Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Morning Stroll

Portland certainly has a different look then back when I was growing up. Back then you'd have quite a hunt on your hands to find a non-white family living within the city. These days Portland is really what might be described as a melting pot of cultures and faces. I had an an interesting conversation Sunday morning with the woman on the left. She and her daughter were out looking for a place of worship. They were looking for a Catholic Church, but we were standing in front of the First Parish Church on Congress Street. The service was still a half hour away, but the front doors were welcomingly open and the lights were on already. I suggested that they climb the stone steps and take a peek. As I moved on, that's exactly what they were doing. I think I might have found a couple of new members of the congregation.

Monday, May 30, 2011


"Portland: For Her Sons Who Died For The Union"
At Monument Square in the heart of the city, you'll find Our Lady of Victories monument. Modeled after Minerva, goddess of war and wisdom, the 'lady' overlooking the city was designed by sculptor Franklin Simmons. There are two bronze casting on her base. One depicts sailors, while this one shows Civil War soldiers.
Today, J- and I will head off to St. Hyacinth's Cemetery and ready the family site for the summer with some new geraniums. On a little rise, it's a soothing, contemplative plot of land. My uncle Leonard and Dad, two veterans of WWII, are buried along side the rest of the family here. Enjoy your Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Never quite seen this before. It's a wood cutting of a man and a woman right in the door on Park Street. It's probably been around for quite a few years too. I just haven't noticed it. There are some beautiful homes in this stretch of the city. I've never stepped beyond the front doors, but I've heard this to be true. I don't like to have to rely on the rumor mill, but for this one it'll have to do. I've always been intrigued by faces I see on the street. They live lives along side me but in another orbit, if you will. Some move freely this morning, while others stay locked behind these doors.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

More Apples

This time of year, one of the most aromatic fragrances is that of the apple blossom. I love the trips I take by our apple trees, as I journey along the back field with my mower. Even after many springs and seemingly endless times around our trees, it never seems to get old. My only regret here is that, like many flowers, people and events in our lives, they are gone often before we really get to know them. Just when these venerable trees have reached their striking beauty, their petals begin to tumble across the lawn in the afternoon breeze. This lace-like pattern, beneath the tree, belies the fact that this season has reached its climax and summer has arrived.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Crab Apple

Let's keep this BRIGHT and upbeat today. I've got Blogger issues. Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I have never allowed a bumper sticker, like one of these, to hitch a ride on my truck or car. I've got opinions. Don't you worry about that. Some I wear on my sleeve; others might have to be uncovered. And every once and a while I can go on a rant. I've been accused of have quite a sense of humor too, so this often factors into the mix. For the most part, I rant on without a filter, and this too can be problematic at times. Often these conversations end with friends, causal acquaintances and colleagues walking away shaking their heads. The aging process, I think, has helped me keep my friendships though. Friends turn to friends and just say, "You know, he's ..." and quote my age. Want to know my opinion on all this crap sticking to the back window of this pick-up? Just ask. I don't have to clutter my truck's back bumper with them for all the world to see. I'm a bit more secure then that!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jagged Path

This shot was taken close by a Downeast lighthouse a few weeks back, with the glowing orb in evidence and a milky sky kind of morning. Trips to lighthouses were always a treats as a kid, but not always for Mom and Dad though. I remember one inauspicious adventure to Portland Head with the fog horn blasting about every 15 seconds or so. The trip back home had them sharing, quite loudly at times, a difference of opinion as the the welfare of young ears so close to such a startling, loud blast. Guess who won that debate?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Youth vs Age

I'm sure you've seen them. These athletic t-shirts are all the backs of teens these days. At thirteen, they're living the dream. Some days I wonder if they even understand what the words they carry on their backs mean. Are these coaching moments gone bad? Are these as innocent as walking around sporting a Mickey Mouse or Hello Kitty t-shirt? Sometimes I have to stop and take stock. Ah... kids today! Risk Everything; Fear Nothing; Live No Regrets. By now, most of us have learned that as adulthood dawns this philosophy becomes a recipe for disaster. Piggybacking on yesterday's post of 'coulda, woulda, shoulda', I remember those soothing words of advice I got many times from that wonderful philosopher Bea, when my 'best laid plans' went array.
"Don't worry. In the long run, everything works out for the best."

They have served me well. No Regrets!

Monday, May 23, 2011

House with Flag

“The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” ~Unknown

I'd simply say: coulda, woulda, shoulda. If we look back, our lives all probably have many turning points. Places in them where, if we had made a different choice, our days would have a radically contrary look to them. If I had taken that job out of state, not gone on that vacation, not taken a unique way to a familiar locale, gone to a different high school or college, grown up with other friends, what might my world look like today? Why am I contemplating this today? Here is a house, located on Deering Avenue, that my parents almost bought. They visited it quite a few times with their real estate agent, but in the end decided that the area was too busy with traffic for four small children. They went with the bigger house at the end of a quiet street at the foot of Back Bay, and that has made all the difference. What's your 'road not taken'?

