Smile Because it Happened. In the Rain in Maine.

Maine is a big inspiration for me. My Pinterest page has all sort of things "pottery", and one other big thing: nature photos from the beautiful state of Maine. When my husband and I started coming up here 27 years ago, we were youngish parents. We began hiking and canoeing with our children on beautiful rivers and one special quiet lake. We rented this same "camp" down a dirt road along that lake, Torsey Pond, grilling dinner on the porch and watching sunsets. We lit our Sabbath candles on the screened porch and set the old table with a cloth, two loaves of challah and wine. We celebrated our anniversary here, and recuperated from stresses.

We started out here when our youngest, now working and married, was still sleeping in a crib. Eventually, we mailed invitations for our oldest's wedding from the local post office. We met the owner of the camp next door and slowly got to know him. (He is a wicked good character.) 

We rented the camp through its acquisition by two owners, the second for about 18 years. We became friendly with the second owners by email and phone. They kept our rental cost low, and I sent them handmade mugs in the mail in gratitude. We've never met the other family who rents the camp, but they and we write a page or two in the camp journal before we go home at the end of our summer stays, and we have "seen" their children grow up, their dog die, and their new puppy fearfully try the lake. Last year saw the first time our baby grandchild came to visit. We are going to buy the fearless little fellow a life jacket to play outside this year.

Time passes. The owners have moved to a house from 1799 a half hour further from their vacation camp on the lake. They are planning to buy alpacas and goats for their "new" place, which need care in the summer, too, and so they are thinking of selling the house on the lake. I think of Robert Frost's poem, "Nothing Gold Can Stay". We've loved this place, and if it were about 5 hours closer, maybe we would consider buying it. But after 37 years of marriage and many interesting changes in life, we would not undertake this responsibility. For a decade we have said, "Where would we go for this peace, if they sell..?" and now the question becomes more immediate. Still, houses for sale linger for a few years around here. We may be able to return a time or two more. Who knows?

Over the years, the camp acquired happy kitsch. 

and lots of signs. They're all around niches in the porch. 

Some Wizard of Oz related...

and others with a wry sense of humor...

that I have photographed just for fun as they accumulated over time.

It is this one that I am thinking about at the moment, on a day of rain, in Maine. 

Posted on June 28, 2015 .