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Day Ten: These are a few of my favorite things

02 Jul

Ever have one of those days where several things you love just fall into place? Despite the fact, or perhaps because of the fact the weather has turned rainy up in Maine, today was one of those days. I woke around 7am and made my way downstairs, stopping long enough to peek into the kids’ room to see that the littlest one was still abed. The older two were watching tv and playing on the iPads. I ate a bowl of cereal, sat with them for a bit, and then realized that if I wanted to continue reading I could just as well crawl back into my bed, under the covers. It was already a dreary, rainy day, so it’s not like we were rushing to get out onto the beach. In fact, it was the kind of day that demands one crawl back into bed. After reading for a short bit I felt my eyelids getting heavy, so I laid down my book, closed my eyes, and fell asleep. I slept hard. For over an hour! What an amazing morning nap. The windows under the eaves were open so I could hear the wind and rain in the trees, the children were quiet because they were glued to the electronic crack that is the iPad, I was wrapped up cozy in a quilt against the encroaching chill. Oh my goodness. That hour of sleep was some of the best sleep I’ve had in the past 10 days. And I woke feeling refreshed. A perfect nap. Accomplished before 10am.

A little later in the morning I headed into the little Dock Square area of Kennebunkport to poke around in the shops. There were a few places I knew I wanted to go, specific things I wanted to acquire. Had to get my annual Christmas ornament from the Christmas shop. I go to the Whimsy Shop specifically for their oilcloth bags. And I go to the delightfully quirky Daytrip Society because I want every single thing they carry in the store. Every. Single. Thing. (If only I could afford it!) But despite a valiant quest, I still haven’t been able to find a local store that carries Tervis! I really want one that says, “ME”, you know, the state abbreviation for Maine, but also a clever possessive to have on your cup. Yeah, that would be a good find. But also acceptable would be the initials for Kennebunkport (KPT), or perhaps one with the outline of the state of Maine, or really, anything at all that was Maine related other than just a lobster. And before you suggest it, yes, I already have an LL Bean Tervis. Do you think I’m an amateur?

Managing to exit the shops before bankrupting myself further, I headed out to my favorite galleries in town. The original Northlight Gallery, and it’s sister gallery, True North. I fell in love with Northlight Gallery many years ago. They carry an artist named Jack Standish, whose work I love so much, I swear that if I win the lottery my first stop will be in Kennebunkport to purchase art for the homes I haven’t yet bought. His lines are full of inhuman control, and his scenes are flooded with light, they have the sense of being occupied, yet no figures are in the scene. As if someone has just vacated the room, or is just about to enter it. I’ve been coveting Jack Standish paintings for years now, and am always excited to see a new one. Northlight, may be the original, and it’s always fun talking to the owner, Harry, who is also a talented painter and actually hails from the Gainesville, FL, area, but the new gallery, True North, and owner Jill, is becoming my new favorite. With a new location right on Dock Square it is cozy and well-laid out, like stepping into someone’s home, someone with amazing taste in art. They also carry some Jack Standish, and I like Harry’s work, too, but I’m digging Jill’s new work. I was especially coveting the painting of the whale weathervane. I really have to remember to play the lottery…

After giving up my prime parking space in Dock Square it was time to head on to my favorite bookstore, but I needed a little sustenance first. Last year someone told me that Market Day made great gourmet sandwiches, and let me tell you, that is the truth. I could lie and say that I had difficulty deciding because of their great selection, but the truth is, I knew immediately upon looking at their hot panini offerings what I wanted. The had me at bacon. They set the hook with Brie. And I was happy to let tomato, sprouts, and citrus vinaigrette come along for the ride. Oh my warm, melty goodness. It may have been a little embarrassing how much I enjoyed that B.B.T.S. sandwich.Was it a little more expensive than my typical sandwich? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Now fed and happy it was time to head just up the street to one of my ultimate happy places, the cleverly named Kennebooks (in Kennebunk!) It is a really great independent bookstore. They have a fantastic selection, lots of tags giving suggestions/reviews, a wonderfully stocked and laid out kids’ section. I was disappointed that they no longer have a weekly kids’ story hour, but that didn’t stop us from spending over an hour inside, with everyone walking away happy with new books.

