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Monday January 8, 2018 is forecast to bring temperatures above freezing, do I hear an “Amen?” Melanie Dickie’s Poem speaks to the present so well.
What a cold January day. The frost lies on the ground like a blanket. Not even the determined woodpecker has come out to tap his unloved song on the house. All is quiet in this small town. The blackbirds pick at the unturned dirt hoping to find some kind of food. The sun pokes its head through the clouds and cast a light on the frost-bitten earth.
It’s been a crappy past ten days, spotty internet reception is the reason why. This all began about a week ago. I’m thinking it was due to a pretty good summer thunder-storm with lots of lightning last week. Our IT comes off a tower 5-6 miles away in the town of Princess Anne. What will be this Saturday’s task will be to use my computer’s word processor to get the basics for a blog done and then head off to our eldest daughter’s house for dinner and use her real world internet to get this posted.
On Thursday of last week our grandson Kevin, a recent graduate from high school and two buddies, Rob and Justin came through from CT. They got to spend the night in the newly decorated Annex/Guest House. On their way the boys took a side trip into NYC and found themselves in China Town. Their arrival here was at 10:00 PM and Mother Hen/Granny quickly got them tucked away.
Kevin asked what time we arise in the AM. When I said around five – five thirty, he quickly said how about seven for breakfast, fine we said. Shortly after eight the next morning the boys emerged from their quarters, Granny was ready. A Frittata of major proportions accompanied by bowls of fresh fruit, Strawberries and Blue Berries and toast were awaiting them. This venture kind of took Granny back to our Bed & breakfast days feeding travelers as they came through Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The Frittata by the way consisted of eggs, potatoes, ham, cheese and tomatoes. I got to eat with the boys, a real treat since I’m not usually spoiled in this way.
We had some nice chit-chat time with the boys over breakfast, learning that Rob was heading to the University of Rhode Island and Justin the University of Connecticut. FYI, Kevin, has decided to put his acceptance to the University of Connecticut on hold for a year.
Not wanting to enter the rigors of life post college deep in debt, Kevin has enlisted in the CT National Guard. He will head off to Basic Training in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, in September. After basic, Kevin will travel west to Arizona’s Ft. Huachuca for Intelligence School. There are some great monetary rewards for those who serve and Kevin has researched them all.
At approximately 9:30 AM the boys were off to Pickens, SC where they would visit Rob’s grandparents.
So we’re moving up in time and it is now Monday, 7 August, 2017. Torrential rains are falling on the Eastern Shore of MD. This morning I took a trip to the offices of BlooSurf, my internet provider to check on the lack of viable service for the past ten days. I spoke with their operations guru and learned the problem had just been solved and service had been restored. His explanation, some rouge electrical interference. Must be the Russians I thought.
Tuesday, 8 August – Awoke, no internet. Has to be the Gremlins from the Kremlin.
I was up @ 0400 with the mother hen as she was getting ready to go off to her 0530 gym class. God love the little women, such dedication. I do the gym also but do not leave the house until 0810.
I gave a call to my service provider and was told they were aware of the issue and were working on it. I’m guessing they had a long distance call into Moscow and the bare-chested guy. At approximately 1000 hrs a viable signal returned and I was able to get some banking done. Just as I was preparing to send out this blog, SNIP, the signal was gone again.
So here I am at the eldest daughter’s home 3.5 miles away to attempt to once again finalize this blog.
Just a picture or two to capture yesterdays weather is all I wanted to get out. We had 4.3 inches of rain and a Tornado just up the road in Salisbury. The excitement just never ends on the Eastern Shore. We even made the national news.
Nope, no Russians here. Publish it quick!
Our trip north has ended and we are back home after XXXX number of miles. How many miles did you put on that Subaru of yours you might ask. Well, thats why we’re having a contest and the winner will receive a Maryland Flag “T” Shirt.
