Tag Archives: fried clams

the quick trip to Maine November 2011

Book Event

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?

William Tell?

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.


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destination: Maine Nov 20th 2011

From the airport terminal in Philly, Sunday morning

Three months ago some former colleagues in Maine got a grant from the Libra Foundation to promote crosscultural awareness among nurses there ( it’s a homogenous state, homogenized like milk….) and they had this idea to feature my work in Nepal. Originally I could not get the time off to attend in person, and so we were going to do a teleconference link. But now through a strange set of circumstances, I am able to go to the Pine Tree State and be “live” … and I will throw in a visit with my daughters on the side.

Nov 21st from 0900 to 1100 in Augusta on ITV network

I will be appearing live and in person at the University of Maine at Augusta, the state Capital, Monday the 21st. The event will be broadcast to five locations around the state. Eighty people there have read my book as part of a course assignment – I have been in front of large audiences, but not when so many have actually read the book. I am told it’s created a stir over there!

My Life flashes before me?

I brought a copy with me on the plane – the first time I myself had opened it in awhile – and I was thinking, gee – I remember that event – fun to reread my own stuff from a new perspective. There are parts I would change, if I had it to write it all over again. On the other hand, I cried at the sad parts. I am still a softie. When you crank out a hundred thousand words, you don’t put the same effort into every single word – there were a bunch of places where the ratio of time to words was high – and where I can recall sitting for hours struggling to describe some of the events. Those persons who have read the book can guess the places I am talking about…..

Wintering over on an island

My younger daughter is spending the winter in Northeast Harbor Maine – and I will be the first overnight guest at her cabin there, quite an honor. This is a gem of a coastal Maine town – at the head of Somes Sound. In summer, Sweet Cottage rents for $2,000 per week. In winter, the tourist trade drops off considerably, so she has got a deal to keep it occupied until May. It’s beside the merriest babbling brook on Mount Desert Island, and a short walk to Asticou Terraces…

Maine Humor?

My daughter is prolly the best twentysomething Maine Humorist out there. A difficult legacy to assume – the pantheon includes E.B. White, Marshall Dodge, Tim Sample, Paul LePage ( by default; he thinks he is serious) – She has her own blog, titled mainethewaylifeturnedout, here in wordpress. Take a look at it.

Fried Clams?

She says I will get a bean supper while I am there – (“with red hot dogs?” i asked – “yes” she said!) complete with brown bread and ginger bread for dessert. An old friend of mine would say “that’s half of a Maine Saturday night!” and I laugh…. to get to her place I need to pass the Trenton Grange Hall – and other delights. I am a “Past Master” of P of H #550. Alas, I will not be there for a contra dance…..

But from the foodie end of things, I am salivating at the prospect of New England Seafood – forgot how much I missed it – I may very well be eating fried clams with bellies, every day….. not for breakfast though.

I wil be renting a car in Boston and driving north, later today. I am still wearing shorts and my red Heinz Ketchup t-shirt – I dug my polar fleece out of the closet and I did bring long trousers –

Deep Cultural References

I lived in Skowhegan for years, a dairy industry stronghold, and a dairy man once told me never eat red hot dogs “them’s BULL MEAT!” he would say…. I admit I can’t sday as how I have seen them in Honolulu….

…. and every bean supper blends together in memory…..

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