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Got a favorite number? Do you see it a lot? Are you superstitious about it? Every time I frequent this restaurant in the city and have to visit the restroom, this 9 pops out at me. Now if you grew up in New England (except for southern Connecticut... what's wrong with them?) in the 40s and 50s and loved the grand ol' game, the number 9 meant only one thing... Teddy Ballgame! Mr. Theodore Samuel "Ted" Williams (August 30, 1918 – July 5, 2002). He had a couple of other nicknames like "The Kid", "The Splendid Splinter", "The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived", but "Teddy Ballgame" was the one I loved. He played his entire, 21 year professional baseball career with the Boston Red Sox. Late nights in my bedroom with a West coast game on, I'd practice over and over, trying hard to perfect that most graceful left-handed swing. Early spring mornings before school, at night or in summer rain showers, you'd find me in the batters box of our homemade back diamond, just swinging away from the left side. During games, it didn't help me much. I always batted right... but I could dream! Oh, my favorite number? I've got this thing about 22 now. I just like the look of the repeating 2s. Go figure.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Riding Shotgun

Look carefully here. Can you just faintly make out something sitting in the passenger seat? I was taking a picture of this truck hood in all its yellow, parked outside the Good Egg the other morning, and almost missed it too. It's a large poodle that was waiting patiently for its owner to finish breakfast. It certainly wasn't of the miniature. My mother's uncle had one of these, large and very intimidating. She was chocolate in color. If Uncle Dool was at any celebration or party with us, it was a sure bet that the dog would be sitting at his side. Christmas, a graduation, a summer birthday, it made no matter. She was there. Now, most of my 'run ins' with poodles, years since, have been with the miniature variety and involved them barking ferociously and nipping at my feet. Not a pretty sight or sound! Dool's canine, however, was calm, quite loving and was always willing to be petted. I never heard her bark either. This morning in the truck, the same way... never a whimper.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Blue Wave

It's all about the hair. Want to make a statement? Make it with hair. I've always been a strong advocate of that age old adage 'clothes make the man', but hair for me is a strong second. Whether guy or gal, one's hair says a lot about who you are and where you MIGHT be headed. Get it? So what do you think? Is this a gentleman's blue wave or a young lady's coiffured mohawk? Live the do! Hairdo that is.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Danforth Curb

Some berries have fallen beneath a tree, onto the curb and into Danforth Street here. What they are called, I do not know. We used to call them choke cherries, and located throughout the neighborhood, the crows loved them. We did not! Yes, I sampled them! They tasted terrible and made me shudder. Of course, back then lots of things made me shudder: falling off our raft into cold Gulliver's Pond in springtime, peaches stolen from old man Oliver's trees late at night, Kissing Hide and Go Seek, and delivering papers at 5 AM among others. Funny how a song, a place, a face, a photograph can take you swirling back in time.

* ps. Yes, this picture was taken just last week. Not a fall shot... but spring.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Plywood Windows

This month-old photograph, of a cottage along side an expanse of dunes, probably has quite a different look these days. With the plywood off the windows and July days approaching, it'll be a prime piece of real estate. to (while away/wile away) summer afternoons and evenings at the beach. Ok, so here I am again at another 'language dilemma'. Is it 'while away' or 'wile away'? 'While away' means to cause time to pass in a pleasant way, so 'while' makes sense for sure. On the other hand 'wile' means to 'lure or entice', so 'wile' makes perfect sense here too. Answer? They are both correct. Here, on a warm July night sipping a beverage, I would indeed be in a 'pleasant way', and I'd certainly be 'enticed and lured' to this spot. Now, that's a long way from plywood covered windows in May! And... I learned something new too!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Here's where I'm hangin' this spring. Finally, most of the yard and garden birdhouses are cleaned and back up waiting for spring occupancy. Well, there is one sitting on the wood stove that needs an artist's 'touch'. Other then that though, we're ready to go. When I was up rototilling a week or so ago, there was already some 'action' in a few of the garden houses. Jonquils, for me, are such a hopeful flower of early spring. They lined the driveway on Washington Avenue, and before I went to the bus stop each kindergarten morning, I made sure to check them out. I was startled! Such perfection rises from dirt?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wooden Frame

