We’ve been vacationing this last week in southern Maine with a few generations of my family and some extended relations, which has been an extraordinarily necessary escape from the ordinary. It has somehow been quite a long time since I’ve had a vacation beyond a day or two and taking a full two weeks to decompress and do something other than worry about my daily responsibilities has been a good reminder of what life can be when you let it.
The days have not been particularly adventurous, but they have been full. Yesterday we visited the Strawbery Banke museum, which is a collection of historic houses from a neighborhood in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The neighborhood once directly faced the water, but over time the land took over. About sixty years ago, in order to save the neighborhood from condominiums, it was purchased as a historical site and has been preserved and restored ever since. Being the history buff that I am, I am a huge fan of historical houses, but I had never seen an installation quite like this. Each building represents a different era, authentic to the structure, but not necessarily even in the same century as the building next to it. Going through many of the exhibits with my grandfather was particularly excellent, as there were items on display that he remembered from his childhood. It’s a pricy place to get into, but I could have stayed all day and that’s not even because there was a room full of weaving looms that they let people work on.
Yesterday’s adventure was the annual Strawberry Festival held in South Berwick, Maine, where I ate the largest piece of strawberry shortcake of my life, and enjoyed every minute of it. We followed that up by going to the beach in York and dinner in Ogunquit (isn’t that where The Stand begins?), which made for a beautiful and perfect day. The sky was so blue that it was breathtaking. The clouds were perfect shades of white as they scuttled across the sky. When the wedding party passed us on the beach on the way to take photographs on the playground by the beach, it was just an added feather in the cap of the day.
And so it has gone, day after day. Just one glorious relaxed day after another. Tomorrow we return to reality, but I know that I’ll be keeping a piece of Maine with me for some time to come.