In the slow lane

On Saturday morning the grandchildren and their parents left and suddenly it was quiet.  We had a whole week to ourselves and no obligations other than, by the end of the week, a run to the laundry and cleaning the cottage. What luxury!

And so on Sunday we slept in (or rather Axel did). I continue to wake early when the sun gets up; I appear to be programmed that way. But waking up early here is wonderful. I sit on the deck, sipping my tea and look out over Booth Bay. The sun turns the water into gold. I am thinking about the kinds of colors you’d have to mix to produce that effect.

Early sailors on their way out of Boothbay Harbor cross my view from left to right, passing along the many islands in the bay. We can just see the most eastern tip of Squirrel Island, a summer colony we hope to explore one day. It only has pedestrian walkways, not even bikes are allowed.

We painted a bit sitting out in the sun on the deck. I tried flowers and Axel is making studies for his next silk painting project. After irises and variations in purple he is now marveling at poppies and their radiant colors. He is mixing reds and oranges and yellows to get the right hues. Our inspiration is a Maine painter Jean Swan Gordon whose enormous water color flower arrangements made us wish we could just plop down the 6000 or so dollars to buy one and enlarge our house to display it.

Life here in Maine is slow. I had to get used to move over to the slow lane from my usually fast lane pace.  I like it, although I still drink my coffees, my bloody Maries and my gin tonics too fast. Axel is much better at it, but I am adjusting.

We certainly get going slowly in the morning, or should I say early afternoon. Late on Sunday afternoon, our second day of not having to worry about naps, lunch or dinner times, we went to discover a new park. This part of Maine is full of chunks of land set aside for everyone’s pleasure. Dodge Point Preserve in Newcastle is such a place. After a walk in the woods on an old farm road one arrives at a spectacular shore trail along the Damariscotta River. There are places to sit (more reading) or swim in water that is slightly warmer than the ocean.

The warmer water that comes from being heated all day in the big marsh upriver makes the Damariscotta River a perfect place to cultivate oysters. The little ones need warm water to grow. We took a brief tour to learn how and where oysters grow and how they are harvested. Water temperature is important for the seed to grow into small then large oysters. They grow fast, in just a few weeks the nail-size oysters grow a couple of inches in size. We have seen this in our Lobster Cove oyster population. The temperature of our waters must be rising, how else to account for the new oyster population?

I have now read the second of the trilogy books and starting number three. This book will not return to my nightstand. And then there are the other six books I brought and a few new ones I bought. We have five days left.

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