Our favorite hangout for mussels in wine sauce is Fore Street. To die for? Well, I don't know if I want to go to that degree, but they are the best that I've sampled. An order of mussels, resting in an ample supply of sauce, with their bread... now, that's a meal! I've told this tale before, but growing up Catholic in Maine-- Fridays were all about fish. But even I have to admit, it's a long way from that plate of fish sticks to my affection for sushi. I first sampled it in Toronto at a Blue Jays game five years ago. Liked it then; LOVE sushi now.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Kites and Bike

Kites over New England! The hill overlooking Bug Light was filled with kites of all shapes and description yesterday morning. Parrots, alligators, cats, birds, turtles and a princess were all up there bobbing and weaving in the gentle breeze. I like these pictured here, simple straight forward, no pretentiousness. Gulliver's Field was always our place of choice to fly ours. Although not a high spot, it got plenty of spring wind. I bought mine at White's 5 and 10 for about 75 cents and was off to put it together. They were made out of paper with a couple of pine sticks for support. Mom seemed to always have a coil of string at the ready and torn pieces of a sheet for a tail. Most days I never exhausted my string but had fun. One windy March afternoon after school, I actually used all my string and longed for more at first. After another minute of wrestling with it, I got kind of scared... I could feel my feet being lifted (no kidding). Was I going to have to reach for my jackknife and cut it free? I was nervous, being all alone. Finally, it came back to earth and so did I.

Happy,Happy, Joy Joy to my sister Dinne , on her BIRTHDAY, in Maryland today!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I like this shot in the fog. Juxtaposed. I like this word. Interesting etymology too. [back ffrom juxtaposition, from Latin juxta next to +] and [French juxtaposer : Latin: close by; see yeug- in Indo-European roots + French poser, to place (from Old French; see pose1).] These two buildings share the same relative space near the water, but reflect different times. It is however a working waterfront as you can readily see by the fishing gear in the foreground. I enjoy a world of opposites. I think I'm different, and I like it that way. Juxtaposed!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Stone Points

Yikes! Two days in a row now my posts have been attacked by gremlins. Yesterday's post RIPE has disappeared altogether. There are strange happenings taking place in bloggerland, I do believe. Anyone else being tormented?

This is a piece of a larger sculpture found Downeast. Anybody been here?

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Repost of 5/12.
What the heck would be an 'attack fish'? Well, I guess with Maine's strong fishing heritage one really can't be surprised at this sign. Now, RIPE... you got me there. Maybe it's some kind of fisherman inside joke. Then again, I just might be missing IT! It might be referring to the aroma seeping out from around this door. If you've ever ventured down along the docks and among the fishing gear, you GET it. The smell effervescing, I guess you could say, is RIPE!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cream on Cream

While we were out celebrating Mothers' Day (no hassling with the crowds on Monday night) and enjoying a delicious dinner of sushi at Yosaku, this tree just off Danforth Street caught my eye. The muted cream colors, the chimney, the roof line, the fast-moving clouds and branches just seemed to work together up there. It was a total team effort! It's spring in Maine, finally. After that long, winding winter, ya got to love it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rope in Sun

Let's see. What to write about today. Maybe I could do a bit of punning about being tied up with my work, or how about a life lesson I learned from watching Ali and his 'rope a dope'? Ah...I have a few stories about playing Cowboys and Indians and tying my unfortunate brother to my sister's rocking chair? How about swinging from the rope swing on those Sunday trips to Forest Lake with Leo and friends? Or maybe, I could tell a tale about dragging our homemade rafts across the high water at Gulliver's Pond? Then there was the time at the knot tying Boy Scout class, when the Scout Leader told me that maybe, just maybe, I wasn't cutout for the 'scouting tradition'. Oh well, I'm done and not fit to be tied either!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Red Onslaught

Lots of tulips here at Bedford Park sway in the gentle morning breeze. There are other places with tulip gardens sprinkled around the city, including the Oaks, but the gardens here are a favorite. And now my tulip tip of the day--- many of the variegated varieties that create such amazing color blends are the result of diseases, that will overtake and eventually destroy the bulb. I did not know this. As in life, great beauty and grandeur often belie what hidden destruction is lurking just beneath the surface.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Hold Fast

Happy Mothers' Day to Elenka and all the mothers out there. Each spring Elenka gets all excited and tells me that the 'babies' are out... in the pasture(that is) on her way into the city for work. Here are a couple for your viewing pleasure this significant morning. My mom's thing was horses. I remember special moments together, riding in the station wagon, when she'd pull over at the horse farm on Warren Avenue, and we'd watch them munching away and gazing at us through the fence. Hold fast to these special moments. They come and fade so fast. I'm thinking of her today.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Rock Walk

