22 April 2010

Earth Day in Maine

This was one of those "all the stars are in alignment" kind of days. Most of it, anyway.

First off, the forecast said rain. Instead, we awakened to sunshine and birds singing. On Earth Day, the earth in Maine was smiling. Widely.

It is Spring Break for our local schools, so while one daughter was at work today, my other daughter and I visited thrift stores and had lunch in the sunshine. There's something about purchasing second-hand furniture and other materials that makes me feel like I'm contributing to Earth Day.

Then we all came home and played badminton in the backyard until a light thunderstorm passed through.

It wasn't long until the sun streamed through the windows once more, raindrops glistening. All we needed was a bunch of fresh fruit and veggies from the farmer's market, and a vase full of freshly cut flowers on the kitchen table.

But no matter how much this FEELS like summer, it isn't. The trees are just beginning to bud and the fruit and vegetable seeds are just now being bought and planted. And if we put a vase of flowers on the table, our psychotic cat would just knock it over.

Speaking of which, but totally unrelated to Earth Day, the aforementioned psychotic cat committed a terrible crime today. We have a ceramic bald eagle which was given to my husband by his parents when he graduated college. Not long after we were married, I was carefully moving the eagle so it could be packed up for a move, and a wing feather broke off. I chalk it up to being young and stupid, but no matter how you slice it, my husband was a jerk about it. Not that I'm still bitter or anything.

So the dreaded, beloved eagle sits in our bedroom atop an armoire that is taller than both of us. There is no other furniture nearby, other than a rocking chair.

Well, this morning the cat in question jumped from the back of the rocking chair to the top of the armoire and knocked over the eagle. It broke into several pieces - the wings, the head, the tail. It was pretty much obliterated.

With the knowledge that my husband loves that eagle more than life itself, I phoned to tell him of its untimely death. Yet, I'd forgotten that the silly behavior about the eagle all those years ago came from the lips and heart of a young man. That same young man, while still young in the face today, has great wisdom all these years later. He listened calmly when I told him the bad news, and then he sighed a little. I don't remember all that he said, but it was something along the lines of "No need to cry over spilled milk."

"Huh?" I asked. "Aren't you going to come home and kill the cat?" No, he wasn't. He did casually mention tonight that we might roast up the cat for supper, but the cat's a skinny little beast and wouldn't have gone far.

So the eagle is dead but the cat still lives. For now.

And thus ends Earth Day in Maine.

Copyright © 2010 - Paulla Estes

17 April 2010


The crocuses have come and gone. The daffodils and forsythias are at their peak. The tulip trees have just bloomed. Hyacinths and tulips are just getting going. Trees are flowering and lawns are turning green all over the area.

And this morning we awakened to snow. Not a lot of snow, but SNOW nonetheless.

I think I'll go back to bed.

Copyright © 2010 - Paulla Estes

15 April 2010

Maine Therapy

Yesterday was a lousy day. Stress, hurt feelings, too many phone calls, worries about my kids, and I got very little done that I set out to do. At 10:00 last night, I decided to completely re-arrange my kitchen, but ultimately went to bed with it only half done and stuff everywhere. I fell asleep last night much too late, with my mind racing, full of concerns.

The cats woke me up at 5:30, racing around the room, knocking things over, meowing loudly, smacking each other around and wreaking havoc. That's their lovely way of waking me every morning.

I hit the ground running because today looked to be no better than yesterday. With one sick kid (who has had too many sick days and had to go to school anyway), and an early morning eye-doctor appointment, it took getting up at 5:30 to get everyone out the door on time.

After having air blown into my eyes (who doesn't love that?) and being blinded by tiny bright lights, I left the doctor with a clean bill of health and a new package of contact lenses. Then I made the arduous trip to Wal-Mart, my favorite place in the world to go (cue sarcasm). Arduous because of the road work being done on EVERY road between my eye doctor and Wal-Mart. And arduous because... Wal-Mart. Yeah.

After getting what I needed, I raced off to the next thing, winding through traffic, muttering to myself, and probably holding my breath. After escaping the traffic, my route took me along Route One, right next to the Androscoggin River in Brunswick. And then, suddenly, everything slowed down.

The sky was so blue, as was the river. People were walking along the bike path. And two bald eagles were gracefully gliding about 200 feet above the water. It was like one of those scenes in a movie where everything goes quiet, with maybe only a bit of classical music playing in the background.

At that moment, nothing else mattered. It was a moment in which I wanted to stay - for a very long time.

I drove on, continuing with a busy day, but with a whole different perspective. While moments before, the world seemed out to get me, those eagles and that blue water was a little sign from God that no, it's all going to be ok.

Just breathe.

Copyright © 2010 - Paulla Estes

07 April 2010


We're a bit confused here in Maine. Easter Sunday was a phenomenon, weather wise. It was 75 degrees at our house.

Understand that although at this time of year all the stores sell those cute, springtime Easter outfits, my children have always worn them with boots and a winter coat. If it's not snowing on Easter, it's certainly cold and muddy, if nothing else.

Not this year.

Easter fell on the 4th of April, but to us, it felt like the 4th of July. In fact, in honor of the lovely day, we opted to have a cook-out rather than a traditional ham dinner. We grilled steaks and had dinner outside on the patio. In fact, we spent the entire day outside.

The tulips and daffodils are up, and the crocuses are already gone. And it's still early April. I keep pinching myself. I probably shouldn't say this, since it's so politically incorrect, but... if this is global warming, I'll take it.

And I'll also take that Diet Coke, now that Lent is over. :)

Copyright © 2010 - Paulla Estes