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Down the Road

Restore The Republic - The Home of the Freedom Movement!
Down the Road
Flying years
The things that stick to my mind the most are what I did with my family. I remember a number of hikes with the kids. They may have been highlights. I remember the youngest, Scottie, riding the shoulder seat-pack and yanking at trees as we climbed Saddleback. I remember us all atop Baldpate. I remember looking at slides and asking the kids which mountain this was, and their reply, "Baldpate, of course." We had climbed that one several times.
Jul 27, 2014 - 4:17:07 AM

Down the Road
Growing old
I also feel old when people hold doors open for me at stores and restaurants. I explain to them that this is why I carry the walking stick. Not that I need it, but it gets people to open doors for me. They understand and chuckle, but I see in their eyes they're glad they're not getting old. What a surprise they have coming!
Jul 20, 2014 - 3:27:04 AM

Down the Road
Those cute wily fox
My friend had the rabies shots. I had none, because my hot long jeans kept his mouth away from my tender white leg. But I missed my chance in gym class the next day, when we were all outside playing baseball. The other kids had heard about Brer's attempting to bite me and wanted to know if I had rabies. I missed the chance to slobber at them.
Jul 13, 2014 - 2:27:17 AM

Down the Road
Nonindependence Night
Why the fireworks? Is it because the U.S. declared independence from Great Britain with a lot of shooting? Perhaps. But in reality the shooting was only the means to an end. The end was the independence from English taxes and English control. I believe it was the Declaration of Independence that we should be celebrating -- done on paper by a group of men around a table or in uncomfortable chairs in Philadelphia. I have never read of any fireworks in that room.
Jul 6, 2014 - 2:23:09 AM

Down the Road
Camping in the old Swanville camp
One of my bus passengers, whose name is not Lucy except for in this column, lives in Bar Harbor and has a camp in Swanville. Lucy built her camp on borrowed property about 20 years ago, and though living in Bar Harbor, finds her way several times a year to her camp. Where she stays and relaxes, although the camp has no electricity, running water, or septic system.
Jun 29, 2014 - 1:55:10 AM

Down the Road
Saving the turtle
The jeweler also told me he picks up snappers -- brave guy -- by touching their noses with something besides his finger, and when they pull their nose in they are somehow paralyzed. He then just picks them up and moves them.
Jun 22, 2014 - 10:25:29 PM

Down the Road
Bent over with stress but still standing

Jun 18, 2014 - 12:02:48 AM

Down the Road
Wolves in Maine?
According to a Bangor Daily News article, a "photograph of a wolflike animal purportedly was taken in the Gorham area in October. However, a state wildlife biologist, while agreeing the animal resembles a wolf, is "very skeptical" the scene was photographed in that part of Maine during the fall, suggesting - because of the vegetation and plant matter - that the locale looks more like Oregon."
Jun 15, 2014 - 6:20:37 AM

Down the Road
Obtaining raw milk
One of those dairies I think is buying their milk is Stonyfield Farms, a New Hampshire company that specializes in organic milk. I think their buying milk from these turned-loose-upon-the-dairy-industry Moo Milk farmers fits right in, because we used to buy Stonyfield Farms milk before Moo Milk came along and we gave it a try.
Jun 8, 2014 - 12:30:02 AM

Down the Road
Pretty good bear tale
A bus driver told me that while he was driving said bus down the Acadia National Park Loop Road south of the Jordan Pond restaurant in the middle of the park, he spotted a black bear crossing the road ahead and going into the woods. A passenger wanted to get a picture of the bear, so he stopped the bus. She got off and followed the bear into the woods. The bear, however, didn't like being followed, so he turned and followed the tourist back to the bus -- at a run.
Jun 1, 2014 - 12:35:55 AM

Down the Road
Canoeing and tipping over
My oldest son, then in his early teens, wanted to canoe on Daicey Pond in Baxter during a birthday getaway for him. He was in the canoe, and I was on the dock, when I asked him if he wanted any instructions. "No!" he informed dear old Dad. Dear old Dad then pushed the canoe away from the dock, and dear old Dad stood and chuckled
May 25, 2014 - 12:25:31 AM

