MAINE MEMORIES – Spruce Point, Boothbay Harbor

 

 

Maine Spruce Point Inside Looking Out 2015

Spruce Point View of Boothbay Harbor

Sometimes, enduring the slings and arrows of outrageous weather that we are visitng upon ourselves becomes absolutely too much for me.  I turn to trips of other times, other climes, seeking surcease.

Maine Spruce Point Directional Sign of Yesteryear

Old Directional Sign to our Maine Haven of Many Summers

Years ago my family summered in a cottage at Spruce Point Resort, on Boothbay Harbor in Maine.  This past autumn, my dear cousins, Margy, Sally, my sister Marilyn and I toured the grounds of this place of splendid memory.

Maine Spruce Point Main Lodge 2015

Spruce Point Main Lodge

It is still ‘spruce’, in the archaic sense, otherwise known as ship-shape in that literal neck of the woods.   The setting remains sublime.

Maine Spruce Point Cottsge w Green Shutters

Spruce Point Cottage with Signature Green Shutters with Spruce Cut-Outs

We could find ‘our cottage’, and remember waking to woodsmoke on brisk July mornings, before dressing and walking over to the Main House for gratifying breakfast at our table with our waitress.  I could still find the beach where I read Rachel Carson’s “A Sense of  Wonder” to my sister’s son, borrowed by my husband and me because our girls were in Maine camp that summer.  There, Carl and I found every shell and creature Rachel describes, as she took her nephew tidepooling a few miles away.

Maine Spruce Point Ledges Tidal Pools Explored with my nephew Yesteryear

Carl’s and My Rachel Carson Tide Pools

I could send some of these pictures to Carl, and he could resonate and remember.  His favorite off-Spruce activity, beyond fishing and piloting the Boston Whaler though only a lad, was to visit the Old Salt in downtown (so to speak) Boothbay Harbor.

Maine Spruce Point Sign From Our Times There

Spruce Point – The Old Sign, Rescued, Displayed Inside

My cousins and sister and I didn’t find the Old Salt, needless to say.  That’s why Werner and I had bought Carl a woodcarving, in his childhood, that greatly resembled that grand old man.  Because we somehow knew those encounters were a one-time blessing.  But, –as you can see from the sign –, last September, we all found the same warm welcome that was always ours, even on the first visit.  That sense that we were old friends, cherished, whose return absolutely delighted the Staff.

Maine Walks Blustery Sally Marilyn Margy

Sally, my sister Marilyn, and Margy, on a blustery Maine Walk

We strolled the public rooms where the girls and I had worked puzzles, where we took down venerable books of the region, read by many others before us, on rainy Maine days.  This was the room where Carl and I peered as though we knew what we were doing, through gleaming brass telescopes, scanning the sea.

Maine Spruce Point Inside Main Lodge

Inside the Main Lodge – the Rainy-Day Rooms

The funniest day with the girls had been when we finally gathered all our gear, boarded the Boston Whaler, and Werner (double landlubber – partly because he was Swiss) acted as Captain.  Our shiny new fishing poles were at hand.  We felt bulky and even buxom in our too bright new L.L. Bean life-vests.  We didn’t have bait – we used ‘spoons’, which are what Maine mackerel require.  We finally were able to use the casting we’d endlessly practiced (in futility) in our Princeton Pool. Mackerel were a joy to catch, feisty and lively and beautiful, catching the light as they danced on our lines.  But Catherine had a pronouncement to make: “Everybody quit fishing!  We’re killing them!”

Maine Spruce Point Main Lodge Fireplace

Ship Ahoy! inside Main Lodge

Werner saw the entire trip, which included stopping at waterside places en route to practice our casting, the rental and negotiation of the Boston Whaler, everything in effect going up in smoke.

Maine Spruce Point Price of Yesteryear

Rate Sign from Times of Yore

Without a pause, he countered, “No, Cath.  We’re feeding the gulls.”  And he threw his newest catch into the beak of the hovering one overhead.  At lunch we did eat mackerel we had caught, prepared by the Spruce Point chef.

Maine Spruce Point Vista 2015

View of Boothbay Harbor from the Dining Room

My cousins, my sister and I didn’t eat at Spruce Point, but it felt the same in those sunny seaside rooms, as when the girls and I in our long skirts, and Werner in his very non-doctor summer sports coats would stroll over to lunch and to supper.  I could still see my father, luxuriating in his favorite part of the Spruce Point week – the Sundae Bar, of all sorts of ice creams and all sorts of toppings.  I think he tried them all.

Maine Spruce Point Political Sign for Owner from Our Days there

The Druces owned Spruce Point in Our Day, and Mr. Druce was such a splendid citizen!

My cousins, my sister and I found the boat dock where our family had boarded sunset cruises and boat-jaunts to other islands and bays.  We reminisced about taking Carl and his grandparents, my parents, over to Bath for a ship launching.  Where we’d foolishly embarked during an eclipse of the sun, to go sort-of deep sea fishing.  When sixty-pound Carl caught a sixty-pound cod, we realized our folly.  It may have delighted the Captain to have that huge fish on board, but ir hadsurely depleted my beloved nephew to have done so.  Eclipses do weird things to waves — ‘chop’ doesn’t begin to describe that Bay that day.

Maine Lobster Workboat

Non-Eclipse Calm Maine Waters

They say you can’t go home again.  Well, this wasn’t home.  But Spruce retains  the family welcome after long absence, for which we once drove ‘over the river and through the woods’ to relatives in Ohio and Michigan.