At this point the boys went off in one direction while the girls and I paid a visit to dear Mainer friends, The Nelsons. We first met Mandy and her girls, Maggie & Birdy, on the beach at Turbat’s Creek four years ago. They were just wrapping up a visit from Massachusetts to Kennebunkport, where Mandy grew up, and for two days the kids frolicked together while Mandy and I sat on the beach getting to know one another. Mandy is crazy. And I say that with love, the same way I self-proclaim the adjective. She is hysterically funny, and so much fun to be around. Her girls are sweet, and kind, and playful, also happening to fold in perfectly with mine age-wise. Mandy & I kept track of each other via Facebook, and when the second annual CMRT rolled around, we were hoping to have a reunion in KPT, but alas, the school schedule wouldn’t allow it. The third year, we got to see them for one blessed day as our visit coincided with a wedding they were attending in KPT. Here we are at the fourth annual CMRT, and what do you know? The Nelsons, including hysterically dry-witted patriarch Dan, are now residents of Kennebunk! So we rolled over to their house, which is still in the middle of a surprise renovation (the kind where you have to strip down to the bones because of unforeseen mold and other problems!) and made them take a break from working to play with us. Okay, so Dan kept working the entire time – did I mention they are doing the majority of the renovation themselves?! Wowza. But Mandy took some time off from scrubbing/painting/drywalling/plumbing/electrical repair to walk me through the house (which is going to be amazing when finished!) and then sit and chat. We had much to catch up on, battle scars of parenting to share, gossip to giggle over. Mandy is a force of beautiful, hysterical positivity, and being around her always buoys me up. And the girls disappeared to play in the play room, and to run around outside. Popping in often enough to be noticed, but not so often as to be disruptive. It was a lovely afternoon, and we stayed later than intended. But it was great to catch up with an old friend face-to-face. Hyperactive, loquacious, nerdy girls like Mandy being my people like they are.

Once home it was time to get the little ones tucked off to bed. I read them one of our new acquisitions from Kennebooks, The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen. We LOVE this author. He wrote the Mr. Magee (and his little dog, Dee) books – Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee, A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee, Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee – and also our favorite If I Built A Car, among others. He lives in Maine and every year when we go to Kennebooks we get at least one of his books (though last year we got two – Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit, and King Hugo’s Huge Ego). His rhyming prose is clever, but it’s really his illustrations that are so entertaining. Anyway, I read The Circus Ship, and tucked everybody into bed before heading out for some more of my favorite things. This time it was beer, cheeseburger, and trivia.

As I ate my divine sandwich I was flipping through a local newspaper and happened to notice that there was team trivia at Federal Jack’s on Tuesday nights. There is no I in Team, unless you’re going alone and are a team of one, I suppose. And that’s what I was prepared to do. Go it alone. But delightful surprise, my new friend, Stephanie (remember my friend of a friend?) was available to go, too! Thus, team Difficult Situation was born. (Anyone catch the stilted DMB reference? Our situations are anything but typical.) We weren’t expecting to take the purse, but I think we had a respectable showing. And more importantly, we had fun. Not to mention a lovely locally brewed Taint Town Pale Ale. And I almost choked when Stephanie ordered a Captain and Diet. That was Barb’s drink. My former trivia partner who died tragically last November. I have never met another person who drank that. And I found myself getting a little misty when Stephanie said to the waitress, “Cap’n and Diet.” But it made me smile. It’s nice to remember friends gone too soon, and it seemed like a lovely sign to cherish a new friend. It’s always a wonderful thing to meet someone who understands you. We talked long into the night, long after trivia was over, laughing over our similarities and funny situations we’ve found ourselves in lately. It was, overall, a very good night, and no trivial thing at all.

 

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© 2010 Krista Lindsey Willim