So, in about 168 hours, we will be sitting in a little cottage on a lake. There will be mosquitos and no wifi. Last year we saw the fjords of Norway. This summer, we will see the sights of Skowhegan, Maine. We will visit places with names like The Broken Hag and the Good Karma Farm. We might see Bruce the llama. We will take a tour of the Stanley Museum to be wowed by the inventions that the Stanley brothers created. We will visit the towns of Unity, Freedom and Liberty. We will be on vacation. We will do a lot of nothing which is something we don’t usually get to do. We will eat vegan in Skowhegan. We will buy the best bagels in Maine in L.A. (the other L.A., Lewiston-Auburn). We will have time to hear our thoughts.
Do I seem pumped to hit the road? You betcha. I want to travel the back roads and country roads. I want to stop and greet cows….I alway stop and say “Hi Ladies” when I see cows. My FHB will be on the lookout for moose, which is not dissimilar to Waiting for Godot. No Godot, no moose. The meaning of life, and yet we meander on and on. My FHB has fond memories of childhood trips to Skowhegan. It was inhabited by the Akanaki indiginous people who named it for “watching the fish”. He will be hoping for a few bites on his fishing pole, and maybe there will be a couple of teases or tugs and maybe this time, a fish and not just a fish story.
Skowhegan has a history much like many of the towns of New England, battles and conflict, forts and more battles, the industrial revolution and a town that was and probably still is a place where people worked hard to make a living. One of my FHB’s memories was going to “Shirley and Walter’s” which was a restaurant that served “very American food”. Apparently, according to my sources, Shirley and Walter divorced and there went the restaurant. I think it will be nice to see where it used to be….or not. Seems like at this point in our travels, we see or try to see a lot of places that used to be, that we remember from travels with our families. Nostalgia will be sitting in the backseat, reminding us of “remember when and where”.
My family spent a lot of time traversing the roads of Maine. We crossed the border from Canada (when it was easier) at Jackman. We rode through the 45th parallel in Rangeley. My father would point out the Echo satellite as it moved across the sky. Then we would head to the coast, to Acadia National Park and to Blue Hill and stand on the jagged rocks and look across to Paris. Then I found out that Maine was filled with places named Norway, Peru, Paris, Carthage and Bath as an homage to places I hadn’t yet travelled to but hoped to see one day.
When we travel to Maine, we often talk about our respective summer vacations with our families. Sweet memories and we wonder, in our conversations of past moments in the remote and touristy places, whether a dark haired boy ever saw a short dirty blonde haired girl and maybe even held a door, or got in a car and perhaps looked through the window at one another. Maine is our destination, but maybe it was our destiny, long, long ago.