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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Pemaquid Point


Today was a very nice day in Maine. In spite of the fact that it was somewhat foggy with a high of about 64 degrees, we had a very nice day with a couple from Missouri (Dennis and Jackie) who had always wanted to see Maine. We left at noon and headed down the coast to New Harbor. Along the way we showed them the harbor at Round Pond but did not stop. Then we continued south on route 32 to Chamberlin and New Harbor. We stopped at the "Landry cabin" and visited with George Gardner, Durelle's cousin, who is doing a good job of keeping the old family cabin and its grounds in good shape. Then we went to Shaw's and had four lobster rolls , and an order of onion rings. The lobster rolls were classic Maine: a toasted hot dog bun, minimal shredded lettuce in the bottom, at least a half a pound of lobster with very little mayo. You had to use a fork for twenty minutes before you could pick it up and eat it as a sandwich. The entire harbor, as was almost the case in Round Pond, was full of working boats...no pleasure craft. After lunch we went to Pemaquid Point. It was not a photographer's day but the picture above is a good shot of the Pemiquid lighthouse with some beach plums in the foreground. Dennis and Jackie are wandering the country with the intention of finding new experiences. Today we helped them, and it was a really fun day. On the way back to the campground in Belfast we stopped in Damariscotta to get some Round Top ice cream. 'Twas a nice day.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Time stamp

By the way, the time stamps at the bottom of each posting are about three hours earlier than the correct time. Please don't get the idea that I'm getting up that early. Hopefully, I'll figure out how to reset it. The computer clock is correct.

First lobster feed of the season

Yesterday we decided to take a chance on the weather
and plan the first lobster feed this year, and the weather was most accommodating. There were four couples, one of whom had never had lobster or steamers before but were anxious to try them. George Peck, shown in picture, bought 8 pounds of steamers and the two of us went to Walt's place a few miles from here off a dirt road. Walt is a widowed Maine farmer who also runs a lobster boat and sets his traps right in front of the campground. When we got there, Walt was tending his traps so we picked out our lobsters, weighed them, and left him a note. We'll settle up later.
Although I had previously used it for Frogmore Stew, we christened my new stainless cooker on a batch of steamers. After we had polished off the clams, the lobsters went into the pot while Jackie watched apprehensively. At this time of year, of course, all lobsters are "hard-shells." So nut crackers were required, and the newcomers soon figured out how to manage. If there is anything more satisfying than a lobster feed on the shore, it is introducing some enthusiastic new folks to the experience.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Itinerary Change

For a number of reasons we have decided to extend our stay in Maine until the 21st of July. This will allow us to renew acquaintances with several couples who are arriving between our original departure date of the 13th and the 21st. It also allows for more lobster! The change meant reducing our stay(s) in Michigan, particularly the Upper Peninsula. You may recall that we had added several extra days in the UP in order to avoid the Sturgis Motorcycle rally in SD. The changes are as follows:

21 Jul Belfast, ME to Magog, QC
22 Jul Magog, QC to Brighton, ON
23 Jul Brighton, ON to Emmett, MI
25 Jul Emmett, MI to Empire, MI
29 Jul Empire, MI to Sault Ste Marie, MI
1 Aug Sault Ste Marie, MI to Marquette, MI
3 Aug Marquette, MI to Copper Harbor, MI
5 Aug Copper Harbor, MI to Kewaunee, WI
7 Aug Kewaunee, WI to Lake City, MN

From then on the schedule will be the same as posted on the very first post of this blog.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Arriving in Maine

We arrived at the Moorings RV Resort in Belfast just before 1400. It was the kind of driving day I like...boring. I'll try again to post a picture with this note, but, if not, maybe later. This morning, after picking up the Sunday papers, we headed to Merrimack where we bought 100 gallons at $4.699. I expect that before the summer is over I'll have a $500 fillup. Fortunately it is nearly 1000 miles between fillups.
We spent a bit of time setting up and greeting several old friends. As a matter of fact, there should be two couples knocking on the door momentarily for our first happy hour in Maine. Because of a cool fog and some nearby thunder, we will do it inside.
We also decided to extend our stay here a week. I'll update the itinerary shortly. Guests have arrived.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thursday, 19 June 2008

There’s not a lot to report. We’ve spent the last few days in a pretty “laid back” fashion. Tuesday Durelle played golf at Nashua Country Club where we were members for twenty years or so. She reports that the recent major refurbishment of the course was very successful. In addition she was able to have lunch with several old friends. Yesterday was our 48th anniversary which we celebrated by doing absolutely nothing. Because of a cancellation, I was lucky this morning to get an appointment with a highly regarded orthopedist. The news is good. My sprained calf/Achilles tendon was not seriously damaged and is on the mend. The cast has been packed away, and medications are done. He did give me a referral for some physical therapy for a couple of days a week while we are in Maine for three weeks. It is still stiff and a little tender and has reduced my daily walking, but it is improving.
For supper tonight at the “Surf” in Nashua we are looking forward to a reunion with Leslie Jelalian, a co-worker and good friend. During the nineties we fought a number of corporate battles together.