Maine Spruce Point Our Cottage Pelican

‘Our’ Pelican Cabin, tucked in among hardwoods and spruces

I was afraid I would be too sad to walk Spruce lanes and rooms.  But only joy was there for me.  It matters a great deal to Marilyn, Carl and to me, that Spruce Point remains impeccable, beautiful, and so welcoming.

Maine Spruce Point Our Cabin and Chimney

“Pelican’s” Chimney, where Werner Built Each Morning’s Fire

 

 

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Maine Coast September Explorations

NJWILDBEAUTY readers, come with us again, on our Maine excursions.  A week of such perfection leaves us all writing and calling each other, in Illinois, in Ohio, in Maine, and writing, “I miss you all!”  Words superfluous — Just Enjoy!

Marilyn Weitzel, Sally Lee, Margy Cowgill - my Sister and our cherished cousins on Maine Coast

Marilyn Weitzel, Sally Lee, Margy Cowgill – my Sister and our cherished cousins on Maine Coast

Giant's Stairs Signs for Coastal Walk

Giant Stairs Signs for Coastal Walk

Autumn Blooms Giant's Stairs Coastal Walk

Autumn Blooms Giant Stairs Coastal Walk

Artful Foam, Giant's Stair Coastal Walk, Maine

Artful Foam, Giant’ Stair Coastal Walk, Maine

Gigantic Dandelions, Giant's Stair Coastal Walk

Gigantic Dandelions, Giant Stair Coastal Walk

Giant's Stair Sign, Coastal Walk

The Giant’s Stair Sign, Coastal Walk

Maine Coast's Long Fingers of land and sturdy typical boat

Maine Coast’s Long Fingers of land and sturdy typical boat

New England Asters in New England

New England Asters in New England

Margy and Marilyn Reading Informational Signs

Margy and Marilyn Reading Informational Signs

Typical Maine Coast Weathered Stately Home

Typical Maine Coast Weathered Stately Home

Maine Coast Perfection

Maine Coast Perfection

Wool Plant and Ocean

Wool Plant and Ocean

Rose Hips of Salt Spray Roses

Rose Hips of Salt Spray Roses

Maine Coast Scene like Michigan's Pictured Rocks of Munising, in Upper Peninsula, which we all knew so well...

Maine Coast Scene like Michigan’s Pictured Rocks of Munising, in Upper Peninsula, which we all knew so well…

Sundown and White Fence

Sundown and White Fence

Still Life, Sundown

Still Life, Sundown

Weathered Beauty

Weathered Beauty

Undertow

Undertow

Weathered Wood

Weathered Wood

The Summer People

The Summer People

This Says It All

This Says It All

LOBSTER ON THE MENU — SHARING MAINE

This will be a blog of few words —

I am back in New Jersey, still enraptured by this flawless visit in Maine with my sister and our (formerly) Toledo cousins

We were treated to five entire days of unconditional love, in Margy and Peter’s new home on Casco Bay.

At home, we were surrounded by towering pines and firs.  We found last roses (salt spray) of summer, and tasted last blueberries.

We walked among ever-burgeoning seaside goldenrod.

We were treated to memorable hikes, sentimental journeys, even kayaking the Bay among rockweed garlands (a first), in sea wind and waves.  Heaven on earth.  I’ll do this first blog post on our lobster feast — setting the scene in all ways:The three cousins - my sister, Marilyn Weitzel, Sally Lee and Margy CowgillMy Chicago sister, Marilyn Weitzel with Sally Lee and Margy Cowgill

An Ebullience of Buoys

An Ebullience of Buoys -(pronunced Bew-eez)

Maine Lobster Workboat

Maine Lobster Workboat

Parking for Dick's Lobsters

Parking for Dick’s Lobsters

Lobster Shanty

Morse Lobster Shanty

Maine Lobster Gear, Newagen

Maine Lobster Gear, Newagen

LOBSTERS

LOBSTERS

Lobsters Everywhere!

Lobsters Everywhere!

Enough Rope

Enough Rope

Bringing In the Catch

Bringing In the Catch

A Good Lobster Morning

A Good Lobster Morning

Another Catch, Same Morning

Another Catch, Same Morning

Farm Fresh

Farm Fresh

Farmer-to-Table

Farmer-to-Table

NATIVE

NATIVE

First Pumpkins

First Pumpkins

First Macs of Maine

First Macs of Maine

Still Fresh Green Beans of Maine

Still Fresh Green Beans of Maine

Price of Spice in Maine

Price of Spice in Maine

Wicked Joe, Specialty of the Market

Wicked Joe, Specialty of the Market

Local, Right this way -- Market Sign

Local, Right this way — Market Sign

Crabster

Crabster

Serious Corn

Serious Corn

Sally Lee (cousin) and Peter Cowgill, host, shucking corn

Sally Lee (cousin) and Peter Cowgill, host, shucking corn

Peter and the Corn

Peter and the Corn

Margy and the Bib

Margy and the Bib

Crowning Glory

Crowning Glory

Table Ready for Feast

Table Ready for Feast

FEAST

FEAST

Cousins in the Kitchen

Cousins in the Kitchen

Maine FFisherman Painting that reminds me of Milton Avery, 21st Century Version

Maine Fisherman Painting — Milton Avery qualities — 21st Century Version