Six years ago my brother in-law Bobby and I made a cross country trip together to Colorado, we were delivering a car to my granddaughter at the Air Force Academy. I blogged our trip through the Ohio River Valley, the bread belt of Illinois and Kansas and up to the Rockies of Colorado. We had a T Shirt contest for that adventure as well. Our winner was Della Baird of Wilmington, NC and her photo in her winning T Shirt was posted on a later blog. Uncle Bobby is no longer with us, but whenever we go on a trip his spirit for adventure lives.
So, here we go.
You must email the Rooster @ firstname.lastname@example.org no later than midnight on September 30, 2016 with your guess on the # of miles driven on our trip through, CT, RI, MA, NH, ME, NB, PEI, NS and back. The person who comes the closest without going over the actual total mileage is the winner.
Departed Eden/Allen, MD, 21822 on 21 August and drove to Vernon then Tolland, CT. We hung out in CT for six days taking a few side trips to Mystic, CT, Westerly, RI for one and to our daily walking path in Vernon and breakfast there a few times also. We went to Stafford Springs, CT for my State Police Troop “C” reunion also.
Back on the road 28 August we would leave Tolland and head to Bangor, ME. We pretty much drove a direct route to Portland, ME and then the all back roads to Bangor began. We tried to stay parallel to I-95 but we got off the beaten path more than once.
After a nice evening in Bangor, ME we headed out to cross the Canadian border on 29 August at the Calais/St. Stephen crossing and drive to Moncton, NB for the evening. Rt 1 was our road for that trip. We drove around some to see the tide change and have dinner while in Moncton.
On August 30th we arose well rested and after a great breakfast we were off to the home of Lucy Maude Montgomery, the Author of “Anne of Green Gables.” Garmin got us there directly. Now you must do a bit of detective work and locate the site. After some time at Lucy’s homestead we headed to Charlottetown and our hotel. Oops, the rooms not ready. To kill some time we would drive to Brackley Beach and have some great fish and chips. After much it was back to Charlottetown and the hotel right down town.
We arose on the 31st and after some walking about town we drove semi directly to the ferry located at Wood Islands where we would cross to Nova Scotia and the city of Halifax. We would drive directly to Halifax via Garmin and park our car for two days in the garage of the Residence Inn. Our feet would be our transportation for this stop.
We would hop back into the car once again on 2 September and drive via Garmin to Saint John, NB. We did take a side trip to Fundy National Park along the way. More figuring for you readers out there. Once again our feet and a Trolly tour were our transportation while in Saint John for two days.
On Sunday 4 September we departed Saint John, made the border crossing at ST Stephen/Calais once again and followed Garmin’s direction to Bucksport, Me. Once checked into the Bucksport Motor Inn, highly recommend it by the way, we were off on a drive along Route 1 south to Bayside, Belfast and the Young’s Lobster Pound. If ever in Belfast try it out, you will not be sorry, provided you like Lobster that is.
Labor day, September 5 we headed south to Portland, Maine, we ignored Garmin once again and motored along Route 1 south. We saw old haunts along the way, Lincolnville and it’s ferry to Islesboro where we ventured with family for a beachside picnic many years ago. Going through the town of Bath you pass the Bath Iron Works, a neat view as you cross the Kennebec river.
We made a stop in Camden, a must if you ever travel Route 1. Slow down people, get off the Interstate. Entering Camden I had an “Epiphany.” “Wallack” I shouted out as my wife glared at me like I was some crazy man. Ever since heading south from the border I had been trying to remember someone’s name. I’d gone through the alphabet over and over. Have you ever done that? I knew his first name was Mark and when he retired from the CT State Police he had moved to Maine. I had known this man dating back to 1981 when he first applied to the department for a Troopers position. I was working in the Selection Unit back then.
So I remember a name, the man possibly living in Camden from a contact I had back some ten years ago about him retiring to Camden, ME. No address, no phone number and no internet to go searching. “Dang” says I to myself as I ease into a parking spot right in downtown Camden. The little lady want’s to walk the shops, “$$$,” visit the waterfront and just take a nostalgic stroll, we’ve been here numerous times over the past 51 years.