Monday, June 16, 2008



Saturday night was graduation at the Verizon Center in Manchester. It was an evening affair, starting at 1800. As class president, Melissa was one of the speakers. She delivered a well-done speech that focused on the accomplishments and uniqueness of the class of 2008 at Nashua North High School. When the new high school was built, Nashua changed from a three grade, single high school to two schools with four grades each. Melissa’s class thus became the first freshman class. It was a different experience for students and faculty alike as they learned how to deal with 9th graders for the first time. The class suffered through a lengthy teachers’ contract dispute that curtailed some extra-curricular activities for a while. They survived and went on to significant achievements. Melissa was the only student speaker who slowed her delivery enough to accommodate the acoustics of a large arena and was easily understandable. The others didn’t and weren’t. As you can imagine we are very proud of that young lady and her accomplishments. Her father insists that her first grade teacher, during a parent-teacher conference, predicted that Melissa would be president of her senior class. When we are in Colorado Springs in September, I’ll try to find Mrs. Olson and tell her that she was right. After the ceremony, we took the requisite pictures and adjourned to an Olive Garden.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday, 12 June

Here’s an update on the Cloutier junket. The fridge now runs on propane. It was not the magic of electronics. Some pieces of soot had dropped onto the burner. The propane pressure regulator was a half a psi low, and the flame wasn’t as clean as it should have been. Tuesday we had a 18° freezer with an outside temperature of 100°. The cast and prednisolone are bringing the gimpy hind leg back to normal, and the tooth problem was a much simpler gum problem which is also on the mend. So we are well on our way to be ready to enjoy the summer. Durelle, of course, always muddles through in great shape with no problems (except for her choice of husband).
Tonight we went to granddaughter Melissa’s athletic awards banquet. She’s president of the first class to have spent all four years at the new Nashua North High School. In that role she took over the mike to present an unscheduled photographic scrapbook gift to the outgoing athletic director. Later she was recognized as a three season athlete and scholar-athlete and was also awarded a $500 scholarship by the boosters club. I think it is worth noting that, of the 190 senior athletes, 70% were designated scholar athletes (B+ or better for all four years). We were obviously proud of all of them. Four of them were kids I had tutored in the sixth grade.
Yesterday provided a warm and sentimental reunion. Eighteen years ago a young couple named Michael and Michele Ferrazanni, operating on a shoestring, opened a small Italian restaurant on Canal Street in Nashua almost across the street from the big old mill building where I worked for Sanders…now BAE Systems. I fell in love with the place and in particular with his entre he called calamari frito. It reached the point where I didn’t have to order. At that time the development program for the F-22 was moving into full swing. It was a many faceted operation with multiple contractor and Air Force affiliations, many of which were hosted in Nashua. As a result, I often hosted supper meetings for visitors at “Ya Mama’s”. I’m sure there was an appreciated economic effect for the new business, but Michael would have been just as gracious and accommodating with any customer. Ten years ago their clientele had outgrown what could be accommodated on Canal Street so they moved to larger, nicer digs in Merrimack. It was just after I retired, and Durelle and I were invited to their “soft” opening the evening before they opened to the public. Since then, when I have been in the area, I have tried to stop in. Yesterday was one of those days, and, as luck would have it, both Michael and Michele were working. Although it has been off the menu for fifteen years, I ordered calamari frito. To the puzzled look on the waitress I said, “Just tell Michael.” Within two minutes an unordered complimentary appetizer appeared on our table, and I knew I had been recognized. They later stole a few moments from a busy lunch hour business to stop by and visit. Michele is now breast-cancer free for eleven years. Michael popped out of the kitchen, glowing and a bit sweaty from obvious exertions in a hot, busy kitchen on a hot day. He greeted us warmly with a vigorous handshake and a big kiss for Durelle. The phrase, “It’s just like old times.” came to mind. To top it off, I spotted and spoke with the unchanged Ken Stevenson a Sanders cohort from those days.
Although this summer’s itinerary targets a lot of new experiences, it also includes the opportunity to renew many long time friendships. Yesterday was a perfect example.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Monday, June 9th


