Dreaming of Maine as the Snow Falls

First, some happy news! Thirteen more Emilie Loring books will be published as ebooks! There will also be a print-on-demand feature, if you prefer a paperback copy. I don’t have the list yet, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some of my favorites. Tell your friends and neighbors!

Now, on to today’s post…

Frozen lake
The sunshine always breaks through… but more snow is coming!

I awoke this morning to five-degrees-below-zero and a frozen lake covered with snow. Holed up in this cozy cottage, awaiting more snow, I’m remembering my first research trip to Maine. It was summer–warm, bright summer!–and I kept a journal of my travels:  

“Well, that was fun and a little crazy.  I was nearing Ellsworth and my night’s lodging after a very full day, feeling that “scent-of-the-barn” surge of energy, when I saw the sign:

Blue Hill —>

“‘Why not?  Just a little peek before the sun sets altogether,’ I thought.  So, I turned.

“I don’t know if the sun always sets in two minutes in Maine, but it did tonight.  Pitch blackness.  Windy road.  And then, the fog.  Drifts, then clouds, and then thick blankets of it.  Fog and deeper fog, dark and deeper dark, and the bright yellow ribbon unfolding on the roadway where the headlights could reach.

“And not a turnout to be seen.  You either go to Blue Hill, or you don’t.  I went all the way, got to the closest thing it seemed to have to a town center, and turned around.

Version 2
“…lengthening roads that wend… to hilltops clear!”

“And then I began to smile!  This was just like the beginning of Hilltops Clear, with Prudence Schuyler riding up the hill to her new home on a dark, foggy night just like this one.  I could almost hear Len Calloway’s voice as he held up the flivver, “Has the girl come?” followed by old Si Puffer’s “Gorry me” before he evaded the question. And why couldn’t Len see Prue sitting in the back seat with her housekeeper next to her?  Why, the curtains were drawn, of course.

“So, history repeats itself yet again on this trip!

“But much more led up to it.

Baker ancestors
Emilie Loring’s ancestors in Portland

“This morning, I packed, checked out of my hotel in Portland, and drove to Eastern Cemetery, where ancestral Bakers were buried.  It was a good way to spend the time before the library opened.

Curious items
Have you ever seen a bathtub like this one?

“Then, on the way in to the library, I got sidetracked by the History Center’s current exhibit. It’s the collection of artifacts from 18 interesting but non-historical characters, their stories told and illustrated with photos and the items.  I bet everyone who goes there rushes home to see what cool stuff they have in the basement that could serve as the starting point for something similar.

Longfellow garden
Longfellow House garden

“I looked at my watch and pushed myself toward the library, but the Longfellow House garden gate stood open…  what a nice, soothing place it was, a walled garden with a pleasant, slate patio at one end.  I finally opened the library door at 11:00.

Old Portland map
Old Portland, Maine

“Five hours later (!), I got up from the desk, returned stacks of materials, and exited again.  I hit some dead ends, and it sometimes seemed like that’s all I hit, but I paid for 28 copies as I left, so clearly, that was not the case.  The best were two old maps of Portland showing the old street names and the records of the First Church showing the baptismal dates of some Bakers I was trying to find.

“At that point, I was 3 hours from my next destination, so getting onto the highway and heading north would have been a good idea.  I went south.

Portland Head Light
Portland Head Light

“I took a picnic dinner of a chicken sandwich, lemonade, and chocolate chip cookies, and I went to the Portland Head Light, probably the most famous of the US lighthouses.  It was commissioned by George Washington in 1790.  I lingered, sharing a bit of my dinner with a huge gull who sat on my table the entire time.  The fog was rolling in there, too, and it seemed just right with the fog horn sounding and the waves hitting the rocks.

Fog in Maine
The fog was rolling in there, too.

“Okay, time to drive north!  I took one last meander through Portland, congratulating myself on how well I learned its streets on foot the last two days, and off I went.  The drive was mostly a lot of green with a bit of bluish hill in the distance…”

Blue Hill. My destination.

snowy forest
I’m going to wrap up in an afghan and think of how nice it will be.

I am going to Blue Hill again this summer. Like Wisconsin, it’s cold and snow-covered now, but I’m going to wrap up in an afghan, read an “Emilie,” and think of how nice it will be when I can walk on the shore, eat lobster, and look for sea glass again. 

 

 

 


12 thoughts on “Dreaming of Maine as the Snow Falls

  1. I am looking forward to spring. We have sunshine finally and some warming temps.

    An observation related to current events. The “instability” in Venezuela is a big story today. Do you know the number of EL books in which South America and its perennial “instability” are part of the background story? Or the hero/heroine just came from South America? Often the hero is an engineer in S.A. I’ve estimated about 6 of them. (I have to re-read 9 more.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Right about this time of year is when I get Spring Fever too! I always envision myself sitting on my front porch listening to the birds. It is a drippy dreary day, one for staying inside for sure!
    Excited to hear Emilie’s can now be printed-on-demand! Somehow that makes the book more special!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reading an actual book is a different experience, more relatable somehow. I’m going to spend the day cleaning out the deep storage of our cottage basement. It’s a little like an archaeological dig. 😊 With the right kind of attitude, it could be fun.

      Like

    1. Is this the first time you have been to Maine in the winter? A lot different than in he summer. You are use to snow, but maybe not fog. We miss going to Blue Hill and visiting you. Maybe this summer we can. We have seasons tickets to Ogunquit Playhouse again so will be coming up for the weekends of the plays. Maybe we can drive to Blue Hill for a few days and see you or you could stop here on your way home. Love to see you. Eve

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It’s a good one. Remember, you can find a blog post for each book under the “Bookshelf” tab on the website. You can also use the “Search” function to find additional references to your favorites.

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