2004-07-01, 10:14 a.m.
Hey everyone, pop over to Purple's site and tell her Happy B-day. But don't tell her I sent you 'cause she'll be mad. Like when she reads this. Lalalala. Um. Hiya, Purple.
Inspired by the p-o-y question this week about summer memories.
When I was growing up, every summer my parents and I went to Maine. For either a week or, better yet, sometimes two.
I loved the little cottage we rented.
First of all, I got to stay in a room with bunk beds. Bunk beds! And I was the only one in there, so I could choose top or bottom. It seems like we had friends of the family from NY come up and I shared the room a time or two. Also, my friend Kim would come over sometimes.
Kim lived next door to the cottage with her parents. They lived in a trailer because they were going to build their own house on the lot, but for as long as I was going up there, they stayed in the original place. I *loved* that trailer. It's like camping all year 'round, I thought! Her father was a lobsterman and I regret that I never asked to go out on his boat with him. He left at around 4 a.m. though, so probably even back then I wasn't a morning person. He would bring our family some lobsters usually at least once during our visit and we'd keep them in the drawer in the fridge with a few ice cubes till my mother was ready to cook them.
I really loved the way the mountains and the woods met the ocean in Maine - I like the way it looks, of course, but also the way it smells, with the pine tree and the ocean smells together.
Some other favorite memories from those summers, even though they might not all seem pleasant memories to anyone else at first blush:
(1) The ravenous mosquitoes. I would always be spraying myself down with "Off" bug repellent. Once when I was riding my banana seat bike down the little dirt driveway I looked down at my legs an saw big thick trails of deep red blood where they had bitten me and I hadn't even noticed.
(2) Reading Steven King's Salem's Lot after everyone went to sleep. Extra effectively scary because it is, after all, set IN MAINE.
(3) Speaking of reading, for the first several years, each year I would get one of the Little House on The Prairie books and read it when I was there.
(4) The beach visits: both of the public beaches we went to had a long stretch of beach where the surf came in and then off to the side a "lagoon" area with calmer water. I liked the wavy part better and I was one of those kids who would stay out in it till my parents were hollering for me.
(5) Despite my fear of sharks. And I don't think I had even seen Jaws yet. Just hearing about it from kids who had was enough.
(6) My parents told me the beaches had "shark nets" to keep the sharks away. I since have come to suspect that was a lie.
(7) The inevitable rainy day where we would go to a movie.
(8) Sitting on my friend Kim's bed listening to the Kasey Kasem Top 40.
(9) Cook's : steamed clams, clam chowder and lobster.
(10) Getting stung by a bee on my knee and screaming bloody murder and the afore-mentioned neighbor family rushing outside to see if I was okay.
Even though her childhood was set in the Delta, Lucinda Williams' song "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road" always reminds me of those summer visits in Maine.