I haven't posted for a few days because there hasn't been a lot to write about. We have both ACs going (thank goodness for 50 amps). Outside temp is 98; inside is 79 at quarter to six! There have been no new pictures taken, so I am posting another one of Melissa and her brother Dave. I didn't figure that you'd mind looking at this one.
It is predicted to be 98 again tomorrow, so Durelle opted out of golf. I've got that aircast on my left ankle again. It was nearly well until I restressed that Achilles tendon again. I'm awaiting a call from my doctor in SC. To make matters worse, I've got a tooth problem so I stopped by the office of my old Nashua dentist, but we haven't got a meeting arranged yet. It is tough when the warranty expires.
Part of the fun of doing this blog thing is the feedback, so please feel free to post your comments.

Saturday, June 7, 2008



Well, last night was Senior Prom night in Nashua, NH. Here's Melissa, lovely lady, class president, and all round great gal. After the revelers climbed back into their limos, Durelle and I, son Mark with Heather; Dave and Meghan (Melissa's brother and sister) and great-granddaughter Brielle headed to Smokey Bones for supper.

During the meal a couple of topics arose that really highlighted the difference in the generations. Durelle wondered aloud if anyone still used dance cards. Of course no one had heard of such a thing, but Dave thought it was a great idea. "You mean you wouldn't dance every dance with your date?' During a mention of current cell phone capabilities I said that the first phone I ever used had a crank. Meghan said, "Oh, I think those old rotary phones are cool." So, I guess we are now officially "old farts."

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Catching up



My original intent was to post a picture with almost every blog, but not until today did I figure out (thanks, Dan) how to configure (compress) the pictures so as to minimize the bandwidth that you have to download. So, here are three pictures. Most of you will recognize the Wright Brothers Memorial at Kill Devil Hill on the outer banks of NC. The second one is Durelle and Belle relaxing on a piece of driftwood at Canp LeJeune, NC on our first night on the road. The third picture, as you might guess, was taken in Intercourse, PA. I didn't frame it very well, but it shows an Amish horse and buggy next to a 45 foot Class A as they delivered homemade whoopie pies. We will be here in Brookline, NH until the 22nd and I won't be posting every day. Talk to you later.

Monday, June 2, 2008

New Hampshire -2

I still haven't figured out the photo thing, but,
as promised, here is a picture. This was taken on the 29th when we stopped at Lake Anna to visit the Wegners. They were our almost next door neighbors and mentors in 1960 and have been close friends ever since. Lake Anna in northern VA was built to provide a "cooling pond" for a nuclear power plant in 1968, I think. It has provided a major economic boom to the area. Between happy hour and supper we took an hour long tour of the lake.
Today was a "crash" day. After 1100 miles in the past week, it is good to stop for a while. We'll get caught up on laundry and normal maintenance stuff and sit in the recliners and read. We are looking forward to reconnecting with family and friends. As I figure things out, I will be including some more pictures.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

New Hampshire

Well, we get to sit for a spell. We arrived in Brookline, NH after a 400 mile day...the only one on our itinerary. There were some heavy showers yesterday in Intercourse, PA, but we spent some time watching a presentation at the Amish Experience Theater and ate and did a little shopping at the Kettle Kitchen Market Place. We ate at the Kline restaurant. I had a seafood crepe and, of course, we had to split a piece of shoofly pie. When we got back to the campground, we were sitting outside watching golf (of course) when up trots an Amish horse and buggy with some Amish youngsters selling, of all things, homemade whoopie pies (sp?). We bought a couple, and they are pretty good.
We were on the road by 0730 because we were erroneously anticipating a 480 mile day. I had reprogrammed our route on the Delorme Street Atlas and failed to remove all the outdated designated "vias". We really only had about 390 miles, but the software had me backtracking to pick up a no longer relevant "via". Some of you will know what I am talking about.
We took 30 east from Intercourse to 100 north to I 78 east to I 287 north and east over the Tappan Zee bridge. The toll was $22.50! Then we took I 684 north to I 84 in Brewster, CT thence to the Mass Pike for one exit and I 290 and I 190 north to route 13 to Brookline, NH. We had lunch at the CT welcoming center at exit 2 in CT arriving precisely at noon. Again I ran the generator all day because the fridge does not want to run on propane. Good news! When we set up here, the fridge decided to run on propane. I guess there was a piece of soot or ash preventing ignition that got jostled away over the course of a kilo-mile.
We are looking forward to staying in one place for three weeks and making connections with family and friends here in NH. I promise that by the next post, I will have figured out how to post some of the pictures.