As we prepare to leave Maine and head west, first to New York then to Minnesota and beyond, I offer these parting shots taken in Appleton Ridge, Montville and Freedom.
Three months in Maine, a place we chose to stay while we await the delivery of our traveling RV van. Perhaps it is only fitting that before we begin our wanderings, we are able to revisit old haunts once again.
Maine has been a thread through my life since childhood when I ran free during long summers at China Lake, picking wildflowers for my grandmother or swimming in the cool water.
Here's China Lake, where young children feed the ducks on a summer evening.
A Place Called Hope (No Kidding!)
This house is on Hatchet Mountain in Hope. Roy Hobbs lived in this farmhouse before my parents bought it in 1974. That summer, our friend Lizzie lived with us and we tried to earn money with our gardening skills, tooting around the countryside in my father's red Ford pickup truck. Swimming in Hobbs Pond was our pastime or climbing Hatchet Mountain
Here’s the view from the mountain this morning.
A brief stop in Head Tide, Alna
Down the Sheepscot River, in the village of Head Tide, this little gem is called the Spring House. You could get a ladle of fresh spring water by opening a cabinet door in the kitchen. My parents lived here in the 1980s.
The Irish in Maine
Aunt Winnie’s House. We visited here when I was little and experienced a taste of the Reilly lifestyle. My grandfather and his siblings, including Aunt Winnie, grew up here in the late 1800s. It had a big wood stove in the kitchen. It was family lore how the house burned down one summer when the family was out haying. Afterwards, they took down a neighbor's house and moved it back to their homestead.
When the Reillys arrived in Maine in 1833, they joined a group of Irish immigrants who had established the second Catholic Church in New England --St. Denis's Catholic Church in North Whitefield.. My great-grandfather Matthew Reilly married Elizabeth Hickey there in 1873. My great-uncle, Ben Reilly, was a priest and lived in the rectory when I was a child. My father is buried in the graveyard.
Listen as Johnny Cash & Lynn Anderson tear it up.
Where we are today.