Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Finally, the hammock is down. The windows facing the lake have been boarded over. The kayaks, the grill and the patio furniture have been stored in the guest house. The flags—the American and the block O—have been lowered, folded and stored in the closet. The circuit breakers are in the off position. The pipes have been emptied, and the toilet and drains filled with antifreeze, etc. The beds are stripped.The half empty bottles of mustard and mayonnaise and kosher dills are packed into a box I will drop off at a neighbor’s because I can’t stand to throw away any food except stale bread. The doors are closed and locked.

I sat on the deck watching my husband take a final dip in the lake after all the work of closing up. The sun was shining and the cicadas were shrieking, but it still felt like summer. I spotted a few changes. The nights are cooler. A few spots of color have appeared in the trees. Summer is over, and it's time to head home.

When I retire, I shall live at camp year round. Then it will be summer all the time.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Time to leave Maine

In Spanish, “querencia” describes a place where one feels safe, a place from which one's identity is drawn, a place where one feels most at home. For some people, querencia is associated with nature—a particular city or landscape or body of water. For others, querencia is associated with certain people or animals. My querencia is summer at camp. Living in Maine in the summer centers me for the rest of the year when I can’t be here.

Now it is late August. Once again, we are sleeping under the comforter, not just a single sheet. Acorns drop from the oaks onto the roof. The loons from all over the lake gather at our end to make their travel plans before heading south to do whatever they do all winter. These loon conventions are called “stagings.” We watch them practice their take offs and landings on the open stretches of the water and we hear them yodel in flight.

It is a pity that summer has to end. But each summer’s memories help us through the rest of the year so that we have something great to look forward to. We do take some of the summer bounty with us when we leave. We harvest the cranberries by the shore to make jelly for our Thanksgiving dinner. And the blueberry jam we’ve made for our English muffins will last all winter. Leaving is bittersweet. Time to paint my toenails red and head back

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fishing on Little Sebago Lake

He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his soul’s estate.” Thoreau, Journal

My husband Rollie says that when he is fishing, he never feels as though he should be doing something else. Fishing allows him a few hours of peace and quiet, when he is able to step outside of himself and his responsibilities and just be.

But it’s not just the change of pace. He says it’s the sensory experiences too. He likes being out on the lake when the light fades and the mists rise from the water to soften the shoreline in the distance. He likes the silent ripple of the water as a loon surfaces nearby. And then there’s the act of casting the line itself.

He also likes the mental challenge of figuring out where the fish are and under what conditions they will take the bait. He likes the thrill of feeling the pull of the fish on the line and the challenge of getting it over the side of the boat before it lets go. And then, of course, there’s the exhilaration of racing back to shore in the boat at the end of the evening. It really doesn’t matter much, he says, whether he catches any fish at all. In fact, he releases most of his catch.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Little Sebago Lake Summer Images

My friend Ed is a faithful reader of this blog. He occasionally makes comments and suggestions about my writing. This week he has reminded me that not everyone is as text oriented as I am, and perhaps more pictures and video (and fewer words) might be a welcome addition to this blog. Good idea, Ed! Here is a link to a site I have created to showcase some of my favorite photos and videos of my Little Sebago Lake summers. I’ll be adding more images to this site in the weeks to come.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Shaking off the village

I am back from meeting my new grandson. I could go on and on about that amazing baby, but this blog is about my summer at the lake, so I’ll stay focused on that here.

I have been rereading Thoreau this summer. Like me, Thoreau liked to take long walks to clear his mind and renew his spirit. Okay, okay. I also walk because the dog needs exercise and we both need to burn some calories. Maybe even skip a few meals. Thoreau doesn’t make any mention of this in his essay.

Thoreau preferred walking in the woods. I like walking on the dirt road. He walked in a parabola—I walk in a straight line. Thoreau liked evening “saunters”—I prefer brisk morning exercise. However, Thoreau and I do share one thing in our walking habits. Like Thoreau, I try to focus on the moment when I walk, on what I’m seeing and hearing and smelling on the journey. I really make an effort. Thoreau called it “shaking off the village.”