Down the Road
Pay what you can, deah
These electronic machines respond to your phone call, when the person you're trying to reach isn't there. In the case of employees, they usually aren't there. But a short time later Dolores received a call from the hospital. She actually talked to a live person -- which tempted her to drop the phone and jump up and down for glee. The caller told her they didn't have a plan. "Pay what you can, deah, " was the payment plan the caller suggested. Sounds like a good plan. We will.
May 18, 2014 - 1:25:14 AM

Down the Road
The owls didn't call his name
Those owls have dined on two or three of our past cats, when the cats got out at night and wouldn't come when we called them. And when, as cats do so well, they walked away from us keeping just far enough away that we couldn't catch them.
May 11, 2014 - 12:35:07 AM

Down the Road
Getting there more scenic than being there
For "my" section, some ten miles west of Monson, we followed the secondary Blanchard Road west about five miles from Route 6 and 15 as it enters Monson from the south. At Blanchard, a tiny village near a bridge over the Piscataquis River, we turned right onto the Taylor Road that runs along Breakneck Ridge. The river races through a steep notch north of the road. The monitor's approach to the AT is a very rocky, very steep down hill (very steep uphill coming out) old woods road.
May 4, 2014 - 7:52:07 AM

Down the Road
That once-a-year Maine Appalachian Trail Club meeting
But I hate to admit that more of my enjoyment came from driving to and from the annual meeting. And I learned that, despite my wanting to find new routes from Ellsworth to Farmington, there don't seem to be any. In that learning was that future plans should avoid driving Route 137, which is longer, with more complicated turns, and at this time of year still full of winter's bumps.
Apr 27, 2014 - 12:25:25 AM

Down the Road
Giving away a $400 film camera
But as I played with it to remind myself of how to operate the Minolta, it dawned on me how heavy it was. That explained to me why all back-in-the-day reporters, including me, had always walked, leaning away from the camera bag. The digital slips into a pants pocket and requires no leaning.
Apr 20, 2014 - 12:20:13 AM

Down the Road
Watching 'er grow
The story springs back into focus, because when we lived in Swanville, Sally wouldn't talk. Well, she talked to us. She just wouldn't talk to her first-grade teacher. As The Middle TV show, only years before that show aired, we had our first teacher-parent conference. Turned out that Sally was shy, which made it also turn out that each time the teacher got her to answer a question in class, we got to buy her a candy bar as a reward.
Apr 13, 2014 - 12:35:28 AM

Down the Road
The hospital (oh great!)
Then in the woods several years ago, my right leg slipped on an old rotten log. The pain came the next day. Friends called me Gimpy because of my limp. A year ago, Dolores told on my leg -- to our family physician. He X-rayed it and said my hip was wearing out -- Uncle Arthur had moved in.
Apr 6, 2014 - 12:30:05 AM

Down the Road
Praying for and agin' mud season
Remember, even if mud season is waiting just outside, those muddy ruts will be frozen the next time you hit that accelerator. The car will bounce over them, especially if you have to turn to get up the circle of the driveway and you don't want to hit the other car that's parked just off the circle. But mud season ain't bad. After all, it's usually above freezing when you drive through mud. That, in Maine, ain't bad.
Mar 30, 2014 - 12:33:10 AM

Down the Road
The problem with self-publishers
I think that of 20 I've read, perhaps one or two have some merit. They have fair to good stories and have been edited by somebody. I have found some riddled with "typos," mistakes in grammar and misspellings. Who "edited" them? Or did those self-publishing companies simply turn a manuscript into a book? They don't care if the manuscript is good or terrible, as long as your check to them doesn't bounce.
Mar 23, 2014 - 12:17:43 AM

Down the Road
Town meeting time
It is no accident that the annual town meeting is planned for March in most towns. After a long, snowy winter, the generally isolated residents of Maine's communities in the past used the town meeting as a social time. Today, it's still usually in the spring -- in time to meet education budgets, which come together later. But I suspect that old after-a-long-snowy-winter reason is still buried somewhere in the "why" it's held in spring.
Mar 21, 2014 - 8:17:22 AM

