Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Isabelle Meets a Lobster

We have been in Maine for about two and a half weeks, about halfway through our trip north for the summer. The weather has been sunny most of the trip, but we have had some of the hot and humid weather we avoid in Mexico. We have been enjoying our visit here, spending time with all of our children, enjoying good Maine seafood, celebrating my dad’s 90th birthday, and, of course, enjoying a wonderful week with our only granddaughter , Isabelle, and her parents.

We spent our first week in Waldoboro with my dad and stepmom, Joy. We had been unsure they would make it to Maine this year because of my dad’s health challenges this winter, but he was determined to make the trip north from Philadelphia, and they did. They have arranged for some personal care assistance in their home, and they are enjoying being here. We celebrated his 90 years simply with Pixie, Joy , and her daughter, Beth, who helped them make the drive north. They had had a big celebration with family and friends before they left.

Here are photos of Dad with his cake, posing with me, my stepmom, Joy, and her daughter, Beth, and Cassie and Dad.

From Waldoboro, we headed down to Kennebunk, about two hours south, to move into the condo. We arrived and had a couple of days to get prepared for Eric, Crystal and Isabelle to arrive two days later. They arrived safe and sound, and we had a busy week. Isabelle has become more of a little girl than a baby, and she was quite conversational. We were able to watch her several times while Eric and Crystal enjoyed some child-free time alone. We went to the beach in Kennebunk, drove over to Walker’s point in Kennebunkport to see the Bush estate, viewed the fireworks over the ocean, visited the botanical garden and a Chinese restaurant in Boothbay Harbor, and enjoyed a lobster dinner. Here they are at Walker's Point, Isabelle taking great pleasure in tickling me, Isabelle at the beach (for an Indiana girl, this was her first time at the ocean!), Isabelle getting creative with chopsticks at the restaurant, sitting at the botanical garden, and looking skeptically at the lobster.

We were able to capture a wonderful photo of us with all three of our children and their significant others. Top row, me, Pixie, Troy (Wendy's partner) and Wendy. Seated, Alana (Cassie's partner), Cassie, Eric, Isabelle, and Crystal.

Now that they’ve gone home, we are enjoying time with friends. We spent Sunday night with our friends Ron and Jean at their camp on Long Lake in Belgrade Lakes. We enjoy a unique relationship with Ron and Jean because, although they live in Kennebunk, they spent last winter in Ajijic, and plan to spend six months there next winter. So we spent time with them in Mexico and here this summer. We had a grand time at their beautiful camp and learned to play Canasta. The next day we went into Belgrade Lakes village which I remember from my youth when we spent time near there every summer while my dad taught at Colby College. Last night we spent the evening with Curt and Judy Webber who hosted us for thirteen weeks last summer and have visited us three times in Mexico. They treated us to dinner at our favorite Auburn hangout, Pat’s Pizza. It was wonderful to catch up with them. Here are Pixie and Jean preparing to be pulled behind the boat in "Big Mable" and a view from their camp porch.

Of course, we also enjoy picking up few things we cannot find easily in Mexico. This year we shopped for new sandals, clothing items, books, and vitamin supplements in large quantity bottles. Our friends in Mexico report that they have been having an abundance of rain, even during the day, so we’re not missing that much. Our house sitters, Mike and Christi, report that they are enjoying time with Chuy, as he continues to entertain them with his eccentric habits. We miss him and are looking forward to our return at the end of the month.

I have had a small medical issue relating to my previous problem with blood clotting. Apparently, my Coumadin level had dropped a bit too low before our flight north. As a result, I developed a few small deep vein clots in my right leg. So, I am now in the process of raising my Coumadin level to a new maintenance level and taking heparin shots in the meantime to keep my blood anticoagulated. A new ultrasound yesterday showed no new clotting and some shrinkage of the new clots. So things are resolving themselves, and I’ll just need to monitor my Coumadin levels a bit more closely when I return to Mexico.

We are looking forward to seeing more friends in the next couple of weeks, including a party Friday evening at Lucy Coombs’ house. She replaced me as department chair in the Humanities department at Central Maine Community College. She has invited many of our colleagues from CMMC to the gathering, which should be fun. Then, on Saturday, we are reuniting our gourmet dinner group with Kathy and Doug, who visited us in Mexico this past winter, and our other friends Betty and Gene. Next week we’re heading up to Waldoboro to see my dad and stepmom again, then on the 23rd, we’re off, with our daughter Wendy, to Hartford to see Cassie graduate with her MFA in Illustration. After we leave Maine, we’ll be heading to Gloucester, Mass. to see both of my brothers and their families before flying back to Guadalajara on July 31.

Busy days, but satisfying and relaxing.

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