I like to use a walking stick when I go into the woods. My friend Ed carved my favorite walking stick from a tree taken from our property on the lake. It is about five feet tall and an inch and a half in diameter. The top is carved into a bearded face, a wood sprite who scowls at me during our walks. The hand grip is wrapped in soft deer skin, laced on with a thin strip of rawhide. I take it into the woods in the even that some wild animal might try to attack me or the dog. Of course, that has never happened.

Here is my walking stick:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Goodnight lake--for now!

My grandson, Benjamin Connor Seguin, was born yesterday at 7:59 July 28, 2010. He weighed 7 lbs. 9 ozs. I’ve been waiting for him for a long time, and I’ve been buying him books for the last four years.

I bought a little board book just last week at the specialty food store where I buy my wine (The Good Life Market in Raymond). Its title is Good Night Lake (title of the book, not the wine), and the back cover explains that the book is one of the Good Night Our World Series ( You know, in the spirit of the children’s classic Good Night Moon. Remember that book? Its pages speak of many of the natural wonders that we enjoy here on Little Sebago Lake—a loon calling, fishing, boating, swimming, playing in the sand—all the grand things that I hope to enjoy with my new grandson here at the lake next summer. But I’ll read the book to baby Ben this weekend. Let the brainwashing begin!

So, I must leave the lake for a while in order to meet my new grandson who lives with his wonderful family in North Carolina. I’ll be back next week to blog about my Little Sebago Lake summer, which is quickly coming to an end.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

More lobster!

Last weekend I ate a lot of lobster, so I decided to read up on lobsters.

In his book The Lobster Coast, Colin Woodard reports that coastal new Englanders of the early 19th century fed lobsters to prisoners and indentured servants. One group of indentured servants got so sick of this diet that they took their owners to court and sued them . The court judged that they would not be served lobster more than three times a week. Geez!

Lobsters look pretty funny too. Here’s what Woodard has to say about their appearance:

“ . . .lobsters are armored and buglike, cold blooded omnivores from an alien realm few humans ever visit . . .In basic design, Homarus americanus resembles a self-propelled Swiss Army knife, with deployable appendages for every occasion. Around the mouth is an assortment of forks, clamps, brushes, paring knives, and crushing devices . . .There are retractable stalks for each eye, long whiplike antennae for touch and smaller ones for smell. There are walking legs and cleaning brooms, plus long sets of swimming paddles, modified in the female for clutching eggs. In all, the lobster has twenty pairs of appendages . . .” Woodard, The Lobster Coast, pp. 242-3.

Sometimes in colonial New England, lobsters were strewn on the fields as fertilizer. But eventually the lobster got some respect. Maine lobster was the second food canned in the U.S. (oysters was first), and in 1850, three lobster canning factories were the only canneries of any kind in the entire country.

Now lobstering is big business in Maine, and I find Homarus americanus mighty good eating.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

July excursion

This week I took a Maine history excursion with my friends Helen and Perley, a nice married couple that I met years ago when they worked together at the recycle station in the town of Gray. As a resident of Gray, I have to take my trash to the dump--excuse me, the transfer station—and recycle what I can before disposing of my trash. Sorting the milk containers from the newspapers from the cardboard from the glass takes time, and that is how I got to talking to Helen and Perley in the first place. I discovered we had a couple of strong interests in common—wildlife and Maine history. We also like to eat seafood. We’ve been chit chatting about these things for years now.

A couple of years ago I asked Perley if he knew where I might find the ruins of the old Gray woolen mill, supposedly the first such mill in the country. He said he knew it, and would I like to go there with him and Helen on their day off. Well of course I did, and then one excursion led to another, and over the past couple of years we have explored a number of interesting sites together. Helen and Perley are a little older than I am—ok, quite a bit older than I am—and they remember a lot of things about the state that I never knew. They both interesting and fun to be with.