Life is where you find it. Like rocks strewn across Maine's rugged coast, it can at first look so simple, yet, get closer, and it's anything but. Some of us seem never happy. We are constantly on the move, seeking contentment just around the next bend in the road. Others seem so fixed. We find a point, take root and stay forever. Me? I'm rather like the latter. I'm like a good cow, roaming the fields by day but always finding the barn at dusk.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Spring Weekend#5

Hello in there! I used to love to work 'dot to dot' puzzles, and eventually find out what the picture was. When I saw this window in Port Clyde, it took me back to evenings during Lent. I grew up Catholic and attended St. Joseph's Grammar School. During Lent, each nun-led classroom gave students an opportunity to sign out a large plastic statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary with an over sized rosary in its base for a week. Of course, this was an honor, so we all did. Our family always said the rosary, during this time of year, in the dining room on Stevens Avenue, but it was especially fun when the large rosary was present. Even though there were nights I got the giggles and found trouble, I still enjoyed fingering the large plastic beads on these evenings with our family together. What did I tell you... 'dot to dot'... started out at 1 and got to 100, and now look where I am. Spying in a window in Port Clyde on a sunny Sunday morning, and I'm transported back to a warm dining room and these special moments. Sister Ardmarabalis would be so proud!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Spring Weekend#4

I just can't pass up a used book sale! Good or bad, I'll take a chance. In Boothbay Harbor, I wandered over to the 'porch book sale' and wasn't disappointed. Hey, can you go wrong picking up Studs Terkel's Working for 25 cents? It's his oral history collection of people talking about what they do all day. Two of my other favorites of his are Hard Times, on the people of the Great Depression and The Good War, his interviews with WWII veterans. I enjoy oral histories that you can open any place and be entertained for as long as you like. Quite a deal for a quarter! However, this Golden Retriever doesn't look too impressed.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spring Weekend#3

Never! That is, I had never seen Marshall Point Light until Sunday. After a leisurely breakfast at the Berry Manor Inn of warm applesauce, almond-coconut poppy seed bread, a basil-tinted quiche, a couple of slices of bacon and coffee, we were ready for an 'adventure' before heading home. We set off towards St. George and Port Clyde and came upon this lighthouse that guards Port Clyde Harbor. It stands on the east side of the entrance and rises 30 feet above the water at high tide. Elenka sat in the warm sun on the steps of the lighthouse museum, while I took a walk along the shore and checked out some interesting rock formations. My life is simple!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Spring Weekend#2

This is quite a colorful window on a side street in Boothbay Harbor. The more I stared at it from the street, the more it took me back to the room just off the kitchen on Stevens Avenue. Call it a play room, a junk room, a shed. I think we each had our own name. Pick the season, and it was loaded with needed stuff: bushel boxes of MacIntosh apples, cardboard boxes stuffed full with old clothes for dress-up disguises , tools from the garage, unused furniture, games leftover from winter nights on the dining room table, and many, many discarded pots and pans. I'm sure Mom called it junk, but for us the endless possibilities of play and fun times meant some sort of heaven. My sister's play kitchen with a wonderful mix-match of toy teacups, saucers, colorful dishes, small play pots and pans, my grandfather mini kitchen cabinet and her toy stove was a treasure trove to the neighborhood girls. It was so entertaining 'rediscovering the junk' that took us to another world for a few hours.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Spring Weekend#1

This past weekend we headed to Rockland and spent time in the Berry Manor Inn, a grand old manse built in 1898 and showing off the grandeur of the Victorian age. Local merchant Charles H. Berry built this extraordinary home as a wedding present for his new bride. Over the next few days, I'll be taking a look at a few of the images I captured on our little soiree. These lace curtains reminded me so much of the windows on Coyle Street. Mom loved lace work and used it to decorate windows in the living and dining rooms. I remembered thinking. Why all the fuss about lace? Aren't curtains suppose to block out light? I just didn't get it. I do now. Sitting in our bedroom and the common rooms on the first floor took me back to another time and place.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Theme Day: Mailbox

Where are all the little Piggies? Today, May 1, 2011. is Theme Day across the CDPB (citydailyphotoblog) community. Knowing how Miss Piggy loves MEN, she probably thinks this is a MALEbox. hahaha One of my Dad's best friends, Jim Dailey, was our mailman on Stevens Avenue. Between 10 and 11 AM daily, Jim's heavy footsteps came across our long porch. It was like clockwork. He was always giving me a hard time too. No matter what I was doing. Even if it was just saying, "Hi, Jim." He'd always say something like, "Wait til I tell your father what you're up to now." Often, he'd stop over on a Sunday, and they'd share a Ballantine Ale or two. They were two of a kind, letter carriers, veterans and best friends.