I am a grandmother paddling alone over 2,500 miles from Maine to Guatemala. Along the way I will be:
- telling the story of the children who live in the Guatemala City garbage dump community
- honoring their entrepreneurial mothers
- talking about the success of the Safe Passage model school and
- raising funds for additional grades for the school.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Back Home in Maine

Back home in Belfast, where boating and art are the most visible industries.
I've been home for a week now, and am getting back to catching up on the blogging.  The next blog will be on the sailing expedition, and then one on the wonderful celebration in Guatemala.
I flew into Maine late at night, and arrived home to the brisk air, heavenly scented with the pines and spruces from the woods that surround the fields around our house.   I could hear the water in the stream rushing over the little rapids.   It was a clear night, and it was so good to come back home where the stars are so brilliant because there are no lights visible from houses or towns or farms.  So idyllic.  Why would I ever leave?

I was looking forward to being home and no longer being the center of attention.  I had forgotten that the folks back home would also be excited to see me again, and want to hear all about the adventure.

Deb at Unity Pond
The first day Chris and I went for a walk along the shore of Unity Pond.  Folks in Maine are very modest, as you can tell by calling this five mile long lake a "pond".   This is where I did the first "sea trails" of the expedition kayak, but no kayaking now.  The ice fishing houses were no longer on the lake, but there was still too much ice for kayaking.  Even if I could kayak.  Getting tired of having this neck injury.  

"Ice Out" was Tuesday, one of the first signs of spring!  It was great seeing another sign -  hearing the calls of loons swimming in their dramatic summer plumage.

After months  of warm weather in South Caroline, Georgia, Florida and Guatemala, it's nice being back in wool territory: wearing wool long johns, wool sweater, wool knee socks, wool...

On Sunday I drove to town (Belfast).  Felt strange since I had driven only twice over the past ten months.  Also odd, since I can't turn my head as much as I used to, so had to use full torso rotation to see the traffic.  And what was that traffic?  Thirty miles to Belfast.  Here's the total traffic:
1) Truck and horse trailer parked on the side of our road (folks like to ride the miles of unpaved trails through the woods around our house).
2) Amish horse and buggy pulled off to talk with an "English" farm women.
3) Amish boy on a bike.
4) Truck pulling a trailer with a sailboat on it.  Must be getting ready to get back in the water.
5) After 25 minutes, as I neared town, the traffic increased: a car, a truck and six more cars.
That's what Maine traffic is like where I live.  Gotta love it!  The down side is that driving on the back roads is tough if you haven't been here all winter to learn where all the frost heaves and pot holes are.  Drove back taking the much longer route along better paved roads to reduce the stress on my neck.

In Belfast I forgot I was back in Maine and locked my car.  A passerby saw me and offered such a typical Maine comment.  "Been away?"  Down in Guatemala, Rich Howe had joked about how folks in Maine can say anything needing to be said in two words or less.  "Yeaup".

Attended a meeting about "Tiny Houses" to discuss designs and zoning considerations.  After living from a kayak for so many months, I have a strong urge to downsize.  It is so easy to decide what to wear when you only have one outfit appropriate for each occasion.  Having everything you need in your kayak is very freeing.  It was interesting that several others in the group were similarly motivated by their sailing and boating experiences.

Dingy and kayak beach in Belfast.
I checked out the kayak beach, and was pleased to see two kayaks and a jacket already on to town rack.  Can't wait to get my kayak down here to join them!

On the way back to Troy I was listening to one of the community radio stations.  It was a reggae music program.  The DJ was talking about a local musician who had planted his peas that day. "
"Really too early, since you need to wait until the first full moon in May to plat peas", the DJ said. The musician also said that every bite of arugula you eat adds 1.5 minutes to your life.  Good to know.

Flowers, our wood cook stove and kitchen stone wall
I was surprised when the Unity florist called to say she had flowers for me.  First time getting flowers here in Maine.  They were from the Safe Passage Board of Directors thanking me for making the Kayak for Safe Passage Kids Expedition.  

Back in physical therapy, and they hope to have me back in service by July.  Just in time for the arrival of the tourists.  I have to have patience, knowing that once "mud season" and "black-fly season" are over I should be ready to get back in kayaking shape.

I'm still digesting the amazing welcome I received in Guatemala from the children, the mothers, friends and board members.  I'm still too overwhelmed to describe it, but will share it with you soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment