25 Sep: Summertime in Vermont!!! 86 degrees forecast again today. With a little bit of renewed energy we hiked 4.5 miles to the ski run and return. Why is it getting dark so early? We would like to go back to May and start summer over. Comment from Annemarie:
24 Sep: The weather is a warm 86 degrees in Killington. We hiked to the sinkholes enjoying an interesting conversation with a woman searching for ceremonial stones from "pre-contact European." Curious about the pre-contact phraseology instead of using the term indigenous, Cynthia searched Google for New England ceremonial stone markers. Apparently, there are several theories about unusual New England stones, ranging from indigenous peoples, to Celts, or even Scandinavians. An archaeologist/science guy from Brattleboro, VT summed it up calling the stones historical, but not ancient nor indigenous relics. Instead, he believes they are root cellars created by the earliest European migrants. We will keep our eyes open for stone markers pointing due north. We feel terrific, happy to be together, thanks be to God. Life is good.
23 Sep, Vermont Hiking! A short 2 mile hike (puffing and huffing) proved ten days without exercise is not good! How fun to discover a Comment posted to our blog from AnneMarie in Denmark, one half of the adorable young couple we met at the Hilton hotel in Boston 11 days ago (JOY!).
22 Sep, Killington, VT: Heavy mist and chilly weather pursued us departing Boston on bumpy roads. Stop and go. Go then stop. Once we reached Highway 16 west, traffic eased, speed increased and the rain stopped. Highway 2 west was a winner, light traffic allowed good speed. The sun flirted outrageously, warming us nicely at times. Lunch at the Old Colonial Hotel was lovely. Turning onto I-91, we really enjoyed the Vermont Welcome Center, certainly one of the finest in the US. The best part of the ride was Vermont 100: the late afternoon sunlight splayed across the mountains, fall foliage was reflected In rivers and lakes.
21 Sep, Carlisle, MA: Clear and cool weather this morning, a nice change from the cloudy, rainy past couple of days. Cynthia returns today, and we are both excited to be together again after a long week apart. Forecast is for no rain today and tomorrow. Today's immediate tasks after oatmeal are to take photos of the XYWrite manual and to pack for departure. Bye. While it did rain/pour enroute, by the time Cynthia arrived at the Houston airport the sun was shining. She was upgraded to Bus. First and boarded with thanksgiving. A backward glance to Tuesday morning for further reason to rejoice: the oncologist ordered further diagnostic tests that were imperative to do (diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound) within the week. The tests were scheduled for Wednesday AM, the same time as the return flight to Boston. After scurrying, the flight, hotels, car rental were all changed. The joyous news: the tests were negative. WooHoo!!!
20 Sep: The forecast of rain all day moderated into less than 50% chance hour-by-hour, so Ron rode off in a heavy mist toward Plaistow, NH to visit MIT buddy Sock. I-495 was stop and go for miles approaching some construction, so he took an exit labeled Massachusetts highway 133 and was delighted to drive right by familiar sights: the house where Penn Clower formerly lived and the cemetery adjoining Tuna's residence. However it had been raining lightly in the traffic jam on I-495 and was still misty, so rather than call Tuna, Ron continued to the Uno restaurant and enjoyed a wonderfully pleasant visit with Sock. The return trip was also nearly completely dry, so the day was a complete success. Chris again delved into her recipe box and prepared a veggie soup that was quite good; Ron liked it best with oatmeal in it.
19 Sep: Dawn revealed another foggy morning in Carlisle, and Ron rode the motorcycle on wet roads to Market Basket for oatmeal and frozen berries. Frozen berries are best because they cool the oatmeal to eating temperature much more quickly. Oops, I left the cell phone in the apartment and am now past due for pills and a call to my beloved. Www.weather.com showed no rain en route although there was a persistent mist in Carlisle, so Ron rode up to Sharon, NH to visit friends Margie and Richard. The visit went astoundingly well. Margie wanted to go for a motorcycle ride, so we rode through Hudson, NH to a lake and back through Jaffrey to find that the best display of fall color was in their back yard. Richard and I enjoyed a good conversation about the joys of getting older, and Margie cooked up a delicious stuffed squash recipe without oil, butter, fat, cheese or salt. The return ride was also surprisingly dry. Chris cooked a ratatouille that almost fit the diet, so Ron was able to enjoy a bit of that. Cf. last sentence of previous day; whew again.
