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Posts Tagged ‘Maine’

“Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars… and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers – for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.” – Osho

Looking out on Frenchmen's Bay from Acadia National Park. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Acadia

My 2006 visit to Acadia National Park in Maine brought back memories of my daughter’s Navy service. Not strange, since the destroyer tender she served on was named after the park.

I had been curious about this park ever since I had sailed aboard the USS Acadia. The occasion was a 1990 Tiger Cruise from Seattle to San Diego, a public relations opportunity to show parents and other loved ones how safely their sailors lived, in my case my youngest daughter.

How can one not feel at peace in such a setting. -- Photo by Pat Bean

These memories, triggered as I drove into the park, also refreshed my unanswered question of why war ships are named after national parks, as in USS Acadia, USS Yellowstone, USS Grand Canyon, USS Yosemite … It seemed like an oxymoron. Parks are places of peace and war are places of

hell.

My daughter, who was one of 400 women among the Acadia’s 1,200-person crew, was a welder whose job entailed repairing battle ships that females were not allowed to serve on. That gave me some bit of comfort until she wrote to me about being aboard one of the battleships when it went on full alert. She had been taken aboard the battleship via helicopter to do a bit of welding

Maine's sea coast -- Photo by Pat Bean

By the time I reached the park’s Hulls Cove Visitor Center, the lushness of the roadside trees, which were just barely beginning to change into their autumn colors, glimpses of turquoise Frenchmen’s Bay, and the cheerfulness of pastel purple asters I passed, had put me in a more cheerful frame of mind.

Mother Nature has always had a calming effect on me.

Bean’s Pat: Fun and Fabulousness http://tinyurl.com/87jc6bb Spend a day in Paris while sitting in an easy chair.

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More About Maine

“I felt like I’d been misplaced in the cosmos and belonged in Maine … I had to live this long, have the experiences I’ve had, to create what I do. I knew I wanted to write for years, but I had to be ready so I wouldn’t blow it. The move to Maine was the final step. ” — Terry Goodkind

Travels With Maggie

Acadia National Park -- Photo by Pat Bean

Yesterday’s blog of a simply photograph, quote and my Bean’s Pat was a throw away, the kind of blog I write when I need a break from writing.

The comments it brought, however, got me thinking more about Maine and the nine days I spent there. The trip was part of a six-month, 23-states-and-Canada, 7,000-mile journey I made in 2006. It was my first time in New England.

I dawdled along the way, so that far too many of Maine’s birds that I wanted to see had already migrated by the time I reached Bar Harbor, Maine. I saw only eight new life birds of the twenty or so I had expected to find. And a storm blew up the day I was supposed to go whale watching.

Other than those annoyances, everything else about my Maine stay was perfect.

Bar Harbor streetscape. While I missed the birds, I caught the town's off season serenity. -- Photo by Pat Bean

One of the nicest things about my stay just outside of Bar Harbor was the free shuttle bus that stopped at my campground every half hour or so, and which took me all over Mount Desert Island, including Acadia National Park while my canine traveling compainion, Maggie, stayed behind in the RV.

The park is full of natural wonders to explore. One of these was Cadillac Mountain, the highest summit on the East Coast north of Rio de Janeiro, and the first spot in the mainland states to be hit by the morning sun in the fall and winter.

I was on its summit one dawn to catch that first ray of rosy light. I laughed, but to myself, when one guy standing nearby spotted a herring gull and got all excited because he thought he had seen a bald eagle. No reason I thought to extinguish his excitement. Later in the day I did see a bald eagle soaring over the park. I hope that guy also saw it.

As replacement for the canceled whale tour, I took a trolley tour of the island. Our guide was full of facts and trivia, such as President William Howard Taft’s 27 strokes on the Kebo Valley Golf Club’s 17th hole back in 1910, and the fact that scenes for the Dark Shadows TV soap opera had occasionally been filmed on Mount Desert.

Hopefully the next time I’m in Maine – a revisit is definitely on my to-do list – I’ll arrive before the birds have migrated south.

