About ten years ago, our family rented a vacation house in Booth Bay, Maine.
Cozy's sister, Kerry, joined us for the week.
"One of these things is not like the others..."
The house was located right beside the water, but was quite a distance from the main road. To get to the house, we had to walk down a wooden walkway with 78 steps. It wasn't exactly fun carrying our luggage down all those steps when we arrived (or up the stairs when we left) but it was well worth it to be able to walk out of the house and onto the dock by the bay. We especially liked to have our morning coffee out there, watching the blue-gray sky begin to differentiate itself from the water, separated by the dark band of the horizon. (We recently commissioned our friend Ellen Litwin to use her extensive pottery skills to create a set of plates and bowls with that design element).
Put your mouse cursor over the picture
to see the wave that snuck up on them
Growing up in the Philly area, I'd been to the Jersey shore all my life, and that was my impression of the Atlantic shore. The coast of Maine is worlds apart. The shoreline is rocky, with the occasional pebble beach, and the water is teeming with life. I loved climbing around on the rocks when the tide went out, examining the myriad of sea creatures and plants that remained in the tidal pools. (Most of the photos of me taken on this vacation show a crouching figure, exploring some minute item).
Seneca and Blake had a great time, trying to get as far from the shore as the rocks would take them. Occasionally, they'd be taken by surprise by a sudden wave.
On the way up to our vacation cottage, driving on Route 1, we passed through Waldoboro, Maine. It was late at night, but I could see a brightly lit building by the side of the road. As we approached, I startled my wife as I shouted "MOODY'S!" I've been a fan of diners for years, and the Pennsylvania and New Jersey region is fortunate to have many of them. I had heard of a special place in Maine, called Moody's Diner. It's famous for having fine food at very affordable prices. In fact, when I mentioned Moody's to a local fisherman from Maine, he remarked, "Ahh, Moody's... Gooood fooood. Dhart Cheeep." He was right.
You can't go to Maine without enjoying lobster. I like it, and my wife loves it. So when we visited a friend of Cozy's who lives in Maine, and she asked what we wanted for lunch, we of course said, "Lobster." So she went to the local lobster pound, where the lobsters are unloaded from their traps and sold to the public. She returned with three large steamed lobsters. As we ate, Cozy's friend looked at us and said, "I can tell you're not from Maine."
When we asked how she could tell, she said, "By the way you're eating your lobster. You're trying to suck tiny threads of meat from those spindly legs, and you're digging into the body to find scraps of lobster meat." We asked what people from Maine do, and she said, "We eat the meat from the claws and tail, and throw the rest away. If you want more lobster, just buy another one." Of course, in Maine, lobster is about the same price as ground beef, so you can afford to do that. However, when you pay $12 a pound for a lobster, you eat every little scrap that you can reach.
Robert Bendesky 2006
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