27 March 2012


Last week we had a day that shot up into the 80s. Everyone was in shorts, the windows were open, and all the trees began to pop. Our lilac trees look like they're about to bud, and crocuses and daffodils are up all over town.

This is WAY early. Usually at this time of year, we still have snow measured in feet. Many kids skipped class to get lobster rolls and ice cream from the seasonal restaurants that have opened in the past couple of weeks. It didn't feel like Spring had arrived. It felt like Summer.

And then just like that, it was over. The chilly, more seasonable weather came back over the weekend, and today we woke up to 20 degrees with a windchill down in the single digits.

Someone on Facebook reminded everyone that this IS Maine and it IS still March.

Nuff said.

I'm recovering from a minor surgery I had yesterday on my leg, so thankfully I don't have to get out in it. Maybe I can figure out more ways to stay inside until those 80's come back?

Copyright © 2012 - Paulla Estes

19 March 2012

Saying Good-bye is Never Easy

The last time I posted here was the morning of March 14. That afternoon, our dear neighbor lost his 4.5 year battle with Leukemia. We had driven the 3+ hour drive to Dartmouth Hitchcock to see him the week before, but he was already heavily sedated and on a ventilator. So rather than visit him, we visited his sweet girlfriend who has fought this terrible disease at his side, every step of the way.

His name was Kevin and he was 41-years-old.

He was a good neighbor. The best. He lived right next door and rarely a day went by when we didn't see him out in his yard making it look better (and in turn, making ours look worse). From the earliest warm Spring days to the last days of fall before the snow arrived, Kevin could be seen raking, mowing, tending to plants and flowers, and making the outside of his home look like something out of a garden magazine.

In the winter, he could be seen removing every last bit of snow and ice from his driveway, and then he offered to help all the neighbors with their snow and ice. He did this even after his first two rounds of chemo. After all the snow removal, he set out on his snowmobile - something he LOVED to do.

He was a giving, sharing person who would have done anything for anyone. We have several items in our home that he gave us over the years - a buffet cabinet, a beautiful punch bowl, and countless other things. But more than that, he also loved to share a smile, a story, and another story. Kevin LOVED to chat. He was constantly up on all the goings-on in the neighborhood and around town and he loved to share his knowledge.

Although I didn't see or talk to Kevin everyday, it was always a comfort to know he was around. He was our unofficial neighborhood watch. He often stopped speeding cars and gave them a lecture. He also fed the neighborhood birds and squirrels and was friendly to the local cats - even when they used the woods by his house as a litter box. If we went out of town, we didn't even have to ask - we knew Kevin was watching our house to make sure all was well.

Now he is gone and I haven't yet wrapped my brain around that fact. We often went weeks without talking, but if nothing else, I'd wave as I drove into my driveway. I took for granted that he was just always there.

But not anymore.

Oddly, I've gotten to know Kevin's girlfriend better in the last several days than I had in the 5 years she'd lived there with him. In spite of her horrific pain and loss at this time, she is a dear, sweet gal and I look forward to getting to know her better. I only wish it were under better circumstances. It's too bad it often takes a tragedy to bring people together.

The funeral is soon and then we all will be expected to go on about our lives and move ahead. But it isn't always that easy.

Kevin is out of his misery, and for that, I am thankful. It's those of us left behind who must now suffer.

Copyright © 2012 - Paulla Estes

14 March 2012

The Ides of March... Almost

Beware? I'm not sure what to think. This has been the winter that... wasn't. NOT that I'm complaining. We got a weird, early snowstorm on Halloween and then another one on Thanksgiving.

And then everything melted which NEVER HAPPENS until like... May.

And then we got a couple more mediocre snow storms; only one that was worthy of a school closure, but wasn't exactly complaint worthy.

And now it's the middle of March and the snow is... gone. I mean, there are a few patches here and there in the shady spots, but if I weren't looking at the calendar and if I wasn't living in Maine, I'd say that Spring has sprung.

We saw robins in our yard last week.

My neighbor's daffodils are popping up (ours aren't because remember nothing stays alive in our yard for long).

It was 60 degrees this week. Twice. And they're saying it will be in the mid-60s next week.

To use a modern acronym that very succinctly sums up my feelings about this: WTF??

I want to be happy about this, but it feels like a trick. Like, not only will the snow come back, set up camp and stay until the middle of June, but what, pray tell, does this mean for black fly season?

So Beware the Ides of March? Yeah, I'm feeling it a little bit today. But I'm also feeling the lack of a winter coat...

Copyright © 2012 - Paulla Estes

12 March 2012


Need I say more?

Copyright © 2012 - Paulla Estes