My event at UMA was really fun for me, it’s not often that I have an audience of people who have read my book about Nepal – they asked great questions and we had dialogue. I love to sign copies of the book. Appreciation for Dr Lynn King, who organized this using grant money to promote cultural awareness in this homogenous state. Seeing some old friends from ANA-Maine and RFGH who came for the talk. People I have known for twenty or thirty years.
A few impressions of the Pine Tree State: fried clams (with bellies!);Boston Baked Beans ( the candy, not the beans themselves); the smell of dead leaves; seeing the Penobscot Narrows bridge; listening to the Maine accents and seeing people of Irish descent all over the place. WERU-FM folk music programming. Hardly any Asians! running into parents of my kids’ high school friends. Looking up at the night sky, clear enough to see not only the Pleiades but the Milky Way. Seeing the rows of my old books proudly displayed on my daughter’s shelves in her new place, including one of my old Boy Scout Manuals, and lots of books on natural history and gardening – Crockett’s Victory Garden. looking through old photo albums of my kids idyllic Maine childhood – happy feelings that we could provide that for them. Cooking with my daughters. The Trenton Grange. Proud of the adults my kids became. Worried sometimes when I see that they can be quirky like me, but that is the mystery of life isn’t it?
Last year I gave a bow and arrow set to my son-in-law since he is studying an Amazonian tribe for his PhD in anthopology. Never skimp on the arrows, I included two dozen, otherwise you lose your concetration because you have to stop and retrieve the arrows all the time and can’t concentrate on the zen of being one with the bow and mindfully shooting the thing. Last years gift was a child’s archery set but lots of fun. Thwack! He took it to Guyana and went hunting with the boys but never hit anything. This year it was time to put away childish things so he has graduated to a long bow – very manly!- and has joined the Archery Club at UVa. Maybe someday he will actually bring some venison over the theshold. It’s a respectable bow, fifty-pound pull. He needs lots of arrows for the new bow. the trick is to get two haybale targets, which also minimizes the walking between volleys.
“I will be checking FaceBook and if I ever see a photo of may daughter with an apple on her head, be advised I will not be amused…” – weapons come with responsibility. The long bow is six feet tall, not a recurve on it, in Amazonia they fletch their own arrows.
Wearing my Nepali man’s shawl as I type this at my daughter’s kitchen table. It is snowing today – another memory of New England, a white blanket covers the ground outside. Underneath the ground has not frozen so the owner of this place advised us to move the cars close to the road. We are a hundred yards from Some Sound, the glacial fjord of these parts, usually a moderating influence on the weather. Wet snow, coming straight down like rain, wonder how long it will last? Coastal Maine is often warmer in the winter than say, five miles inland, a noticeable difference. Five in the morning is my daughter’s favorite time to write, as is mine. She can look out on Sargent Brook which runs behind the cottage. I get on the road to Boston tomorrow, Thanskgiving Day, at 0300 to make my ten o’clock flight. I slept under a pile of heavy blankets, first time in awhile. It was a fine sleep.
Yesterday we did some of the things dads do with their adult daughters. Going over how you set up a budget, over morning coffee. I think my literary daughter is blogging on that same topic even as we speak. Julie and Lucas joined us for dinner and we shared “Lazy Pierogi” according to the Jamrog recipe. kielbasa, egg noodles, sauerkraut, boiled eggs, yogurt, cream of mushroom soup, mushrooms, horseradish. I gave my daughters their present
Plenty of time for more mundane pursuits over the course of a New England winter.