This week I went with Helen and Perley to the town of Phippsburg to explore the site of the failed Popham Colony, an English colonial settlement founded in 1607. Then we went on to explore Fort Baldwin, a WWI fort; and Fort Popham, built during the Civil War but never used. We admired the coastal scenery, talked history and took pictures, and then we had a wonderful seafood lunch as we watched swimmers on the town beach a few feet from our restaurant window.

What better way could there be to spend a July summer day in Maine than to spend it with these two good people? Visiting Phippsburg, as it turns out, was just an excuse to spend some time with them.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dog sitting Oliver

Last weekend, I went to beautiful Moosehead Lake in Greenville to whoop it up with some old college friends. I asked my sister to take care of our dog Oliver. My sister is more of a “cat person” if you know what I mean, so dog sitting is a big deal for her. I am grateful. Here, with her permission, is the email she wrote to the family while I was away.

AHHHHH-Friday, 4th of July week-extremely busy week, short-handed due to vacations-busy, busy, busy week at work-thank goodness, time to go to the lake, my modest little camp nestled in the woods at the end of of a 2 mile dirt road, just waiting for me to open the windows, pour a glass of wine, sit on my cozy screened porch and finally relax.......


 Yup, this is the weekend Marilyn reunites with some of her college friends at Moosehead Lake to yukk it up, and I am caretaker of Oliver. I love Oliver, but as we all know,absence of Marilyn creates a bit of stress for him.

 I arrive at around 4pm (Marilyn left at 8am) Oliver is watching out the window (has he really been there 8 hours?) and after having some difficulty opening the door Oliver rushes out and heads up the stairs-yes, all 42 of them- to find her. Have I mentioned it is 90 and humid-I mean, REALLY hot for us? Anyway, I caught up and we came back down ...but not a good start.

 Settled in for "sparkly" time (not much wine here;glad I brought another box) and Oliver and I settled down on the deck. I decided he needed a bowl of water on the deck, so I poured him a bowl of Brita filtered water from the fridge (I think maybe the bowl I used is an expensive one Marilyn bought at the Cumberland Craft Fair-anyway, Oliver really is enjoying it).

Anyway, we're all settled in for now-planning to go for a swim later, so wait for our next blog! Love you all- hope you enjoy our blog!

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Dog's Life

At camp, it truly is a dog’s life. There are no sidewalks or leash laws (well, there might be, but no one pays much attention to them), and most of the dogs on my dirt road are allowed to roam freely.

My own dog Oliver loves to be at camp. One reason is that he has my undivided attention. I don’t get up and leave for work every morning, and because I’m at camp, I don’t go away on long business trips or vacations. I confess that all the dogs we have owned have been allowed to sleep on the furniture, and at night, slumber along beside us in the bed. Oliver sleeps attached to me like a tick. He doesn’t bother me much except for the occasional leg twitching during chipmunk chasing episodes during his REM sleep.

Oliver's dog friend Elli visits him every day.  She knows he is old, so she just touches his nose to say hi and then she leaves to find more frisky companions.

Oliver is an old dog. He’s lost a few teeth. He used to bark happily when I had been gone and returned. Now, he can’t hear me when I come home so it might be ten or fifteen minutes before he realizes I’m there, but then he barks happily, just like always. Oliver still likes to play “throw toy” after dinner. He enjoys the company of children and other dogs. He loves to swim in the lake and ride in the kayak.

Although his eyes are cloudy, he can still see anyone who approaches the camp by land or by water. Oliver is still a great watchdog, but he’s easily startled when anyone approaches him from behind. I can leave the room and he doesn’t realize I’m gone. Sometimes his hips hurt and his legs fail him after he’s been sleeping for a long time, and he has a hard time climbing the stairs. He no longer chases chipmunks, but he insists on a morning walk. We walk the same distance as always, but we do it much more slowly than we did, say, five years ago.

