Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sparkling Friends from The Edge of the Prairie

It is a perfect summer day in Maine. Perfect.

The mercury hovers in the mid-70s tinging my unsunscreened skin with a blush of rose. The midday sun shines lemon yellow in a cloudless cerulean sky. Maybe there are a few fluffy white cumulus clouds out there. On the horizon. It's hard to tell. The ocean sparkles incandescent. Zillions of shimmering mirrors capturing the dancing sunlight. Dazzling sequins on the sea goddess's midnight blue gown flowing chiffon graceful as the waves ebb and flow onto the wide sandy beach nearby.

But this is not the best part. Not by a long shot. My dearest friends from the landlocked edge of the prairie arrived yesterday afternoon. For the holiday weekend. Birthday celebrations. Lobster rolls. Lobster bisque. Lobster dinner al fresco.

Today is the crème de la crème ... drum roll ... a quintessential sailing trip down the river, past fishermen gathered on the granite sea walls bordering the channel and out into the wide open seas. Postcard views of large grey weathered shingled cottages, wooden white inns from the turn of the last century with huge lawns sweeping to the shore. The pristine expanse of beach (yes, here in Maine!) dotted with gaily colored umbrellas and hundreds of bathers spread out along the shore. Glorious.

Ah, the Schooner Eleanor, a double masted wooden ship built and captained by the grandson of one of Kennebunk's finest ship builders from the early 1900s. My Charlie was fortunate enough to crew on the schooner a few summers ago. Three, two hour cruises a day. Gilligan in a blue/white striped French sailor sweater, barefoot and sea worthy.

Out into the Atlantic. Up and down the coast. Past Walker's Point and 10,000 lobster buoys marking traps. Local fishermen. Local fare. Supper! A soft ocean breeze lulls us. Salt spray mists our tanning skin. A whale and a few seals pop out of the deep waters to sun themselves. Gulls. Terns. Flying fish.

It doesn't get much better than this!

Happiest of birthdays, Golden Bull! Salut to the red white and blue.

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