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home : columnists : columnists December 17, 2014

8/29/2013 3:00:00 PM
View from the Valley

It seems rather quiet here without the fog horns, sea gull songs and the groan of the harbor bridge lifting up for the tall masted sailboats' passage. You can guess by now we were in Portland, Maine for over a week visiting our daughter, son in law and granddaughter, Beatrice. We were spending time renovating a 100 year old house. The master bedroom was the focus. What a job. Molly and John had to take the walls down to the exposed lathe. They discovered that some of the wood was cross slices of tree trunks, knots, bark and all. There is not a square corner in the entire home, so putting up dry wall was a challenge to be sure. There is no air conditioning in the house and so it was nice that the first few days of deconstruction were cool. The last days it was in the high 80s.The last part of the mudding has to be done by the kids. We ran out of time. I say we, but I was with Bea all the time going to the malls, coffee shops, ice cream stores and playing beauty shop, spa days, craft projects and more. Eight year olds today are so far ahead of the mark it boggles the mind. The use of the computer and the cell phones is way beyond my ability.

Portland seems to be the Mecca for Subarus and Volvos adorned with kayaks, canoes and bikes.The Green Way passes within a half block of our daughter's house so it is a popular way to access the grocery store, located on the ocean shore. Yes, I said on the ocean. In fact one is never far away from the sea salt and sand. Sailboats dot the inlet and water activity thrives all day long. I could stay to eat more whoopie pies and Moxie and Lobster. The Maine blueberries were great and the pies were to die for. Anyone want to go with me?

Did you ever play charades with an 8 year old? Well we soon found out that she wanted to act out all the cards while we wearied guessing the topic. Finally we were able to set things straight and we all participated. If you ever want to make a fool of yourself in your old age, play Charades. It is hilarious. We were jumping up and down, laying on the floor, grimacing every which way and contorting our bodies into unbelievable positions. You should try it the next time the family gets together.

Bea celebrated her birthday when we were there. Her mom makes everything from scratch and here is how it went. The invitation was to attend a Tea Party/Dance. A mirrored disco ball was purchased for the crowd. All the invitations were hand done and sent. We painted hexagonal beads to string 12 necklaces. The pool was readied for the party goers. Granola parfaits were made and cupcakes were baked. Goodie bags were filled and a room was picked up for the dancing. Bea had put all of her favorite songs on a CD for the party. In Maine, when your child is invited, the adult is also included so it makes for a huge crowd. I am so happy we celebrated with smaller parties and no adults. But this generation has no sense of time, or schedules. Being on time does not exist. The party was from 2 to 4 and so folks came and went at whim. It was mind boggling to me.

I am looking forward to eating a huge tomato for dinner tonight. That is one of the things I love about summer; home grown corn and big juicy tomatoes. I never get enough of BLTs. Oh well, I am back in Minnesota and I will adjust. Stay cool.


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