I once wrote a book about dogs, called The Dogs of War. It is a collection of stories about the role of companion animals, mostly dogs, during the American Civil War, spin off research from a historical novel I was writing at the same time. Oliver was by my side as I was writing both of these books, listening as I tried out my stories on him. I talk out loud when I write, and then I type what I say—it sounds strange, but it works for me. Oliver has heard many of my stories over the last 13 years. I imagine if he could tell me a story, he would tell me about a woman who spends her summers in Maine with a wonderful dog.

“Is that all?” I ask.

“Isn’t that enough?” he replies.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Kayaking on Little Sebago Lake

A few years ago, I bought a pair of bright orange 1-person kayaks as a birthday present to myself. The opening in my kayak is large enough to carry a medium sized dog as a passenger, and on hot days like today, my old dog Oliver and I like to go kayaking on our end of Little Sebago Lake.

Oliver and I can glide through the water swiftly, but not fast enough to wreck my hair do. Once I tipped us over in deep water and wasn’t able to turn the kayak right again in the deep water. Oliver and I had to swim back to shore. We both wear life jackets.

A good kayaking excursion is a close circuit of the shoreline, including the coves that are not visible from the middle of the lake. It is not unusual to spot ducks, loons, cormorants, and eagles. We see many turtles, and once, a pair of muskrats. I’m lucky enough to live on the water, so I like to find a way to engage with the lake as well as the woods. The kayak is the perfect watercraft for me—no engine, no registration needed, and I can practically lift the boat in and out of the water with one hand. Don’t even get me started on motor boats (we have two). I’ll blog about that issue when Rollie gets here to put them in the water.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Moosehead Lake Trip

Moosehead Lake in Maine is the largest lake east of the Mississippi contained within one state. It is awesome, and I am headed up there this weekend for a college girlfriends reunion (6th annual event). While I’m there, I’m sure to see a real live moose or two. In that spirit, I will include a link here to a short article I wrote about moose that appeared in an online magazine a few years ago. I took the picture below on a visit to the Moosehead area two years ago. I could have reached out of the car window and touched that moose!

Monday, July 5, 2010


One of the things I love about my time in Maine is that I get a chance to reconnect with friends with whom I grew up and went to school when I lived in Maine all the time. Last week, I drove with two high school girlfriends to visit at third friend at his home on Snow Pond, near where we all grew up. In the car, I did some math. WE HAVE BEEN OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL FOR MORE THAN FORTY YEARS!

A lot had changed in forty years. Over lunch (lobster rolls, sweet potato chips, hummus and a good bottle of pinot noir), we spoke of marriages, divorces, children and grandchildren. There was the usual litany of physical ailments—knee replacements, failed thyroids, arthritis, cancer. So many changes.

After dessert, we took a boat ride and got caught in a sudden rain shower. We stopped the boat, pulled the canvas over our heads to wait out the rain, and told stories and laughed as we remembered people and events from a long time ago. We used old nicknames—Malsie for me, or maybe Malsey, nobody ever wrote it down.


When the rain stopped, we threw back the canvas and continued our boat ride. We spotted a bald eagle high in a pine tree, fanning its wings to dry in the sun. A loon popped up in the water beside us. We told more stories. We laughed some more. Old friends with a shared history.

Note to self: Some things never change.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Settled in

I always have a writing project planned while I’m at camp. This year, I have several, including this blog. For two summers, I was lucky that my university supported my writing projects with grant money. Ordinarily, I stay very busy writing for at least the first few weeks I’m at camp—mostly during the rainy days of June, before I “settle in” as my mother would say. By mid July the humidity usually sets in. It makes the crackers soggy, the toilet paper damp, the salt unshakeable, and me lazy. I set aside my writing and spend the muggy days sitting on the newly painted deck , making a bigger dent in my stack of novels than my research books. At last I feel settled in to lazy lakeside living. Some places, like an ocean beach, are best when arrived at. But the lake is best for settling in, which is infinitely more satisfying than arriving.

