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Friday, September 30, 2016

Lunch with the Sillars

     In the dim historical mists of nearly forty years ago we often shared high school bleacher seats with another Nashua High School wrestling parent, Sally Sottak (now Sillars) whose son Jeff graduated from USMA the same year (1985) that Mark graduated from USAFA. The Sillars now have a summer home on a lake near Peru, ME about an hour west of Augusta. That makes it reasonably convenient to meet halfway for lunch at one of the many appropriate spots in the Augusta area. One such spot is The Liberal (as in generous) Cup, a brew pub in Hallowell.



    We swapped stories, brought each other up to date and exchanged pictures of assorted progeny. It was a nice lunch on the Kennebec River.
     For those curious about my leg(s) I drove with no difficulty.
     Happy hours are now quiet and lonely affairs. Durelle and I just sat in the two front seats of the bus with our cocktails and looked through the windshield at Penobscot Bay.


     It's not a great picture, but it shows what a pleasant view that we have every day. It will be hard to leave.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Roth's Departure

     Well, now we really know that the summer is over. Dick and Eleanor Roth have begun their trek back to their home base in Houston.



     These two have been a (the?) mainstay of our crew of regulars for a decade. There is not one among us who have not gone to them for advice and counsel. As folks with twenty years of full-timing RV experience under their belts, there isn't an RV-ing problem that they haven't already encountered and fixed. They are ALWAYS willing and capable of providing advice, and more often than not, the physical assistance and tools to handle the issue.
     Whether it is fixing our toilet, driving me to the ER, or cooking our lobsters Dick's quiet competence and calm demeanor takes the anxiety out of any situation.
     Keep the shiny side up, guys.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Waning Days

     The overnight low temperature dropped into the 30s. If this keeps up, I'll soon have to stop wearing shorts. :-) The seasonal campers are starting to disappear. Even some of the premium oceanfront sites are occasionally empty. So, while our view of the ocean is improving, we know our days are numbered.


     For those following our wanderings, here's what the tentative schedule/itinerary looks like. Our son, Mark, is going to take off a week or so to help us pack, drive south, and unpack. You can only imagine what a relief it is to have that help. His son and granddaughter will deliver him here Saturday and take the car back to Nashua on Sunday. I hear that lobsters have been requested for Saturday night. Sunday we'll finish getting the bus ready to roll again. Monday we'll depart the shores of Penobscot Bay and head for Nashua and spend two nights there in Mark's cul-de-sac. Durelle is hoping to drop in on a card game at Nashua Country Club on Tuesday. From Nashua to Charleston is 1100 miles. With some help driving, that should be a couple of 400 mile days and 300 more home on Friday the 7th after over one hundred days of "camping". Stops should be at Lickdale, PA and Enfield, NC. The frosting on the cake is that Mark will spend the weekend in Charleston helping us unpack.
     Although we have put down a deposit for 2017, another season here is not guaranteed. My neuropathy, as well as some lesser ailments, may prevent it. If so, there will still be a wide assortment of wonderful memories of our dozen summers here. During those times there have been too many friends to safely list. The key is what we have shared and the assistance we have given to each other. The food and the scenery weren't bad, either. There is a special bond among those living the RV lifestyle. We are fortunate to have shared it for several decades and several hundred thousand miles.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Steak and Corn

     It has been too long since I have posted. Below is a shot of supper tonight...a piece of medium rare cow from the grill, and and ear of corn. We share our dinette table with my computer monitor. The desktop picture is the Curtis Island Light in Camden.



     I've had some knee problems, and we are looking at all sorts of possibilities to wrap up this summer...keep you posted.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Train Ride

     A few days ago the Fares and the Cloutiers took an hour long ride on the



     The whole operation is a labor of love where ten volunteers maintain the train, the track and the station.





     The train consists of the engine and two cars; one, open with benches; the other, enclosed with upholstered seats.





     The ride was a half dozen miles with not a lot of scenery.



     We did spot an osprey nest,



     a small flock of sheep that looked ready to shear,



     and some creative scarecrows in a patch of sunflowers..



     It was not a terribly exciting day, nor did it offer a lot of photo-ops. It was just another pleasant, relaxing day on the mid-coast of Maine.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Frogmore Stew

     We have made Frogmore Stew a number of times and have even documented it on this blog at least once. It has an interesting history and recipe. Actually, as with any stew type concoction, there are many variations on the theme. The key characteristic is the socialization that goes with it. It is normally eaten with fingers, disposable tablecloths (newspapers?), paper towels and cold beer. The major ingredients are partial ears of corn on the cob, shrimp with shells on, chunks of kielbasa or smoked sausage, baby red potatoes, onions, lemons and Cajun spices. Many recipes just use varying amounts of Old Bay seasoning. I also use an assortment of Zatarain's products, a teaspoon of cayenne and a bottle of beer per pot.
     I like to get all the ingredients into multiple ZipLock bags and in coolers the day before. The sea breeze was strong enough to force us to move the burners around to the lee side of Dick Roth's bus...and away from the eating area. I feared that this would diminish the sociability, but, "No worries, Mate!". Here's the eating area between Dick's and Debra's rigs.


          Here's our sheltered cubbyhole where I'm adding the dry spices to one of the pots.


     Soon everyone had dragged their chairs around to where the "boil" was being assembled. Everyone had a piece of the action. Below, Dick is adding some onions.


     Here you can see that the group gathered 'round to join in.


     Here goes the first ingredient after the spices: potatoes.


     After fifteen minutes we add the sausage.


     Five minutes later, in goes the corn.


     After another ten minutes, the shrimp goes in for three to five minutes until pink.


     We drained the baskets and poured/ladled the contents onto four trays...one for each table.



     There were very few leftovers. Plates or no plates, everyone just grabbed what they wanted.




     If you liked these pictures, I did not take a single one. Allow me to thank Wendy Boucher for all the great shots. As you can see, Frogmore stew, properly done, is a very sociable event. Everybody participates. Great fun.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Moorings at its Best

     On Saturday of Labor Day weekend the campground put on a lobster feed for 60+ campers. It was favored by a spectacularly perfect day and a lot dedicated camp workers, but the leading force was the new campground manager, Debra Donnahoo. 



     Being an old retired GI, a Colonel in an apron is a bit of an anomaly for me, but she was everywhere. Tables were rounded up and covered with tablecloths. Lobster pots and burners were borrowed. 65 lobsters (only six bucks each) and five dozen ears of corn were procured. Numerous side dishes magically appeared. The Bouchers showed up with their signature pulled pork for the few members of the no-shellfish crowd.
     Normally, when we have a Dick Roth led lobster feed, we seat fifteen to twenty. Tripling the head count really takes some coordination and planning. Having observed a few over the years, I can say this was like clockwork. Did I mention the perfect weather? ...cloudless skies, 71 degrees, light breeze and shade for most of the tables.


     Two of the industrious workers were the new owners, Jeff and Bonnie Nestor with son Nicholas.


     With Penobscot Bay as a backdrop and generous assortment of old and new friends, it was a most pleasant event.


     Thanks to all those unsung workers who made it all happen.