We visited our friend, Joan, who was our next-door neighbor when we lived in the village of Sedgwick way back in ’93. She owns one of the oldest, if not the oldest, homes in town. She was getting her wheel all ready for a spinning demonstration at the Blue Hill Fair. It seemed very appropriate to watch her at work in the parlor of the home, near the great brick fireplace and original paneling.… Read the rest
Blueberries are native only to North America. Wild Maine blueberries, like Maine lobster, are the best — finest kind. They are small and full of flavor, unlike the larger ones that grow higher off the ground in places like New Jersey, Oregon and Washington. Our friends in Maine will sometimes eat the larger, inferior blueberries from away but that’s an anomaly.
Blueberries are raked and it is difficult and back-breaking work. If you are good at it, you can make a big wad of cash during the season, typically the month of August. In the 90’s, that’s how teenagers in our town earned money to buy a car.… Read the rest
Before I begin on this post, I have to make an acerbic comment. I just looked at my blog in Explorer and it doesn’t render properly. This is WordPress, for crying out loud. Why doesn’t Explorer play by the rules? I’m actually glad Google has come out with Chrome to compete with Microsoft in the browser battles. I prefer Safari now or Camino, the Mac version of Firefox. There, I said it and I feel much better now.
What trip to Maine would be complete without a lobster bake? And, why do they call it a bake, when you boil or steam everything? Well, that and other weighty questions of eternal consequence will have to wait until later. Right now, we’re talking about downeast cuisine.
We headed down to Brooklin to buy some lobsters from John Candage and found them for just over $5 a pound.
We got together with Bruce and Terri, Paul and Mary, Leah and Emma for some lobster, steamers, fresh corn on the cob and, of course, pie. Mary made the best coconut cream pie, with a great whipped topping.… Read the rest
We decided to visit the Penobscot Narrows Bridge near Bucksport and take a trip up to the observatory at the top – 420 feet high, to be exact. Denise and I were vacationing and hunting for investments just about a year ago and happened to visit when the bridge was opened for the first public walk-across and Bridgefest. It was impressive.
While we were waiting, Emma was wishing she had brought her sweater. She did, however, bring a book along. It was one of about 8 she read in our 12 day vacation. Sidebar: Emma has always been a voracious reader.… Read the rest
I love the library there. The town outgrew the old library, so they built a new one under the park out back, down by the harbor, and connected it to the original. Most of the holdings are in the new addition, while the original library provides a wonderful place to relax and read, as well as some wonderful views of town.
The first photo is of Denise and I in the underground addition, under the skylight that sits in the center of the lawn in the park.… Read the rest
When you’re in Maine, there are a number of rare treats you’ll want to track down besides the best lobster in the world. Emma and I love two Maine staples, common to the working class downeast; red hot dogs and whoopie pies. The best place to find them in Hancock County are at the Eggemoggin Country Store or, as the natives call it, B&L’s (it was established years ago by Billy and Lorna… but, that’s another story).
When we moved to Maine in ’93, our first home was down on Naskeag Point, site of the famous Revolutionary War battle. Denise and Emma’s passion for beach glass was born there. We ran straight down to Naskeag, as soon as we arrived on the Blue Hill Peninsula. Emma wanted to bring home a lobster buoy for a souvenir and immediately found a pink girl’s buoy on the shore. Unfortunately, the buoy she found is still an active, licensed color. It’s never a good idea to mess with someone’s lobster gear, so she left it at the shore. She didn’t find much beach glass this time, but plenty of clam shells.… Read the rest
I’m sitting in a very comfortable motel room in Wolfeboro New Hampshire, which I’m sure you know was the first resort town in the United States. We found a wonderful little place on the lake, where Emma and Denise are relaxing in a gazebo, on the lawn, watching some kids being delightedly dragged and tossed about the lake on some big rubber boat by their irresponsible parents.
We finished some takeout for lunch and two pints of hand-packed Morrissey Ice Cream, followed by a nap. Now, I’m ready to get down to some serious Bible study, following this post.
