Recently, I was kicked out of the Career Center in Rockland. It was such a stinging, embarrassing shock I nearly choked on my beard.
Last week we pruned our apple tree. The tree, a dwarf apple of unknown variety, grows from the northeast corner of our front yard. It stands about 15 feet from the house and offers a pleasant focal point for anyone sipping coffee on the porch, adjusting to the sunlight of a new day, and staring absent-mindedly into middle distance. The tree is an oasis of manicured beauty in an otherwise forlorn field of vision—a setting that includes our crabby lawn, the swath of telephone and power cables
Much of the South End, or SoRo, sits upon Atlantic Point: a small head of land protruding into the cold, choppy waters of Rockland Harbor.
This is my neighborhood.
The benefits of seaside life are many and obvious — particularly in summer. In the stillness of a warm morning, salt hangs heavy and fragrant in the air, and gulls cackle from their perch atop our dilapidated garage. The aloof tom who otherwise inhabits our property like a reluctant ghost lies pleasantly outstretched
I walked this morning to our little beach in SoRo. Sandy Beach it’s called; a name that sounds like Watery Lake or Woodsy Forest. I suppose, though, a sandy stretch of beach in Maine is a rarity that bears repetition.
The beach has grown in popularity. Not long ago, a wet-weather sewer outfall dumped its foamy contents into the delicate surf during each rainfall, and swimmers were warned to cool themselves elsewhere. Recently, however, the sewers have been updated, fecal contamination
It's mid-May, and, for the fourth consecutive year, I'm the last person in SoRo to mow his lawn.
I hate my lawn. It's a twisted, tangled mat of dandelions, stinging nettles, and sumac sprouts. Upon close inspection, you'll find occasional blades of actual grass - mere spindles of delicate green fighting for root space amid the sprawling chaff. For the most part, though, my lawn is a weedy wasteland.
It grows quickly, too. The sun shines unobstructed from a treeless southern sky;
Three years ago, on our very first Saturday in Rockland's South End, I began hanging lattice beneath our front porch. The porch had none, and our newly bought Victorian-era home looked semi-naked without it - as though she'd been clothed in nothing but a hoopskirt from the waist down. The open space beneath the porch was also a potential habitat for skunks, and it was a collection point for the seemingly endless stream of discarded Little Debbie's wrappers that blow down our street like tumbleweed.
We are caucusing.
Today I'm learning I had some misconceptions about the word caucus. First, caucus always seemed like a holdout from a simpler time; it's a word that recalls a specific era. To my mind, caucus conjures player pianos,
It's nearly Thanksgiving in SoRo: dead leaves obscure my weedy lawn, a barnacled sailboat darkens my driveway, and a disemboweled deer swings from a nearby neighbor's tree.
Let us give thanks.
My parents are in town this weekend and they've brought with them a wad of rumpled "turkey points." These points entitle the bearer to a steeply discounted frozen turkey from Shaw's, and my parents have just offered those points to me.
"Absolutely," I say.
Dad glances at his
I'm wandering aimlessly through a residential neighborhood in Portland; Otis is sleeping quietly in his Baby Bjorn. I feel like I'm trapped in the movie Speed: if my pace drops below two miles-per-hour, the ten-pound baby strapped to my chest will explode in anger. (This kid likes to get his shriek on.)
So I keep walking.
I have no idea how many miles I've covered this morning; I've been zigzagging through the same twelve blocks for about an hour. With