kayaks! #1 + (maine)



We took a drive up to rain, I mean, Maine, on my birthday, because I've always wanted to see the islands, the lighthouses & the beaches.  We missed all that, as it was pouring down by the buckets, & the very thing I love about NH - that the freeways & towns are hidden from each other by large tracks of forest - is the same thing that had Maine looking like one long highway.  We went for it, though, & drove a full 6 hours up to see our girl Rhea at Alewives.  What a sweetheart she is.  




We're laughing because she's featuring her new engagement ring in the picture.  I suppose that's not quite fair though, so...




But seriously, do you know Alewives?  Or their blog?  I'm getting ready to use thier free vinyl shopper pattern, on the homepage.  They have amazing, modern fabrics & great crafting books.  They sell online & I think their selection is unique, worth the 6-hour drive in the rain.  We're making it an annual party.


We also stopped in Portland at Maples for organic gelato.  Having just read Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, we also stopped in at their production facility for a little tour action.  We called & called, but there was no answer, so we stopped by.  A distraught 20 year-old with headphones on answered the door, saying we weren't supposed to be there.  She let us peek in & I thought she was pretty nice, considering she was at exactly the point in one's life where there's not much compassion for an ecstatic, wet homeschooling family of 5 from California who just drove forever to peek in.    Really I could say she was a party-pooper, but we weren't supposed to be there.  You gotta take chances, though!  Maple's retail shop is very nice & their business model is impressive.  It would do really well out here.  Portland feels like Berkeley to me, D says it's more like an East Coast Seattle.  He's right.




Halfway there D saw a bunch of whitewater kayakers & we pulled off the road to get as drenched as possible & have a looksee.  In crazy  rapids, a group of 12 year-olds were zipping up & down the river & we were hooked. 




This was to be the year of the kayak.




There's nothing like laughing & pointing with your freezing cold children in a soaking wet sweatshirt at the edge of a river in the pouring rain & looking up at your husband's awed face.  It seemed totally ridiculous & completely right to have all that sensory input at once & to feel so alive, but As a Family.  All Together.  I think this was a Friday, if I remember correctly.  This is why we chase freedom, are life learners & home-based entrepreneurs.  So we can find ourselves in a surprise moment, in a surprising place, breathing clean air & seeing something new to us.  So we can have enough time to notice when something "Clicks."



"look, mom! a rootbeer river!"



rocks, live water, pine needles, moss: if i could just stand in this spot for the rest of my life i'd be happy