Since returning home, I’ve yet to unpacked my suitcase because so many other things have taken priority. Have you ever noticed how meetings are cosmically piled into waves?
Tuesday I attended a regional marketing meeting that yielded no ideas, energy or follow through…but I did get a little bit of knitting accomplished.
Thursday was a big Sears Island meeting where we politely listened to a Department of Transportation infomercial about the imperatives of developing the largest remaining uninhabited island on the East coast into a cargo port. For those unfamiliar to our little corner of Penobscot Bay, Sears Island sits at the head of the Bay, just across from Searsport Shores…currently it boasts 940 acres of generally undisturbed fern glades, forests, wet lands and rugged shoreline…but what to do with the island has been a point of disagreement for the past half century.
According to the research DOT funded, the United States is in desperate need for another means of bringing cheap goods to the United States. If we can get Asian imports to Searsport, Canada and Chicago will be forever grateful…and everyone will get rich and prosper. Having just listened to a BBC report on the increasingly impoverished conditions manifesting in the Midwest caused by job losses, home foreclosures and increased fuel costs, I felt like I was living in an alternate universe. The port builders assured the audience that although Mainers aren’t particularly affluent at the moment, overall our American economy was raging at a healthy growth and soon our need for new ports of entry would be overwhelming…and if we didn’t act immediately by building a port in Searsport, Canada would draw all of the Asian wealth to its shores, leaving us sad and lonely.
Fast forward to Saturday…I attended the Juice! conference on the Creative Economy in Camden. The conference sessions were spread all over town and you could feel the energy pulsating everywhere…it was fantastic! The target audience consisted of entrepreneurs, artists, policy leaders, financiers and visionaries who wanted to pressure the local and state governments into recognizing that the age of “rust industries” had passed, rampant consumerism was being re-thought and now was the time to preserve the authenticity that we still enjoy in Maine. The general consensus was that we were well positioned to enter the next phase of prosperity and to underscore this perception, several other states (including Wisconsin, California and Rhode Island) had sent delegations to Camden to “see what we were up to”.
In keeping with the theme of preserving natural resources for future generations, Sunday Steven and I had the pleasure of attending a ceremony just up the street from us where Bruce Probert, a local citizen and not particularly rich man, donated 175 acres of woodlands to a local land-trust company. His donation gives all of us miles of beautiful trails to bike, hike, ski and explore…lucky us it’s just about a 5 minute walk from the campground. If you ever watch the TV show Men in Trees, the 50 or so folks who gathered from town for the ceremony looked like a scene from the show…without the make-up, high heels or sexual tension ;). For those who stay here at the campground, there are new opportunities to get away from the world…just across route 1.After the hike, I left Steven to plant the garlic and rake some more leaves onto the garden while I drove to Monroe. In my search for unique gifts for our extra-special, stay-all-summer guests ,I found a smoke house about 20 miles inland that offers hams, bacon, salamis and smoked cheeses. I had seen Libby (the lady in charge) at a couple of farmer’s markets but never taken the time to know her product…until yesterday. She took me on a full tour of their log cabin enterprise and sampled all of her goodies (except the bacon which I fried this morning). Yes folks, you can taste the difference between her products and others. So as not to spoil the Christmas surprise, I won’t tell you what I chose but I will promise the taste is worth every calorie I sacrificed!
But now I need to close…it’s amazing how we can work around here everyday and still not get all of the small things put away for the winter by Thanksgiving. Yesterday I found several pots hiding behind the shed and my missing watering can so I’m going to work in the sunshine for a couple of hours seeing what else we’ve left behind. This time of year, the sun goes behind the trees by 3 PM so there’s no forgiveness for procrastination. I really wish that it would snow so that I could throw my hands in the air and swear that I would have gotten more raking done if I had had the chance…the snow hides so many sins!
In celebration of the crispy cold weather, supper tonight will be thick Amish noodles cuddled into a ricotta, blue Hubbard squash sauce with brussel sprouts on the side (the good part of garden clean-up)…I can barely wait ’til dark!