Down the Road
A new type of gardening
I went online to look at cover crops and found some pretty interesting reading. I also didn't learn some new words, such as macronutrients, micronutrients, leguminous, fabaceae, rhizobial, and a few more. The educational part may be all right, but I'm just looking for a way to make my organic gardening a bit easier. (Maybe next winter after my organic crops are all "in," I'll try to learn what these words mean. When I'm done, I'm fairly sure I'll be all "in.")
Mar 16, 2014 - 12:25:31 AM

Down the Road
More moose tales
One of my more "relaxed" encounters was the fall afternoon I arrived home at our "camp" on the shore of a lake to find a big bull moosey guy standing between the car and the camp. I had two options, well, actually one, and I chose it. I remained sitting in the car to await my turn to cross the yard. (The other option would have been to run for the camp. But Bullwinkle might have decided he liked a good afternoon tag game, especially if he were "it.")
Mar 9, 2014 - 12:20:17 AM

Down the Road
Moose I've met -- and chipmunks
It's one thing to be nervous about a bull moose when he's trotting off ahead of you. It's another thing when a bull moose is walking toward you. I remained motionless, partly because being scared stiff kind of excludes running and partly because there is no way a scared stiff man can outrun a moose.
Feb 23, 2014 - 12:27:33 AM

Down the Road
Ah, those old bus tales
Which is when I, the humble bus driver who knew more about getting buses up the mountain than did the ranger who had never gotten one up any mountain, spoke up. At the moment, we were halfway down the mountain. It was easy. Just shift into low gear, make sure you know where the brake pedal is, and enjoy the ride. I said, "Actually, going up is not a problem. It's going down."
Feb 16, 2014 - 12:33:17 AM

Down the Road
Accidents
Route 219 has lots of curves, and as Henrietta took us around one, I saw that the road ahead was totally snow-covered. I hit her brakes, but it was too late to stop, so Henrietta took us off the road down into a field that was also snow-covered. I noticed that she was still moving, and I could see the road not too far away and above us, so I followed the old Maine driver's rule. If the vehicle is still moving, don't take your foot off the gas. We kept going and kept going until bye and bye we were back on the road again, just past the place where the snow ended.
Feb 9, 2014 - 12:30:01 AM

Down the Road
Walking
I have met hikers on the Appalachian Trail, their feet encased in heavy looking boots that I think would leave me exhausted should I try a step or two while wearing them. That's hiking. I mean walking, where you can wear basically any comfortable shoe and where you may be walking a mile or seven or eight -- but not over 2,000 miles as an AT hike involves.
Feb 2, 2014 - 12:33:05 AM

Down the Road
The supermarket
The parking lot is also fun. That's where people must have taken an oath to never look before they back up. That's also where people park so close to you, you can't open your door. When I drive my bus through the parking lot, a car or usually SUV is parked where I'm supposed to stop to let people get on the bus.
Jan 26, 2014 - 12:33:31 AM

Down the Road
Those old Belgrade, Maine vacations
We, like E.B. White, did our long-distant traveling in those days by train. From our Paoli, PA home to Philadelphia, then to New York's Penn Station, then to Boston or Portland by Pullman. Waking up after a Pullman night and looking out the window to view evergreen trees whisking past was a delightful other awakening, the now we were in the genuine north country.
Jan 19, 2014 - 12:30:23 AM

Down the Road
May I not have this dance
I believe they were my only two dances, except the time I had old Shep on a leash in the woods near my hometown of Paoli, PA and saw this furry critter coming at us. Thinking it was a bobcat, I braced myself for a thorough clawing. But it turned out to be a rabid fox, and it and I did a strange circular dance there in the deep woods with old Shep on his leash trying to nab Brer Fox. (Shep wasn't a bad dancer.)
Jan 12, 2014 - 12:33:05 AM