From my reading (note how I rationalize my laziness):

“The most valuable thing we can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of a room, not try to be or do anything whatever.” —May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Loons on Little Sebago

I sat alone on my deck one hot, humid night enjoying the silence as I sipped a glass of iced tea. OK, it was wine. The rising moon sparked a streak across the dark water. The air was oppressive with humidity. I was greeted by the song of a single note—high and clear and drawn out and lonely sounding in the otherwise still night. It was followed by a second note, a bit higher, and ended in a trill that echoed across the water. It might have been the same singer—or it might have been in answer to the first note, a duet, if you will, of single notes but in different cadence. I was listening to the sound of the common loon—or loons.

The loon makes several distinct sounds—and some believe each sound is associated with its own message. This link demonstrates four distinct sounds loons make and explains what these sounds mean, but how can we ever know that for sure.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

We raise the flag on our deck as soon as we arrive at camp—to let everyone on the lake know we are back in Maine. As if they cared. Our camp was built in 1961 by a New York City policeman who brought the flag pole here from the NYC Stone Container Building. It is installed in a corner of our deck. How he got it, I do not know, but our American flag flies from it as long as we are in residence. In deference to our Midwest home and our daughter and son-in-law's alma mater, (and my favorite college football team!) we also fly the Block O. Go Buckeyes!  It's a sure sign that I am "from away" I suppose.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Gardening at the lake

Last week, I had lunch with an old friend. Mary, a skilled and passionate gardener, asked me if I enjoyed any leisure time for gardening while I was in Maine. I snorted daintily. First of all, not much grows in the rocky, sandy soil on my property. But even if flora could survive here, I really don’t enjoy gardening, so I don’t much bother with landscaping type projects. Frankly, I’d rather stick a pencil in my eye than dig around in the dirt.

I do enjoy looking at flowers, though, (especially when they are in someone else’s garden, particularly Mary’s). I’m definitely into low maintenance flower gardening here at my camp. OK, NO MAINTENANCE, and now for the first time, I’ll share my secret for “gardening” at the lake:

Makes one flower garden

Active time: 5 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes


• One 30 lb bag potting soil (the kind with the fertilizer already in it will save time down the road)

• A dozen potted annual seedlings (same color, same variety—no sense in getting fussy at camp). I’m partial to pink impatiens.

• Household scissors


Throw the bag of potting soil on the shore. With the scissors, cut a rectangle out of the plastic bag of the potting soil. Plant seedlings. Water thoroughly. (Timesaving hint: if you place the bag on the shore of the lake where the wave action reaches it, you won’t ever have to water the flowers.) Ta da! The perfect no maintenance garden.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Always something!

We haven’t made many changes to the furnishings of the camp over the years. The furniture is tastefully rustic, as in old and worn out. Nevertheless the furnishings are chosen castoffs from other places, and we camp owners generally resent any donated cast offs, as in “I wasn’t needing this any more, but couldn’t bear to throw it away. I thought you might be able to use it at your camp.” In my camp, time pretty much stands still. The same photos have been on the wall for at least a dozen years. The same magazines are on the shelf of the nightstand. The latest issue of Yankee magazine dates 1990. There are a few changes that attest to the march of time. Next to the books is a collection of movies on DVD, and next to the old transistor radio is a docking station for our mp3 players. Cranium and Apples to Apples occupy the same horizontal space as Old Maid, Uno and the ancient jig saw puzzles.

I like things pretty much just the way they are. If we just had a little brick patio at the bottom of the steps where that big pile of sand is, that would be nice. And maybe replace the old kitchen counter top and the vinyl flooring in the bathroom. Oh yes, and a little storage shed at the end of the driveway would be nice. Well, there’s always something isn’t there?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Clean water

I come to Maine every year to be by the water. All summer I sit on my deck beside the clean freshwater lake, and when I need an “ocean fix,” it is a short drive to the nearby coastal village of Freeport. I don’t take for granted that I can enjoy the water, but I do take for granted that the water will always be here. Or at least I did until this summer.

I have been watching the horrific television news images of the devastation to the Gulf coast caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. I watch interviews with the stunned Gulf shore residents trying to clean the brown, sticky oil from their once pristine beaches; and with the heartbroken shrimpers whose livelihood has been destroyed almost overnight. The wildlife images get to me especially—the oil soaked pelicans, the fish washed ashore, dying on the sand. Even if some of the animals can be saved, where will they live? Their habitat has been destroyed.

