Except for the moment at which we turned one of those curvy corners in backroads Upstate New York and came smack dab up against a doe and her fawn. Well, not smack dab - we were going slowly, so we stopped. They stared at us for a moment, then Mama ran off to the right and, in its attempt to follow, Baby's legs went out from under him and he flopped down on the road, struggled, got up, and then raced off to the left, a sight which made some in our car laugh and some approach tears until the latter were reassured that no doubt, the doe would find her baby again, because that's what mamas do.
A word, before we arrive there, on Maine. I guess I didn't make it clear - well, I guess I didn't mention it at all - why Maine. I'm no stranger to Maine, and in fact, I know southern Maine better than I know most places I actually lived as a child.
My mother was born in Manchester, NH. When she was young, her father died, and she, her brother and mother moved up to Sanford, Maine, to live with her mother's sister and husband, who were childless themselves. It was there that my mother grew up, in a big house on Lebanon Street. She spent a bit of time at the now-defunct Nasson College in Springvale before she headed off, like everyone else with lung problems at the time, to the Southwest - U of Arizona, to be exact.
But Maine was still home, and continuing after her marriage to my dad (a Texan), she continued to spend at least a month every summer in Sanford, which means that up until I was 18, I did, too. It was a place unlike any of the places I was actually living in that, with my bicycle, I had free run of the town, could take myself shopping (such as it was), to the library, etc. We spent some time at the beaches, mostly Wells, but more time and my uncle's place up at Square Pond, a place he still has - much expanded now - but still essentially the same.
My parents went occasionally after I graduated, but the elderly relatives started dying off, and then my mother's health declined, the visits decreased. About 8 or 9 years ago, they rented a place on Drake's Island (a small neighborhood, really, in Wells) - the children and I went up and spent some time. Since my mother died six years ago, my father has been up a couple of times, and this - another rental on Drake's - marked the 50th anniversary of the Texas boy's first visit to the great state of Maine.
So there it is - as I said in a previous post, until I experienced Florida beaches in adulthood, I had no idea that ocean water was anything but frigid or that beaches were anything but rocky. (although this southern stretch of Maine is actually beach-y). It was a nice return back - for both of us, actually, since Michael grew up in southern New Hampshire and was able to show us sights - but that's day 3.