Chronicle: Long Journey Home: A Lucky Escape

The summer has been busy, and good. More and more, I realize how privileged and lucky I am. I live in a beautiful place in a state that so far has been less damaged by climate change than many others. I have a loving spouse and two dogs, more than enough to eat, a good house, health insurance, a reliable car, money for vacations. And the list continues.

And then there are the less tangible things. Sitting on the deck listening to the birds while we dine. The view from the hill behind our house. Seeing Jupiter and Saturn side by side in the sky when I wake up in the middle of the night. The smell of pine trees on a hot day.

I spent a few days with the pruner cutting all the unruly growth around our deck and one side of the house, partly with the idea that we could paint the deck before the weather turned, but also because that it’s just good to have all that stuff cut so it can grow back next year. Anyway, among all the wildflowers, I discovered a bunch of blackberries laden with berries. I don’t know how it produced so many fruits, since it was completely shaded from the sun, but there they were, big, juicy and sweet. Gardening jobs never looked so good!

This summer we bought a new paddling pool for our dog Rosie, who loved jumping in after throwing toys or pebbles in the water and then jumping again. She is curious, but not a swimmer. Her favorite part is filling the pool with the hose: she likes to drink from the running water. The pool came with several squeaky foam toys that she likes to have thrown in the pool for her to fetch.

Rosie has also enjoyed coming to the municipal office with me a few times. She always runs around and checks things out, jumps on me and is usually horny when we arrive, then settles down after a while to take a nap behind my chair. She likes low windows that allow her to see if she is standing on her hind legs. Customers often comment on it and most are happy to see it. When we come home after a morning’s work, she takes a nap. Apparently, it’s exhausting to be available to your audience.

We spent the last two days of August in Ogunquit. I admit I was skeptical when Maureen said she wanted to go in the height of tourist season and stay right on the beach, but that clearly meant something to her, so I jumped on board. We looked at a few different places and couldn’t find anything we could afford – it’s possible to spend a lot of money on a room in Ogunquit – and we were about to give up. Since we hadn’t looked on Airbnb yet, I thought we might as well check there, and, what do you know, there was a room in the motel that’s right on the beach, which was apparently private property. It was (sort of) in our price range, so we snagged it. It was towards the end of July.

A month later we drove to the resort, checked in, collected our keys and went to unload the car. Upon entering I noticed that the bed looked rather small. He was announced as a queen, and probably was, but I wondered if we would be comfortable sharing him. Quietly, I reminded myself that it would only be for two nights. I started putting the food we brought in the room fridge and a drop of water fell on the back of my head. Drop! Thirty seconds later, there was another. Drop! I looked up and there was an area about four inches square that seemed saturated with water, and I could see where it was going. I was beginning to wonder how this getaway was going to unfold.

After moving the car we stopped at the office to let them know about the leak and were told they would call maintenance to deal with it. They were as good as their word. Soon a young man with an Eastern European accent showed up to watch the leak. He left, came back, dabbed the leak with a towel and said he should call a plumber to fix it.

We strolled down the alley in front of the block of rooms we were in to look at the view and as we walked back, here was the young man again, looking excited. He said he was going to take us to another room and help us move our equipment. The other room was much nicer, he said, and we would like it. He took me to see it and it was, indeed, a much better room than the one we had rented, even without the leak.

On the way to our luggage transfer, our rescuer took credit for the room upgrade and we were happy to pass it on to him. Our new quarters had a balcony with an ocean view, a larger bed, and a large shower with not one but two shower heads, a large one attached to the back, and a handheld sprayer to the front. We were lucky !

We had a couple of nice dinners one beautiful day on the big city beach on Tuesday and sat by the beach watching the twilight come in the evening. It was a very enjoyable time, despite the crowds of other beach goers.

Hope you had some good summer adventures as well and have things to look forward to this fall.

Sarah E. Reynolds is a former editor of the Republican Journal.

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