewalk as I walked on the grass inching closer and closer.  Bending my head this way and that I wanted to get the optimal view with the blue behind for the perfect image.  My first forsythia sighting is a big deal.  They don't stick around long enough for my liking, yet it is a sure sign of spring.

Monday, May 5, 2014

logic be damned

I remember my mother crying three times.  Each instance my mother's heart broke over disagreements with people.  At all costs, I avoid disharmony, but it seems that my life is loaded with it lately.  I cry regularly.

"Are you going to the prom?" I asked my son.

"Nah," he replied looking out the window.

"Isn't your girlfriend a Senior?"

"She isn't my girlfriend, anymore," he offered pausing, "I guess...never really was.  She is going with some other guy."

I thought just like that.  Together on Friday.  Split by Monday. Together for months.

"How do you get used to someone not liking you? I asked my son,  adding, "How do you cope?"

"Cause there are plenty of people that do like me," he said smiling, then walked away.

I sat thinking.  He is right.  In reality, despite efforts to be kind, thoughtful and do the right thing; there will always be someone who doesn't like me. (My mother couldn't imagine that such people existed.)

If  intent is pure it should be easier to endure life's heartaches. Yet I don't find it getting any easier, despite the logic of it all.

Sunday, May 4, 2014


Delicate bursts of new green
What was bare last week
Is now made new.

A  wooded path
To a tiny cove with
Chiseled shore.
An early morning walk
As this island births
Another season.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Go Girl!

“I’m a runner.” my youngest announces to everyone at the table.  I had all I could do at that very moment, not to swipe the table clean and shock the family with a dance, but I had to play it cool.  

Today she ran in her first official 5K placing 8th in her age division (20 and under) and running 43rd overall among over 300 participants.  

“There’s over 200 runners,” I told her in nearly a whisper, not wanting to freak her out.

“No big deal.  I’ve done that before.” she replied confidently.  She led the crowd of runners up the hill.  That girl has determination and is not afraid of hard work.

Go girl go! A mother couldn’t be prouder.

Friday, May 2, 2014

i Write Sometimes

I shift in the chair.
Lean forward.
Eyes opened.
Hoping to
The words packed in my head,
No such

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Escape Route

Any distraction will do.  I watch the tea bag float on top of the water. Deciding it needs to be immersed to steep, I lift it out of the water and plunge it forcefully into the water over and over until it sinks.  I am nervous. I swallow and listen, but I don’t want to hear.  None of the possibilities are good. Uncertain I can face this, I begin to imagine that I am walking through the woods.  The fog is low and heavy.  Pausing, I listen.  Peepers are near.  I walk toward the sound to forget.  Reality breathes; beckons me to return.