18 Sep: My beloved is sick in Texas with a bahhhddd cohd. AhhChoo! She spent the day in bed without substantial improvement. Ron visited Richard again to day after stopping at Trader Joe's for cacao and Whole Foods for California Baby Calming Cream. Bob, a volunteer, showed up at the dining hall and chatted for half an hour before wheeling Richard outside for fresh air. Ron rode out to Maynard to visit Bob & Rachel, who are preparing to move into Arlington. As a bonus, Aletta was helping, so Ron was able to watch all three bounce off each other while trying to organize the household for an open house this weekend. Of course, Ron helped as much as possible by carrying stuff downstairs into the basement/ garage. After returning to Carlisle, he again retired "early" - before midnight. My pill alarm goes off at 9 PM, so if I excuse myself to take my pills and more importantly, to call my beloved, Dave and I can actually stop talking before 10 PM, and I can get a good night's rest. Whew.
|Smooch Smooch Smooch, I love you|
15 Sep - Carlisle, Massachusetts: Ron is being hosted by Dave E. while Cynthia races around Houston: Mammogram, lunch with daughters, shopping for Fyn, dinner with granddaughter Samantha. Our boxes have been shipped to The Inn at Long Trail in Killington. Ron rode over to Watertown to visit Richard and is overjoyed to report that he witnessed Richard walking down a short hallway and back to his wheelchair. This was amazing and wonderful, Praise God.
14 Sep: Cynthia has labs early AM, appt with the ENT and RX. Dinner with realtor Barb S. Lacking adult supervision, Ron and Dave stayed up talking until 2:30 am; then Ron stayed up reading about printer fonts another hour or more.
13 Sep: Ron is visiting MIT friends through the week. Cynthia has manis, pedis, and a hairicure with Sasha today. Cynthia's hairdresser lost his home during the hurricane.
12 Sep: Cynthia is Texas bound causing heavy hearts for a long week. Weather was good in Boston and Houston; the flight was on time. Ron rode with Cynthia on the hotel shuttle to the airport and had to wait 45 minutes for the shuttle to return him to the hotel to pack. The flight was fine the drive in Houston was amazingly good after reported traffic concerns. This will be a long week. Ron will be without adult supervision ... uh oh.
11 Sep: We changed hotels, 3 miles away, because of confusion booking with 3 Hilton properties at the airport. Ron was up till the rooster crowed this morning, working on another Swedish Colonial Society Project. He manages to be refreshed with minimal sleep at times. Earning hotel points, we are invited to the executive lounge for breakfast (on the 10th floor overlooking Boston and the Harbor). Today is Patriots Day to honor first responders. After 9-11, Irma, Harvey, wildfires, the message resounds, we will endure... we are strong. We are Americans.
10 Sep: Boston, MA Our morning was wonderfully lazy. We worked on projects and distressed over news of fires and hurricanes. MIT is almost visible from our tenth floor window also overlooking Boston Harbor and a corner of the airport. The temperature is 70 degrees with partly sunny skies, but it is cool enough to wear warm jackets. We toured along Boston Harbor and drove the causeway onto Winthrop Island enjoying spectacular views. The housing on Winthrop https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winthrop,_Massachusetts. is not gentrified like Nahant Island. Most Boston roads are really rough and/or rutted. The Walmart near Revere Beach is, maybe, the second worst ever. Our next stop was Lynn Woods Reservoir for an hours walk; we puzzled over a dungeon in a rock: http://www.flw.org/dungeonrockhistory.htm. The executive lounge was open serving veggie snacks; we met a delightful couple... he from Boston, she from Denmark. The sunset was enchanting. It is always a great day to be alive, thank God.
9 Sep: Peabody, MA -- pronounced PbuhdE. Sometimes we stay at a Holiday Inn when the price is right and they cook to order; it wasn't so great today. The ride to Nahant island on our touring machine, the horseless cycle, was quite pleasant; the homes overlooking Boston Harbor are indeed beautiful. The highlight was lunch at Tide's sharing a crock of New England clam chowder. Mmmm. Parking at the Boston Logan Hilton is $45.00 a day. Ouch!!!! And they don't even have a laundry. I shoulda checked the Hilton listings closer when making the reservations for the 9th and 10th. The reservations were supposed to be at the Airport Hilton Garden Inn. We move there tomorrow.
View of Boston Harbor from Tide's Restaurant:
8 Sep: Boston Bound -- we were packed, ready to roll by 9:30 AM after a good-bye to the rugged coast of Maine. Breakfast at the Island Grille worked well for us. Ron took photos of an iconic New England church, cemetery and rock fence for Dr. Arain. (We drove on Highway 1 to I-295 to I-95, switching to the very slow 1 and back to I-95 again.) Despite being on major highways, the views of lakes and turning leaves were exceptional. Cynthia spent 2 frustrating hours on hold with Lifeock after learning about the Equifax hack; we cancelled our subscription a year ago; now we are signed up again.
7 Sep: Bailey's Island, Maine enjoying new friendships and the Driftwood Inn -- once one of the 100 best inns in America. Our new friend, Andy (attorney from Las Vegas) told us we missed a great night in his cottage when L.T. Smooth, musician from New Zealand, played guitar and sang. LT played with Stevie Wonder for the Trunps in the White House a month ago. Our camaraderie continued as we walked the shore trail and Washington Street to breakfast. Andy has fascinating stories to share about his days as a young attorney and he is an Abraham Lincoln history buff. But, now we do the "Maine" thing and watch the high tide roll in. The sun was warm through the afternoon. We enjoyed another seaside walk before riding to the Dolphin Marina for dinner. Our new friend Andy was gone when we returned. Now to pack for the ride to Boston tomorrow, early.
