Saturday, November 29, 2008

Catching Up

Here's the dog-ate-my-homework disclaimer: I started this post Monday, got pulled away, tried to get back and then the power went off for a day. Then it was Thanksgiving, then a day spent doctoring and cavorting around Ellsworth. (Sort of a minimalist cavort, on crutches.) And now I'm back.

I'm feeling a little better about Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Still wish she could be Health and Human Services or AG, and still fear that Bill's going to make an ass of himself trying to use her as a marionette, not that she'd let him. But the talking heads say she's respected worldwide and can work for Obama even if she disagrees with him, so I'm going to stop fretting about it now. (And the cry rings out across the land, "Oh, phew, another half-crippled neophyte kidbook writer from Maine is on board. Let's move on to the next thing.")

I am not feeling better about my lost camera, which seems to be well and truly lost. And will continue to be so until the moment when I take delivery on a new one, which will be sometime next year with any luck.

So I will write 1,000 words instead. (Not really.)

Eastport, Maine, where I visited earlier in the month, is spectacular. I had no idea, never having made it farther east than Cobscook Bay State Park. The town's main street burned down in the last 1800s, apparently, and got rebuilt in beautifully designed brick. A big surprise for those of us who were expecting a cluster of tiny white clapboard buildings trembling on the water's edge. (That's where I ended, after a lengthy search for a picture of Eastport's brick main street. That's it on the left, although I suppose the flat rooftops aren't the most scenic angle. More of a seascape below right. Now I'll continue jabbering on for a while. I borrowed the shots from the Eastport web site, by the way. Lots more where they came from.)

I'd been invited to talk and read to a library book group (kids) at three o'clock, but my neighbor Marilyn and I decided to make a day of it and drive out early. It's a three-hour drive, one way, but a gorgeous one, with blueberry barrens and seascapes and white houses and pockets of despair. I once again felt that pull to settle someplace more empty and ornery than Hancock County, although I know I'd be miserable if I ever left here.

After lunch, we befriended Donald Sutherland (the sculptor, not the actor), who let us into the new arts center even though it was closed and under renovation. Then we visited his studio, which he'd just battened down for winter with tarps hanging everywhere to keep the drafts out. Largish kiln, which must heat things up a bit. To make up for all the cool art, as you'll see on his web site.

And then we went to the utterly charming Peavey Memorial Library (pictured at left), where I read and talked to a select group ranging in age from kindergarten to adulthood. I was concerned that everything that came out of my mouth was scudding over the little kids' heads, and then damned if the first very good comment afterwards didn't come from one of the littlest. Who, by the way, noticed that I was trying to be funny in a place nobody else has caught. (Don't know if this tells us something about her mental age or mine.) The older kids were just as smart and polite and engaged.

In general, if I were to leave Brooklin and not move to Portland or Providence, RI, or someplace in England, I'd definitely move to Eastport. I certainly plan to visit again.

Out of time. Subsequent posts will deal with St. Peter, Minnesota, and the continuing joys of knee surgery. (Actually, I'm feeling fine.)

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