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Pawtuckaway Magic

Last weekend I had my 20th high school reunion.   Reunion events shared the weekend with The Bobcat Bolt a 5K and 10K race in Durham, NH and the Oyster River Festival.  It was truly special to see my high school friends again.  What amazing people.

As the weekend approached Hans and I thought about getting a hotel room but ended up deciding to camp at Pawtuckaway State Park.  I love this area.  My family started camping at the state park when I was very young but my parents soon bought land where we camped all summer long.  Eventually my parents built a house on the property and I had this state park/lake in my backyard.  It would not be a stretch to say I grew up on this lake and visiting it feels like coming home.

My mother watched the kids for us on Saturday night.  We went on a really lovely sunset cruise out of Portsmouth, NH as part of the Oyster River Festival events.   Although there were many friends who I didn’t get to connect with, there were plenty of great friends to talk to.

I woke at 11:00 am on Mother’s day to the view in the first photo in this blog entry.  Hans and I drank the hot coffee he had picked up for us.  We watched a loon working really hard to swallow an eel that may have been too big.  I was worried the loon might die for that eel was putting up a major battle for survival.  The loon, one of my favorite birds, survived.

The kids arrived soon afterwards with my mom for a picnic and to hang out at the lake.  Within five minutes of unbuckling their seat belts, the kids stripped down and got in the water.  They “fished,” threw rocks, and made up more than one game.  They did this for about 90 min without much adult interaction.

One of my favorite moments happened after we watched a heron fly in and land to our right.  My son decided he’d try to get as close as he could to it, which meant a very brave journey along the murky treelined shore.  I know how murky that lake bottom floor is (where beaches do not exist) and I hid my cringes as my fearless son waded through it towards this majestic bird.  Of course the bird flew away, but not before my son got within 20 feet of it.

Watching my children play and mess about with the natural world made me feel like we’re doing a really good job as parents.  A nice thing to feel on Mother’s Day.  A perfect Mother’s Day.  Thank you Hans.

(The heron was in that sunny area in the upper right corner of the photo.)

Everyday Outings

Some of my recent everyday outings:

*  After watching two episodes of LOST with Hans I realized, at 11:26 pm that I had not gone outside.  After cursing and getting really mad at myself I went outdoors and walked for 30 min.  The only reason I didn’t bail is because just the day before I had  absentmindedly neglected my outdoor time and instead of getting outside after the kids were in bed, I watched LOST.

*  Went for a run around Back Cove and instead of dodging the many very large and potentially deep puddles, I ran right through them.

*  Went for a run in the Evergreen Woods and did dodge many thick muddy puddles.  I so appreciate the thick wooden boards that helped me cross many soggy wet spots but it’s been really wet lately and there were a few spots that didn’t have boards.  Took a few moments to stand still and soak into my surroundings: to look up through the branches, to touch the young leaves of a white pine, and to listen to the quiet.

*  Endless weeding and a little bit of planting.  I’ve planted four dahlias and many delphinium bulbs.  I’m excited to watch these flowering giants grow.  I’m also wondering how many weeds a day I have to pull up to keep up with my yard…

*  Walking to pick up donations for my son’s school’s auction instead of driving.

*  A late night walk on the streets near my home after attending the Portland Trails Auction.

Overall there’s been a lot of sitting on my front porch steps, talking to friends outside while children play, and many late night walks.   I’m feeling really ready for warmer weather.  It’s been chilly and damp day after day.

A few photos you might enjoy that capture what I love about Maine.