A few weeks ago, the head of BP in a news conference said that no one more than he wanted to get the problem solved so he could “get his life back to normal.” See how quickly he made a global disaster all about himself?

Experts predict that it will take more than 60 years to clean up the spill. I wish I could help. Meanwhile, what am I doing to help clean up the oil spill? NOTHING. See how quickly I can make a global disaster all about me?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dinner in Portland

Last night my guests and I ate dinner at a floating restaurant docked in the Casco Bay of Portland, Maine. Of course, there were lobster and clam chowder at our table, even though one of my guests is a vegetarian. She tasted the tiniest morsel of lobster at the urging of her friend and pronounced it delicious. I felt smug.

We had a table by the water, and we watched as dark rain clouds approached from the west, blotting out the sun and ruining any chance we might have had of viewing the sunset as we feasted on our seafood and sipped our wine. Then came the rain. Then came the sun. As we watched the harbor seals playing in the water beyond our window, one of us spotted a rainbow forming over the ocean. First it was just a comma reaching out of the water towards the sky, but before our eyes, it soon formed a brilliant arch over the water. Out came the cell phones and cameras in an effort to capture the moment. A beautiful Maine moment. Did I mention that I felt smug? Rainbows carry great promises.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Guests are coming!

The first of my summer house guests are coming tonight, and there is much to do to get ready.  Last summer I wrote about this experience for the Portland Press Herald.  The short article was published twice, and it pretty much sums up what I'll be doing today, so I'll link you to the story here.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hummingbirds on my deck at Little Sebago Lake

The hummingbirds are always very active at the feeder on my deck at Little Sebago Lake.  My chair is directly in the flight path, and on some days I feel I should be wearing a helmet for safety!  I can't wear anything red because the humming birds hover around me when I'm sitting on the deck.  Here is a short video that we took of the hummingbird activity last year.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Settling in at Little Sebago Lake

Typically, for the first week at camp we spend a good deal of time fixing things that have broken over the winter—or breaking things we will need to fix over the summer.

Unless we’ve let guests use our place after we leave at the end of the summer, we usually find things pretty much the way we left them. If guests have been there, however, I find myself rearranging dishes and towels and sheets on their respective shelves so that the order makes sense to me. I never stack the twin sheets with the full sheets. The beach towels are stored on a shelf of their own—definitely not with the bath towels. And I’m pretty compulsive about the way the plates are stacked—tan, brown, tan, brown, tan. Weird, huh?

Opening up means, first and foremost, getting the water going—pump, well, toilet—all in working order. This year it went smoothly, but not so last year: We turn on the hot water heater which promptly burns out because we forgot to first turn on the pump. The rest of the day goes like this: Go to the hardware store and get new parts for the hot water heater. Fix the hot water heater. Pour chlorine bleach down the well. Return to the hardware store for parts for the pump. Fix the pump. Return unneeded parts for the hot water heater and pump to the hardware store.

Monday, May 31, 2010

We have arrived!

Opened camp, heard the loons, saw the hummingbirds and ate lobster and clams--all in the first 48 hours!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Departure Day!

Today’s the day! Finally, it’s time to leave for Maine. On Friday, we’ll get to our camp on Little Sebago Lake. I will open the door to a smell so evocative that I wish it could be bottled up to enjoy in the winter. It is composed of pine wood, mildew, old books, moth balls, sand, and sunlight. It is the smell of my childhood summers and of all the summers of my life. I once read that the sense of smell, of all the five senses, is the strongest for tapping information stored in long term memory. A smell has the power to tap into one’s forgotten history, and the memory of a smell can transport one directly into the past. I can remember the smell of wet wool socks drying on the wood stove . . . whiskey in my grandfather’s glass . . .sun tan oil (no SPF in my childhood, we used iodine emulsified in baby oil to enhance the natural tan) . . . the smell of my mother’s ironing our cotton sheets. . . the sulfur from the match that lit my father’s cigarette.