Ever since our first trip to New England, Denise and I have trained our eyes to detect each and every dairy bar along the road, in search of the best soft serve and homemade or local dairy’s hard ice cream.… Read the rest
This is the cape we made an offer on, sight unseen. It’s a quaint little home, built in the 50s, out in the Sunshine area of Deer Isle Maine. The owners thought our offer of $90k was way too low (starting at $139k and lowered to $125k when we got interested). They countered high, so we waited to see it.
The property is beautiful, near some nice ledge and it is a short distance from the Eggemoggin Reach and swimming, as well as the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. We had hoped to make it a vacation home and rental for students / faculty / boaters.… Read the rest
So, we met some new friends in Sedgwick Me — Joanne and Doug. They told us that Pushcart Press, the world’s smallest bookstore, is in the building at the back of what was once Donny and Eleanor’s garage and auto dealership. We stopped by to check it out. The Pushcart Prize is a prestigious literary project, pioneered by Bill Henderson over 30 years ago. As it turns out, Mr. Henderson is now a resident of Sedgwick, where I once served as Postmaster and our family wintered for a year before moving up to Blue Hill. From the PP website:
… Read the rest
The Pushcart Prize – Best of the Small Presses series, published every year since 1976, is the most honored literary project in America.
I’m sure you’ve all been wondering why the blog posts have dried up. In fact, I’m just sitting down to answer the backlog of thousands of email messages. We are winding up our trip to Maine and are finally relaxing on the shore of Allamoosook Lake. Emma is in a canoe, Denise is sitting in her Adirondack chair with a needlepoint and I’m doing what I like to do to unwind… writing. So, here are a few shots of the view from the lodge and a preview of posts to come.
There is a very picturesque island out in front of the lodge and it appears to have a camp with a dock out into the lake.… Read the rest
Denise also bought a brand new Landcruiser FJ40, which I loved to drive and she snapped this photo, as we drove by the 76 station at the corner of Painter Avenue and Lambert Road in Whittier.
In the Spring of 1974, after Denise graduated from Sierra High School, we drove north to pick up Denise’s brother at UC Davis and brought him home. We stopped in one of our favorite destinations from our desert days, Virginia City NV, and I took this photo of Denise.… Read the rest
If you ever decide to take a trip to Africa, you need to buy and read this book! If you hope to make friends you will keep in touch with, it’s an absolute necessity. In the West, the minute a friend asks for money, things get weird and the friendship probably won’t last long. In Africa, if there is no exchange of money or resources involved, things will get weird and the friendship probably won’t last long. East is east and west is west and there will be no meeting of the minds on the issue of money (and a lot of other customs) without help from someone like David Maranz, a linguist working in Africa since 1975.… Read the rest
On Tuesday, Denise and I said farewell to New York and flew out of La Guardia at 4PM. By 1 AM, we were back in Nevada City and I arrived at work in Camptonville by 7:30 AM on Tuesday. What a great time to be alive and who can deny that the United States is one of the best places on the planet to live?
The last morning in Brooklyn, we decided to take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. It was chilly. On the Manhattan side, we looked around and thought we would see if anything piqued our interest. If so, we’d just take a train back to our apartment.… Read the rest
Boy, have we been going ever since we flew into Manchester NH! We’ve been looking at land, while squeezing in visits with friends, whoopie pies, red snappy hot dogs and some haddock, followed by pie at Helen’s! Our friends, the Websters, have been great hosts. I’ve published a few photos here.… Read the rest
Yesterday, Denise and I took a day trip up above Sierra City. We found this nice spot overlooking the Sierra Buttes from Haskell Peak — I whipped out my PowerBook and fired it up. And… which one of my dozens of random desktop photos do you suppose came up on the monitor? Yep! A shot of the Buttes from the other side, which I took back in 1978! Those are some impressive rocks!
I found a blogger’s home away from home at Panera Bread and it’s habit-forming. Denise likes to do her shopping in Rocklin and I like to spend time with Denise, so we drive down, she drops me off at Panera and she does her thing, while I do mine. Then, we usually get a bite to eat at a taqueria or barbecue joint.