6 Sep: Irma - another storm we don't want is bent on destruction. Mother Nature always bats last. What is meant by "Old Maine?" Fishing boats, lobster pots, cedar shakes on vacation inns with one shower per floor (thank goodness for modern sinks and stools in the rooms), walls that speak, and a musty smell. The guest cabins aren't winterized. Yet, we are surprised at the number of people we see. The roads on Bailey's Island are better than in Bangor, so tourism pays. Yesterday was the Inn's last breakfast of the season; we walked the 1.25 mile to Bailey's Island Grocery that also serves meals. Ron makes oatmeal by heating water in the coffee pot and adding fresh blueberries. The afternoon rain stopped -- opening a window of opportunity for another walk on the shoreline trail. Fascinating to see the fishermen casting from the rugged shore. By the time we reached the end of the trail, the rain returned - and a nice guy in a pickup offered us a ride back to the Inn. Ron enjoyed the afternoon visits with new friends on the cottage porch while watching the waves pound the shore.
5 Sep: 14 guests left yesterday with 5 new ones arriving meant we had only a few people for breakfast. Screaming seagulls interrupt solitude. Watching waves crash at high tide is a perfect solitude pastime. Ron is nearly finished with an extensive research project with another one needing completion sooner rather than later. Cynthia extolled a biography of the actress Marlene Dietrich, written by her daughter Maria Riva, for its historicity. She finished the lengthy tome last night and started reading The Shallows by Nicholas Carr. The Carr book is research on the changing brain, "The internet is changing our brains so we lose the ability to contemplate." After reading we walked the rocks and climbed on our touring machine for more exhilarating views of the island. We stopped at the market for two days worth of food because rain is on the way. SeeView from the porch and photo of Ron hiking rocks
4 Sep: A glorious day... all the day long. The temperature was a perfect 72 degrees with blue skies and brilliant sunshine. After bouncing gaily over the shoreline rocks, we rode to the popular Dolphin Marina for lunch followed by walking the Curtis Farm Heritage Trails at the Coves. Dinner at the Driftwoid Inn was a split entree of blackened salmon and a humongous salad. Guests say they enjoy the Driftwood Inn because it is "Old Maine." Here they are in jeans, plaid shirts and fishing caps, all watching the waves whether walking, dining or relaxing.
|A passerby photoed us.|
|and Cynthia photoed Ron's balancing act.|
3 Sep: Breakfast tables were all occupied when we arrived, so Tom and Sharon invited us to sit with them. How fun to share breakfast with a delightful couple like Tom and Susan from FL. Due to the crowd, the inn could not prepare egg white veggie omelets for Ron's cardiac restricted diet, so he ate nothing at all. Cynthia ate oatmeal at breakfast; Ron ate oatmeal in the room before our hike. We hiked the shore trail scrambling over rocks to the Thunder Hole (not thundering at low tide), and Ron went down the Giant's Stairs carefully (so as not to disturb the giant). As he later rode to Brunswick for foodstuffs, the views were exhilarating, and the lucky guy arrived back at the inn just as the sprinkles preceding the rain started. At high tide, 10:00 pm, we walked over to see the storm-tossed waves, wild, wet and wonderfully powerful. We watched, but try as she might, Cynthia was unable to get a photo in the dark. Cynthia almost choked to death 😂 laughing at Ron's hilariously funny expressions.
2 Sep: We rode to the Driftwood Inn on Baileys Island, Maine, south of Brunswick an improbable distance on little splinters of islands to lands end; we are here for almost a week of semi-solitude. We pigged out at Ruby Tuesday's in Topsham before turning "straight" south. The Inn is very rustic with a shared shower, but Ron isn't concerned because he showered last year. We thoroughly enjoyed watching the ocean as we walked the path to the Giant's Stairs. Just before dark Ron walked to the General Store to see the sunset view from the west side of the island. Thanks to Steve P. for recommending a great read, The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel.
1 Sept: We worked, we walked http://umaine.edu/oronobogwalk/ and we reflected:
|Remembering Scott Forde - 1961-1998|
"This is the day which the Lord has made," says the 118th Psalm. "Let us rejoice and be glad in it." Or weep and be sad in it for that matter. The point is to see it for what it is because it will be gone before you know it. If you waste it, it is your life that you're wasting. If you look the other way, it may be the moment you've been waiting for always that you're missing.
All other days have either disappeared into darkness and oblivion or not yet emerged from them. Today is the only day there is.
- Originally published in Whistling in the Dark