In theory, opening up camp should be easy. The boat has been delivered out of storage to our driveway. We hired someone to clean up the yard, what there is of it, and to put in the dock. All our clothes are already there. The food staples are in the cupboards, sealed in airtight canisters. We should be able to walk in the door, flip on the breakers, carry a few nests of baby mice out into the woods, and then be good to go. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Friday, May 21, 2010

A photo album from Marilyn

I change the wallpaper on my laptop to match the season. Each fall, I upload an image of the Ohio State Buckeyes lined up for the kickoff against Wisconsin in Columbus. I took that picture with my phone in 2003 when OSU played –and beat--Wisconsin. In the winter, my desktop icons find a home in the snow scene I downloaded from a website. But in the spring, when my thoughts turn to Maine, I use an assortment of summer pictures that I have taken at camp. I’m sharing them with you--just click here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

One week til Little Sebago Lake

We’re almost ready to make our car trip to our place on Little Sebago Lake in Maine. In one more week, we’ll be on the road.

We’ve already packed camp stuff we have collected over the winter and stuffed it into big plastic trash bags because they fit better into the trunk of our mid sized car. We packed each bag’s contents according to the room in which it will be stored once we get to Little Sebago Lake. For Christmas, someone has given us a set of towels with moose motif —into the bathroom bag they go, along with the biodegradable shampoo I ordered from a “green” website. It’s supposed to be better for the septic system. We know it’s better for the earth and the lake. In the kitchen bag is a box of panko bread crumbs—something I can’t get in the little Maine store at which I like to grocery shop. Into the bedroom bag is the new bathing suit I got on sale at Target last fall.

Mostly, there are books. I’ve been collecting them all fall and winter and spring—some I ordered so I can continue the research project I hope to pursue in the summer—this year, the topic is Arctic exploration. I want to write a children’s book about Marie Peary, daughter of the Arctic explorer.

Most of the other books I’ve packed are fiction. I order these books “used” from an online book store. My pleasure reading tastes are eclectic—historical fiction, mysteries, personal narrative, the occasional romance. I always include at least one volume of poetry, something I read only in the summer. I don’t know why that is.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Getting ready to go to Little Sebago Lake

All my summer roads lead to a porch in Maine.

It is late May and I find myself in the basement of my Ohio house sorting through the basket of stuff I’ve collected over the winter. It is time to start packing for our annual trek to Maine and our camp on Little Sebago Lake. The school year is over (I teach) and the grades have been turned in. The neighbor kids will mow the lawn and water the flowers. The paper has been stopped, the paperwork filled out to forward the mail. Blockbuster will send my rental movies to a post office box in Gray, Maine.

In the old days, there used to be car seats and playpens and diaper bags and toys. Not to mention bug spray, sunscreens, ear drops and children’s Tylenol. We had a minivan then, and we towed a small fishing boat back and forth from Ohio. One year, our daughter (who wanted to be a ballerina) packed her tu tu, tiara and tights. She’s now a financial advisor. Our son , who wanted to be a fireman at the time, packed his hard hat and toy axe. Today he works as a substance abuse counselor, helping to put out fires of another kind.

Nowadays I make the journey to Maine with my husband and our geriatric dog, Oliver. Both are housebroken, thank God, but the dog needs to be tranquilized to make the 13-hour drive. We leave next week.  I can hardly wait.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I love spending my summers at my camp on Little Sebago Lake in Maine. I have started this blog to share my summer with friends and family who can't be with me to enjoy the piney air, the sound of loons and the beautiful sunsets that I am able to experience ALL SUMMER. Also, I hope to make connections here with those of you who are, like me, already experiencing camp life on a New England lake in the summer--whether you are a visitor, you have your own place, or you just enjoy a rental for a week or so.

Here is a link to a podcast I created about my longtime love of camp life. And yep, those are my feet you see propped up on the table in the banner of this blog.