Denise and I learned to love Panera when we visited Emma in Chapel Hill. Because it was overcast or raining the entire time we were there and Emma worked all day, Denise and I spent a considerable amount of time in the comfortable environs that are Panera, catching up on email, eBaying, blogging or just chatting over a hot, caffeinated beverage.… Read the rest
Denise and I vacationed in San Francisco last weekend and it was tons of fun. You can view the paltry few photos we took here. Our original plan was to hit thrift stores all the way down from Nevada City, but that proved disappointing (to put it mildly) and opened us up to an unexpected variety of “divine appointments,” good food and miles upon miles of walking, up and down hills.
Where do I start? Well, we stopped for coffee in El Sobrante and met a wonderful bunch of guys who were out on assignment from a prophecy workshop at a local church, “Hearing From God.” Our conversation started when we overheard one of the men talking about how he had moved to Alleghany, a town smaller than Camptonville and further up in the mountains!… Read the rest
We heard this one was good, but didn’t find it until the day before we had to fly out of Durham. Fortunately, our flight left at 1:15PM and Allen and Sons opened at 10AM. This family owned barbecue has all the amenities… a faded out, old Pepsi sign by the roadside with a burned out bulb. It’s located right next to the railroad tracks, which is always a good indicator of authentic Carolina barbecue.
The cinder block building is down-home and the sign needs paint. Out buildings include the rusting hulk of an old ice cream truck and mobile barbecue trailers, once used at fairs and stock car races and such; now, replaced by a fleet of white catering vans, they sit mute, tires flat, holding up boxes of napkins and stuff.… Read the rest
The girls and I were returning from our drive in the country, flying down NC Hwy 421, loaded down with apples and keeping our eyes peeled for barbecue joints (down by the lake? T Bone Burnett, anyone?) A sign caught my eye: “Books 75% Off.” It was hoisted prominently over the 421 Flea Market.
This flea market (or “swap meet” in southern California vernacular) was deceptively ginormous. There were tables and pickup trucks laid out over a large field, selling used treasures from clothes to martial arts weapons and country home décor to GUNS! What appeared to be storage or industrial buildings at the rear of the property housed the actual flea market!… Read the rest
The travel log continues from Addison’s Inn located in beautiful Wilkesboro NC. Today we plan to travel along the apple trail, seeking the magical fruit, as well as more barbecue.
We began in Chapel Hill and no trip with the Salisburys is complete without at least one visit to a native Post Office. The Post Office is located across Franklin from UNC and has a number of wonderful murals throughout the customer lobbies.
The rotunda at the UNC visitor’s center displays a number of wonderful paintings, an energetic sculpture of President Polk, as well as a beautifully crafted clock and barometer.… Read the rest
Here we are outside Emma’s apartment in Carrboro. She is all settled in and is acclimating to southern living. Chapel Hill and Franklin St. are only about a mile down the road and she is within walking distance of a great little restaurant that specializes in health food: grits, bisquits, red hots and fatback.
After the apartment was moved in and decorated, Emma found it a bit gloomy so she hung a few strings of lights and voila! The place is quite comfortable with reasonable rent, utilities paid, cable and high speed internet are included. Emma, like her mother, can sure shop for a bargain!… Read the rest
We’re on the road in North Carolina, visiting Emma and sampling a little bit of Carolina barbecue.
bar·be·cue Pronunciation Key (bärb-ky) n.
1. A grill, pit, or outdoor fireplace for roasting meat.
2. A whole animal carcass or section thereof roasted or broiled over an open fire or on a spit.
3. A social gathering, usually held outdoors, at which food is cooked over an open flame.
The term itself comes from Haiti: “1657, from Amer.Sp. barbacoa, from Arawakan (Haiti) barbakoa “framework of sticks,” the raised wooden structure the Indians used to either sleep on or cure meat. Originally “meal of roasted meat or fish,” modern popular noun sense of “grill for cooking over an open fire” is 1931.”