breaking, remaking bridge

you can bike around the north pond if you don’t mind highway traffic, pulp and tanker trucks, distracted drivers; hills potholes, curves in the back roads. here’s the bridge we’ve been traversing on bikes since moving here 34 years ago.

The day this was taken a member of the pond community stopped us on our bikes to say they were finally going to replace this bridge! We came back the next day to find–Some sons of the camps did this with their fraternity brothers.

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o canada!

The Frontenac Hotel was our destination, the old city of Québec with its old world mystique top-heavy fronts and tarnished copper roofs and turrets; statuary, carriages, dignitaries and redcoats and rebels and tourists; its outdoor cafes and squares.

The boardwalk above the precipitous shore and beneath the high city, the yet higher battlements with cannon sending forth its smoking charges and celebration, cannonading with thrilling power.  As a decade before, landing on Loyalists Day in St. John, New Brunswick, quite by accident, so it was with this day; with our rising into the city in our pickup truck on Canada Day. Continue reading

visiting the eastern uplands

image-cover-mm-visting

double-click to enlarge and read the fine print!

 

The embarrassing admission:

The editor in charge of cover text asked for a back-of-the-book description to surmount its blurb by Jake Meador.  I chose part of something from the book I particularly liked—heavily influenced by Annie Dillard. By JRR Tolkien. In the way of metaphoric memoir, the description was written in first person.  The editor’s reply? It must be third-person description. Being low energy, I gave them what you see in this cover image. And …I just wanted that passage! Here is the original unedited from inside the book:

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“the oxford” part two

The earliest post in this three-part series is Mexico, Maine. If you missed the second part, see the recent  post on this book.

monica-wood

In the memoir of her childhood Monica Wood tells us the heroic, founding industrialist story of Mr. Hugh Chisholm and his surreptitious study—or scoping out as rurals say here—of the great falls and surrounding land. The lens is her schoolroom instruction by Sister Ernestine. Chisholm’s borrowed horse and sleigh took him down-river through icy fog where the thundering of the waterfall in rime-frosted landscape excited this man as he approached. He then climbed out to pat his St. Jude, and reward the horse with a cube of sugar.

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“the oxford”

historical-society-rumford-%22the-oxford%22

archives of the rumford historical society when the mill was handsome

 

Monica Wood’s memoir centers around the sudden death of her father on his way to work in Mexico, Maine as his children are readying for school. In When We Were the Kennedys experiences of a literary child in 1963 assume imaginative life in the reader. By literary child I mean one who loves reading. For unwitting consolation Monica turns to Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, and then discovers Nancy Drew. Writing mysteries herself, she becomes Nancy Drew. She is mystified by her own story, The mystery of the  missing man. After closing the book, I was reluctant to leave this child Monica behind.

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Mexico, Maine

Another Maine Metaphor is coming out, this one with a new geographic focus, Maine’s eastern uplands, a construct from my Maine undergraduate studies, in the late 1980s as a nontraditional student. But today I’m posting about a neighboring town and author, in part because of personal connections with the town. The town is Mexico, Maine.

You read that right. Mexico, Maine. Maine is more than half the geographic area of New England, and so far there is only a beginning immigrant quantity of Mexican-Americans in the White- Anglo-Saxon Protestant-founding of New England, USA. I’m seeing none at all in this part of the Western Mountains of Maine.

So, Mexico Maine? —White Maine? But the mill towns of Mexico and Rumford (over the river) had been home to immigrants from early days of the mill’s founding by Hugh Chisholm in the late 1800s. In those days it was woodland/farmland but possessed of the greatest national waterfalls east of Niagara — where Hugh Chisholm came from on hearing of these remote woodlands and the great unharnessed falls.

When we first drove into Mexico in our secondhand patched together 12-year-old gas hogging Buick, we saw the mill right off, of course. It was almost the whole reason we’d come.

image from the portland press herald

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