Day Seven: In the Presence of Greatness

21 Jun

Talk about a lazy morning. Amy was a go-getter, up and walking into town, while the kids and I lounged around the house. Lazed hard. Like if there were ribbons for lazy lounging, ours would be blue. And how freakin’ awesome is that?? Nothing quite like relaxing when the air coming through the open windows is salt-scented, less than 70% humidity, and temps hovering in the 70s. We originally planned to take a lobster boat tour, but for the second day in a row, the captain cancelled the trip due to unfavorable conditions (too rough and windy? Hmmm… Here’s hoping the trip scheduled for Thursday morning goes as planned!) Eventually, we roused to get ready and head out to an early afternoon movie. Because what’s one of our traditions on CMRT? See the new summer release Pixar film! This year, it’s “Finding Dory.” So, so cute. So very cute. And silly. And touching. It’s about finding our way home. And about the faith and patience of waiting for someone to come home. It’s about laying down a path to allow our loved ones to come home. And about figuring out what makes a family. It’s about otters having a cuddle party. And about me blubbering in my seat like a little baby. I have always loved Ellen DeGeneres, no more so then as Dory, but this time it was the octopus I fell in love with. Such great characters. This movie is utterly ridiculous and positively delightful. Two thumbs up!

After the movie we took a jaunt over to Cape Elizabeth and Fort Williams Park to view the Portland Head Light. It’s a beautiful white lighthouse, especially on a day with a clear blue sky. It also happens to be the oldest lighthouse in Maine. And the first lighthouse in the US completed after independence from Great Britain. Who ordered it built? None other than George Washington himself. It is said that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was inspired to write his poem – The Lighthouse – by his frequent walks from Portland to visit his friends, the keepers of the Portland Head lighthouse. The views are simply stunning. Truly breathtaking on such a beautiful summer day. But the wind was blowing just enough to emphasize how miserable a post it must be in the winter. No doubt still stunningly beautiful, but bitterly cold and blustery.

As we were walking up to the light we saw a large group of rather ridiculously fit people in workout/running attire. Amy asked them something along the lines of, “Is this a tour group for only super fit people?” One girl laughed, and explained that they were all employees of Nike, out from the corporate headquarters in Oregon. She then went on to say, “When Joan Benoit Samuelson says she wants to run to the lighthouse, you run to the lighthouse!” I recognized that name immediately. To be fair, I couldn’t remember the exact origins of her accolades (first woman to win the gold medal in Olympic women’s marathon at the 1984 games, never mind winning the Boston Marathon a few times before that!), nor did I know before googling her that she was born right there in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. But I recognized the name Joan Benoit Samuelson immediately, and I almost gasped out – “The famous marathoner!!” Well, sure enough, she walked up to the lighthouse with the rest of her uber-fit, uber-young Nike-employed companions. I’d have to say that she’s making 59 look good. Talk about some beautiful legs! (Seriously, milling about her were several 20-something runner boys in the tiniest little shorts I have ever seen, and I still found myself looking at *her* legs!) I managed to snap a surreptitious picture of her, surrounded by her entourage, as Avery walked by them. I confess that I wouldn’t have recognized her if she had walked right up and challenged me to a foot race, but I sure did recognize the name, and appreciate the fact that I was in the presence of running greatness. Seeing her definitely added a bit of quirky absurdity to the day.

On the opposite side of Fort Williams Park from the lighthouse are the ruins of a large, Italianate home – The Goddard Mansion. The original walls are all standing, but it is merely a shell of the former home, completed in 1859. It is a bizarre ruin – the walls fully intact, but everything else, the roof, the windows and doors, all interior simply nonexistent. Many photographs exist, showing the glory of the intact home over a century of time. It was once a private residence, but then was turned into married barracks and an officer’s club for those attached to Fort Williams. I had to research this beautiful shell more deeply, and apparently, the mansion was already in grave disrepair when the town of Cape Elizabeth purchased the fort in 1964, but it wasn’t until 1981 when they commissioned the fire department to implement a controlled burn of the interior to remove all dangerous debris. It is still hauntingly beautiful, even with the chain link fence around it. There is always something creepy about seeing vegetation growing inside the walls of a once stately mansion.

After making our way home from the lighthouse, we did some more lounging. Far too full of popcorn and movie snacks to consider a real dinner, we just picked. Amy set off in pursuit of a lobster roll (ultimately purchased from Mabel’s Lobster Claw – favorite KPT restaurant of former president George H.W. Bush). I took Remy down on the beach, and proceeded to throw the tennis ball into the ocean for him for approximately 45 minutes straight. Dog should be dog tired tonight! Goodness knows I am, and I haven’t done squat in terms of physical exertion today other than a leisurely Cliff Walk in Fort Williams Park, and the effort of feeling bad about myself in the presence of a legend of physical fitness. It was nice to have a day that was mostly about relaxation. I’m starting to think that Avery was on to something with that whole Lazy Momma appellation. That’s a low bar I can reach…

On the docket for tomorrow: Whale Watching!



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© 2010 Krista Lindsey Willim