It’s a three hour pilgrimage from Boston’s Logan Airport up to my mother’s summer place on the coast of Maine, a journey I can’t make without being dragged along by currents of near narcotic nostalgia. For over thirty years, in ever-evolving family configurations, I’ve made this trip up the Central Coast towards our farmhouse on the water, swept along with hundreds of thousands of others on surging tourist tides.
Beautiful! I saw, smelled, heard and felt all of it.
My parents were teachers back when school didn’t start until after Labor Day. Dad coached numerous summer baseball teams (I wrote a book about his baseball life last year) and as soon as the final out was called we headed east from Chicago. Dad’s oldest friend and my mom’s brother took us through Barrington RI and Woodstock CT, on our way to Maine. Old Orchard Beach, Saco/Biddeford, Sebago Lake. Camped in Saco. An amazing number of French Canadians. Store owners were bilingual to manage the onslaught in season. Then off the Brunswick and Bailey’s Island where we tried to climb pine trees to the heavens.
Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, Walker’s Point (hi George!), Bowdoin College, Wednesday night concerts on the town square. North to Bar Harbor and gorgeous views from on high.
We’d go all the way north some years to Nova Scotia, but Maine was our summer mobile home. Got the Down East magazine for years and still keep old LL Bean busy from catalogues.
Thanks for sharing. Maine is such a wonderful place. Want to go back soon.
Listening to the Gov Mills talk about Lewiston last month was heartbreaking. Glad we have so many good memories to fall back on.
These memories are so evocative and beautiful, Adam. Thank you for opening them up and sharing them with us. I just read Part II and had tears streaming down my face. So honest and poignant. And Part III brought me back to one of my favorite places on earth. I could smell the sweet scent of salt and wood. Thank yah.
Thank you for the beautiful picture you just painted in my head.
I’m not sure I ever need to visit Maine at this point. I feel like I’ve been there and seen all of it. I’m not sure it would live up to the standards I have in my head now.
Rich, so rich...unforgettable...
Sometimes a writer's descriptive words make me roll my eyes, or skip skip skip...
Not yours, Adam Nathan, not yours.
I loved every detail and how images rushed hard at me, then slowed to let me soak up the feelings; how easily I floated in your currents, and, then, how you let me drift gently away with such beautiful emotion at the close. I loved it.
I don’t know if this was intentional but what a crescendo-ing rhythm in this one! I felt easy and slow when I began reading and almost breathless at the end—the tide of summer crowds and tchotchke mayhem. A season swelling and then, I imagine, I pray, recedes back to sanity.
Absolutely beautiful, Adam. That ending.
Jesus, I was just saying to Nathan Slake: "a thousand clouds, each different in shape and hue, but all whispering" - in this case - "Maine." Well done!
Pemaquid Lighthouse! The grocery store where every member of my family bought T-shirts! The candy store! Swimming in ponds. Wini Long’s paintings. Your description of the drive to the house along the gravel road.. the state fair in Wiscasett with the frog jumping contest. The porch and the green lawn. I will never forget the times we were there. Your vivid writing feeds all my senses. Thank you
Jesus and the naughty coffee mugs--laughed out loud. But mostly your writing just has me go slow and savory, so I don’t miss a morsel.
PS-- I had to find Ali Baba’s story, which I’d never read before. Thanks for that, too.
I've never been to that part of the world but I can picture it completely from countless tv shows and your very personal description.