Bean’s Pat: All Write: Spring and the Cigarettus Smokerus http://tinyurl.com/7ox9d76 As an avid bird watcher, I laughed my head off at this. But, warning, if you don’t have a sense of humor some among you may find this offensive and sexist.

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 “Lie in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Park at the Pier, looking out on Frenchmen's Bay -- Photo by Pat Bean

Bean’s Pat: Zottel is Back http://photobotos.com/2012/02/23/zottel-is-back I couldn’t resist this goat. Remember Doris Day in”Don’t Eat the Daisies.”

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 “Write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you are writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.” – Agatha Christie

 

The view out my RV window at Wassamki Springs in Maine. I wanna go back. -- Photo by Pat Bean

NaNoWriMo Update … 40,035 words

First Maggie got the doggie runs. She needed to go out every hour on the hour for the entire night. The consequences of not crawling down from my bed over the cab of my small RV was enough to make sure I kept getting up hour after hour.

So I awoke with very little sleep, and so my writing suffered. My best writing occurs when I am in bed by 10 p.m. and get up and get in front of my computer by 5 or 6 a.m.

Second it was Thanksgiving, and there was family around that needed my attention, or I needed theirs, or whatever. And calls from family far away, and too much eating going on, followed by several games of Settlers, none of which I won.

And so my writing suffered.

Today, with the end of NaNo only five days away, it was back to the keyboard. My decision to demand everyone leave me alone, however, has probably earned me a few black marks in my ledger. It’s the big Christmas decorating-day here at my son’s house in Harker Heights.

My daughter-in-law looked shocked when I refused the call to arms.

The upside, however, is that today I got past the 40,000 word mark. if I write 2,000 words a day for the next five days, I will meet the 50,000-word goal.

What I have going for me is that I think I’ve figured things out in my head on how my story is going to end. And that in my 37 years as a journalist I never missed a deadline.

I’m also thinking that my conclusion might not take the book all the way to 50,000 words, but I’m hoping that’s the case. I have lots of extra scenes in mind to flesh out what is already written. The trick will be to add these scenes without deleting all the unnecessary and redundant words that go into all my first drafts.

It takes much longer to write short than it does long.

So now if you’ll excuse me, I still have writing I can do today. I don’t want to push that deadline beyond my capability.


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I just spent one morning in Maine's Scarborough Marsh, but it was long enough for me to fall in love with its landscape. -- Photo by Pat Bean

My Favorite Places

It was fall when I discovered the Maine marsh -- Photo by Pat Bean

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

NaNoWriMo Update – 6,268 words

I’m trying not to go back and edit as I go, but old habits are hard to overcome. The red-line that my writing program puts under misspelled words mostly takes care of spelling mishaps and typos, but what I’m finding I’m doing most is skipping words. I see them in my head as I want to write them and the fingers often assume they are already on the page. I’ve always done this, but usually catch the mistake before I move on. You don’t get 1,500-2,500 words written quickly enough this way, however.

My writing is also all over the place with verb tenses. I switch them way too often, and making them all agree is another thing I do while editing as I go. Writing so fast is really getting on my nerves, I must say.

Today was the day the dead body appeared in my story, and a new character suddenly introduced himself. I now think I need a character chart to keep all the names and descriptions of them straight. I found I had to go back to discover the name of the husband of one of the characters. I sometimes have problems keeping names straight when I’m reading the books of other authors. I didn’t know I would suffer the same thing with my own book.

Like yesterday, it took me five hours, with a couple of short breaks, to write 2,500 words.

 

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“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” George Eliot

Travels With Maggie

 

Fall high up in the Combres Pass in Southern Colorado. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Maggie and I are just outside Reno today, where I’m catching up on laundry and house-cleaning chores before I get back on the road tomorrow. Maggie’s spent the morning smoozing with our next door neighbors here at the RV Park.

It’s still summer here, with huge sunflowers lining the roads and wild grasses tall and browning from the long hot summer. But, just as mother used to say it was 6 o’clock somewhere when she wanted an early afternoon beer, it is fall somewhere.