Down the Road
Let's get going - what's next
I hope it is to get rid of all the snow that has built up since just before Christmas. The ice seems to have disappeared, and we're back in our house after not having electricity for 3.5 days. But a new snow storm is heading our way tonight with up to eight inches. Another wish is for my editor, who lives in Mongolia and can edit "stuff" for the Millinocket online paper via the internet, to have hot water in winter as well as in summer. Life is apparently pretty primitive there. Plus he has to edit my "stuff." So, here's your wish from me, RP, hot water in winter.
Jan 5, 2014 - 12:35:27 AM

Down the Road
A New Year
Wikepedia states, "Romans originally dedicated New Year's Day to Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings for whom the first month of the year (January) is named. Later, as a date in the Gregorian calendar of Christendom, New Year's Day liturgically marked the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, and is still observed as such in the Anglican Church and Lutheran Church in present day....New Year's Day is probably the world's most celebrated public holiday, often observed with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts in each time zone."
Dec 29, 2013 - 12:33:35 AM

Down the Road
The Christmas newsletter
To our far away friends and relatives: Whom we don't hear from except once a year, when you send your Christmas letters and report on the doings of all those folks we don't know. Glad to hear they're doing well. (Well, we may know some of them.) If this didn't reach you, it's because we don't know how many stamps our dying post office requires for a Christmas letter.
Dec 22, 2013 - 5:23:06 AM

Down the Road
Ye Olde Christmas tree
The history of that famous tree: from a website, "Just as people today decorate their homes during the festive season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. In many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness."
Dec 15, 2013 - 12:27:31 AM

Down the Road
Down the Road a Piece That black ice
The accidents are bad enough, sometimes deadly. But what always annoyed me are the hassles insurance companies cause. I've never had an insurance-company class accident from ice, black or otherwise, but I've had a couple from people who have run into me. One Massachusetts guy hit me from behind, while I was sitting at a red light in South Paris, which is generally how you're supposed to act when it is red. He apologized and said he didn't know Maine had any red lights.
Dec 8, 2013 - 12:27:00 AM

Down the Road
Those wonderful graveyards
A grave marker I'll probably never forget was in a tiny cemetery over in western Maine between Weld Corner on Route 142 and Coos Canyon in Byron on Route 17. The gravel road was called the Byron Road. On our way to climb Tumbledown Mountain, my father, mother, and I noticed a tiny graveyard on the north side of the road. We stopped and wandered through several people's final resting place.
Dec 1, 2013 - 12:25:08 AM

Down the Road
Down the Road a Piece: Ah, Thanksgiving
Of course, there were no Hannaford or Shaw's supermarkets, so there were no turkey TV dinners for that first Thanksgiving. I've often wondered how those first Pilgrims got along without the wonderful supermarkets that supply Big Butterball. I'll bet they wouldn't have been quite so thankful had they known what they were missing because supermarkets hadn't been invented yet.
Nov 24, 2013 - 12:27:11 AM

Down the Road
Down the Road a Piece: Writing ain't no picnic
Every writer needs an editor. In the newsroom, an editor fixed my so-called news stories to make them readable. At home, where I now am pecking away, Dolores reads my stuff to make it readable. If she can't understand a sentence or whatever else I wrote, I rewrite it until she can. If she's not available, I do it the risky way, I edit it myself.
Nov 17, 2013 - 12:27:02 AM

Down the Road
Down the Road a Piece Tales of Subarus (only some rusty)
The next day, Sally was safe and sound. Who in Massachusetts would steal anything from an old Subaru with Maine tags identifying her as being from yonder woods way up north?
Nov 10, 2013 - 1:15:26 AM

Down the Road
Getting theyah from heah
It's getting to be that time of year again, when many of us are planning that Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other miserable-cold-weather trip to relatives or to places that have nothing to do with relatives -- but most of our plans are about getting to Grandma's house, or someone else's. So, about getting there (theyah in Maineiac) from here (heah in Maineiac), read my non-expert advise...a story thrown in, of course.
Nov 3, 2013 - 4:17:23 AM

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