She sees an eclectic souvenir shop and enters. I stroll ahead totally oblivious to her disappearing act which is commonplace. Many times I’m thankful she has her phone with her, “where are you I ask?” On this occasion I recover from the alone feeling quickly and trace her back to the said store. I mean I was a Detective, right?
The Mrs. searches the shelves for something to take to Oklahoma to the great grandkids in October and I think, this place must have a phone book. I borrow the book, peruse the “W’s” list of names and no Mark Wallack, “damn” I mutter to myself. No luck I say to the store owner. “Who are you looking for,” he asks. I explain who, and the connection going back thirty-five years ago. “Mach” he exclaims, “I know Mach.” You see, there are no “R’s” in the Maine vocabulary. The man goes into a lengthy explanation of how he knows him and how much a part of the community he is. I get a phone number and address from him, he lives just one mile out of town. We’re out of the store, $58.95 later, and we head up the street to see an old friend.
We find the house, an adorable Cape on a lake, kayak with fishing rod rigged to the side, (every man’s retirement dream) just waiting at the dock. A feisty Aussie Mini Collie, (could be something else, but that’s close enough) is greeting us on the porch. I find out later the dog’s name is Frisbee. I knock, Mach answers, we recognize each other after all these years and it’s Man Hug Time.
We pass an hour’s plus of time, take a few remembrance photos and say good-by. I shall MACH this epiphany in my journal. It was great seeing you old friend.
We continue south, stop and get a Subway, grinder in hand, New England for Hero, Sub, Italian Sandwich, or what ever. We have ourselves a roadside lunch stop in Rockport and continue south to Freeport, home of L. L. Bean. You can not go through Freeport without stopping at the store, I think it’s a law or something. I have my picture taken in front of the customary boot, spend a few dollars and we’re off again.
We will spend the night in Portland, take a side trip to Windham to have dinner with old friends, Gilbert’s Chowder House was the venue for this last taste test. This time a Bread Bowl of Fish Chowder. Great to see you Shirley and Ray. Shirley and my sister Donna were best of friends, having first met as student nurses back in 1963. Shirley was part of the family at my sisters bedside when she died on July 1st. Thank you Shirley for all you have meant for so many years. The few, the proud, the Pie Maker. Too short a visit, we will make it longer next time. Back to the hotel on Mall Road in Portland for a good nights sleep prior to leaving for Tolland, CT the next AM.
Garmin would be happy with us on Tuesday, September 6. No U-turns were suggested as we cruised the speedy interstates the entire way. We did continue past Tolland to Vernon Pizza for a great Grinder, Capiccola for me, Pastrami for herself.
We lay over one night with the son and family, say good-night and are out the door by 0500 the next morning. Our last day on the road was an easy one, Garmin is not needed at all, I drove this route for the first time 57 years ago. I’ve varied the route countless times, often going far out of the way just to do something different. I’ll keep Garmin on in case a detour is needed at some point but not for directions.
Here you go, last bit of mileage to calculate, Tolland, CT via I-84 to I-684 Brewster, NY to I-287, to Garden State Parkway in NJ. NJ Turnpike, cross into Delaware ( She wore a Yellow Ribbon by the way) Rt. 1 south to Dover, DE to Rt.13 to 21810.
OK you readers out there, get calculating, googling or what ever. Make your best guess and submit it by September 30, 2016 by 2400 hours to email@example.com
If you win and want the shirt, please state size and your mailing address. I shall not flood you with junk mail, only a “T” shirt.
Just a little FYI, we got four new hens last night, 15 weeks old and our first egg this afternoon. Six hens now and one very happy Rooster named Casper. The girls are Mary, Hillary, Donna, Linda, Bobbie and Marie. Hillary by the way is a liar. Always spending time in the layer box, squawking like she just laid an egg and no egg to be found. Liar, Liar, pants on fire.