Two landscapes that pop immediately out of my memory banks when I think of autumn are the one I saw last year in Colorado and the 2006 autumn that caught me in Maine. I still thrill remembering the orange, lemon and strawberry colored cocktails that the landscape served up.

Fall is truly my favorite season. And in that I find myself not alone.

Ode to Autumn

Maggie and I spent five days beneath this tree at the Paul Bunyon Campground in Bangor, Maine, in the early fall of 2006. Each day the leaves turned more scarlet. -- Photo by Pat Bean

 

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,

For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
–John Keats

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Perhaps a quiet walk beneath a blue sky filled with fast-moving clouds, such as here in Utah's Canyonland National Park, will invigorate the will of politicians to do what is right for the American people. -- Photo by Pat Bean

“America is a tune. It must be sung together.” — Gerald Stanley Lee

Just for Today

Talk these past few days about the government shutting down has been disturbing to me, and I’m sure to many other Americans. But I didn’t feel any relief this morning when I read that the shutdown had been averted.

Instead I felt angry with all the games too many of our politicians have been playing to booster their own parties, their own images, their personal agendas and their personal vendettas. I watch as we, the American people, try to elect leaders who will go against the current political grain, only to see the newly elected join it.

I don’t have all the answers on how we can change this ever-worsening situation, but I do have a few suggestions:

One-term limit of four to six years for all politicians so they can spend their days working for the people instead of working for re-election.

Salary and benefit packages of elected officials that are in line with those of the average wage earner of their constituents so they will be more in touch with those they were elected to serve.

Everyone, not just politicians, could benefit from taking time to smell the flowers, such as these in Maine's Scarborough Marsh. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Politicians who are more concerned with what is right then in staying loyal to their parties.

And, most importantly, a mandatory day once a month for politicians to walk a scenic landscape with Mother Nature to restore their souls.

These suggestions, in case you’re interested, come from an old broad who is proud to be a tree-hugger who yearns for world peace.

Perhaps, dear blog readers, you have other suggestions for changing the status quo in our nation’s capital. If you do, hopefully you’ll share. Change has to have a beginning.

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The view of Lake Saint George in Maine from my RV window. -- Photo by Pat Bean

“A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” Henry David Thoreau

Travels With Maggie

Some days when I’m on the road, I have reservations for where I will spend the night. Other days, I give fate a chance and wing it. And then some days I have reservations and cancel them because a place calls to me before I reach my destination.

It was this third kind of day a few years back when I was on my way to Acadia National Park. My route took me through a multitude of shimmering lakes and shady green ponds, all shouting an invitation to visit in my direction.

By the time I hit Lake Saint George State Park I could stand it no more. My foot lifted off the gas pedal and my RV, Gypsy Lee, made the turn into the park. Although I hadn’t traveled far and it was still quite early in the afternoon, I didn’t object. Nor did Maggie, who was letting me know she was ready for a walk immediately.

Lake Claiborne in Alabama, where I also sat a while and simply stared at the water. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The small park only had 38 camping sites and, no hookups, but the fee for the night was only $10 and it was cool enough that I didn’t need to use the air conditioner. My vehicle’s self-contained functions – water storage, battery for lights, and propane for cooking and refrigeration – met all other needs.

Our designated site was right beside the lake, and as soon as I turned off Gypsy Lee’s ignition, the sound of water gently lapping against the shore began calming my soul.

After a short hike around the area with Maggie, I got out my lawn chair, lit a small camp fire and simply stared at the lake a bit before retrieving a book, “Death in Holy Orders” by P.D. James, which I read off and on until sunset.

The dark brought magical fireflies with it. I saw these tiny, blinking specks of living lights often when I was a kid, but rarely as an adult. Perhaps it was simply because I hadn’t taken the time to look, I thought.

Sometime after the sky was pin-pricked with stars, and a grinning moon cast silvery shadows on the trees, I turned in for the night. I was asleep almost the minute my head touched the pillow.

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