Maine

E.B. White on leaving Maine


“One never knows what images one is going to hold in memory, returning to the city after a brief orgy in the country. I find this morning that what I most vividly and longingly recall is the sight of my grandson and his little sunburnt sister returning to their kitchen door from an excursion, with trophies of the meadow clutched in their hands — she with a couple of violets, and smiling, he serious and holding dandelions, strangling them in a responsible grip. Children hold spring so tightly in their brown fists — just as grownups, who are less sure of it, hold it in their hearts.”

— E. B. White,
“Essays of E.B. White”

__________________

White’s a fantastic writer.

Of course, my orgy wasn’t so brief — 5 weeks, to be exact. Still, I will miss my maritime life there. I’ll return to Maine next summer after a substantially longer jaunt to the Middle East.

By | August 2nd, 2010|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Adventures of the Shackleton in Maine

Well, I did put the Shackleton into the water up here in Maine. Unfortunately, I had to row her out of the water. See the dramatic re-enactment at right.

When I took the motor back to the marine shop, the mechanic declared it DOA. I could have poured more money into that 1985 Johnson 40 HP — but the mechanics thought it foolish.

I would’ve been more bummed out if my original boat — the Bluebird II — hadn’t worked so well this summer. She had barely a hiccup and ferried the family all over the Maine coast. We even painted the Bluebird’s trailer in anticipation of driving her south to her new caretakers in the warmer waters of North Carolina.

Since the Shackleton wasn’t in the water I did get to work out a few kinks. I fixed a vexing leak around the drain plugs — found some marine caulk that works wonders. I also installed a bow light and an automatic bilge pump (in case water finds a way back in.)

And the best news is … the trouble with the motor convinced me to play big or stay home. I just dropped the Shackton off at J and M Marine where she’ll be stored for the winter. In early spring, their mechanics will install a brand new 60 HP Yamama. It’s expensive, but I’ve heard the pleasures of owning a new Yamaha are unparalleled. I’m hoping that the profits from my academic editing company can totally cover the cost. The mechanics are going to install a new steering system, new controls, a tachometer, and several other bells and whistles. Can’t wait to post the pictures next summer.

So, the Shackleton will wait a while longer for her first Maine shakedown cruise. But, I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait.

By | July 28th, 2010|boat|0 Comments

Leaving Maine


One never knows what images one is going to hold in memory, returning to the city after a brief orgy in the country. I find this morning that what I most vividly and longingly recall is the sight of my grandson and his little sunburnt sister returning to their kitchen door from an excursion, with trophies of the meadow clutched in their hands — she with a couple of violets, and smiling, he serious and holding dandelions, strangling them in a responsible grip. Children hold spring so tightly in their brown fists — just as grownups, who are less sure of it, hold it in their hearts.

— E. B. White,
“Essays of E.B. White”

By | August 4th, 2009|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The best used bookstore in Maine

Here’s the best used bookstore in Maine, and believe me there are quite a few. I’ve been to the ones in Bath, Boothbay, and Rockland — and they’re all pretty good — but this one in Damariscotta tops them all. It’s called SKIDOMPHA Second Hand Bookshop. The odd name comes from an acronym of the founding members of the library to which its attached, according to the Web site.

The bookstore features a wide assortment of quality books, including many older out-of-print works. SKIDOMPHA is the kind of place where you just want to hang out all day and read the book jackets and first few pages. Best of all, the prices aren’t outrageous because it’s run as a charity for the library — all the books are donated. I walked out with a book on Confucius, Herman Hesse’s “Journey to the East,” a Hegel reader, and “The Transcendent Unity of World Religions” by Frithjof Schuon. I’d never heard of the latter but had to buy it because of the laudatory introduction. I nearly purchased a 10-volume set of Emerson’s complete works (for $20!), but reason returned to me at the last minute. I finally just walked out, worried that I’d never stop finding interesting titles.

Check out SKIDOMPHA Second Hand Books if you’re in the area. You won’t be disappointed.

By | July 22nd, 2009|Uncategorized|1 Comment