How many businesses start every new year with a party? Clean up weekend is the nicest possible way to shift seasons from the quiet, get the computer work done mind set to the greet the guests and vicariously enjoy their vacation time. When folks started pulling in on Friday, I could feel my blood starting to ripple…the summer holidays are here!
We started Saturday morning at 8:00 with a roaring fire in the fireplace and fresh fried doughnuts rolled in granulated sugar…you know, the kind your grandmother used to make…the recipe was from the Farm Journal’s Cookbook and plenty of fresh coffee. The Bay was sparkling from the moment the sun came up and with all of the helping hands milling around the rec hall, our “to-do” list didn’t seem as daunting as it did on Wednesday when we were all alone making plans. At 8:15 when the boys from the Belfast Football team started pulling up in their pick up trucks, well frankly the list seemed too short!
A clean up list would be boring if the only thing on the paper was rake, rake, rake…and we strive never to be boring. We needed windows washed, fish ponds cleaned, bonfires created and park benches scattered in all the pretty places where folks need to be encouraged to linger. Of course, Spring in Maine means painting and we’re never short on those projects. With Jill’s help, Linda gave Goofy new clothes and once again he greets all who enter the playground…he delights the children and frightens the little skittish dogs.
This weekend was the perfect mix of old friends and new. Quite honestly, I don’t know how I’d do if some of our regulars like Becky, Lorie and Chris didn’t come and help keep my world organized. Other people are so relaxed and warm that I feel as though I’ve known them for ages. Kate on the left of this photo is certainly someone I hope will find her way back time and time again. She’s a jewelry designer from Madison. She brought her husband Bob along for a weekend and promises to show me some of her lampwork bead jewelry next time she stays. On the right of the same photo is Mrs. Freeman…she really knows how to pull at my heartstrings. Innocently she says, “we were at the recycling center up in Lincoln the other day and I saw bags of wool just sitting there but I didn’t know if you’d want them”…Ladies and gentlemen, if ever bags of wool or bags of yarn need a home…don’t just leave them sitting there, bring them to Searsport…and beads too!
This photo to the right is Becky…a dear friend who, among other things made our fish pond sparkle…I’m hating the thought of filling it with rocks and gold fish because they’ll all hide how clean the sides are. She chose the pond because for years her son kept it clean but last Tuesday he headed out on the State of Maine for a training mission with the Maine Maritime Academy. In another life, I’m going to be a merchant marine…the foreign ports of call sound absolutely intriguing…but back to Maine…
With such a short season, we always need to be planning ahead. We used some of the help from Clean up weekend to prepare for this coming weekend. On Friday we’ve hired a 12″ chipper to chew the big white pines who have reached the end of their lifespan and the little stuff that will never grow to maturity. I digress but for those of you who don’t get giddy at the thought of a chipping weekend, you don’t know what you’re missing! 12″ chippers are huge and they eat entire trees in the blink of an eye. It takes alot of man (and woman) power to keep them fed. The footballers volunteered to come over and help us pile brush in anticipation. Between the team, Coach Arthers, Larry from Epsom NH and Steven, they dropped and piled 27 trees in just a couple of hours…amazing work. The solid trunks are used to delineate sites and the soon to be chipped brush will dress up the gardens and make the walking trails more beautiful. It was lunch time before any of us realized it.
In case you haven’t read the latest studies, working outside builds an appetite. But better still, studies are soon going to prove that if you eat your food outside you don’t have to worry about counting calories. Honest, if there’s not a ceiling over your head, the calories tend to evaporate…taking a few from the hips along for the ride…it’s tried and true.
The afternoon would have made a perfect video for a “Vacation in Maine” cable spot…In case you were wondering, it can be beautiful in the early Spring. More people should try camping while the leaves are still a very fresh shade of green. But back to lunch, the best part was the fresh cut frenchfries cooked while you waited…25 pounds of Arroostock county spuds consumed with salt, ketchup and vinegar…we do know how to eat!
This blog post is starting to look a little cumbersome so I’m going to jump out quickly. In a nutshell we got almost everything on the list completed. The children all were happy and well behaved and we celebrated our accomplishments with a terrific bean supper on Saturday night. The menu included 7 different kinds of bean dishes, roasted ham, broccoli and rice casserole, and wonderful desserts (custard, chocolate and banana cream pie, chocolate frosted brownies and so much more). We took more pictures of the weekend and I’ll load the rest onto the flicker photobook at the left side of this blog.
Thank you to all who came and our condolences to those who weren’t lucky enough to make it…there’s always next year 😉 Hold on to your hat, tomorrow we open for camping season 2007! Family owned and operated since 1965.