We’re coming up on Thanksgiving this week, and gratitude is in the air. Making muffins the other morning I put a stick of butter in the little copper pan Lynne gave me one Christmas long ago, the one I always use to melt butter. Lynne is the sister-in-law who kept my kitchen well stocked with the pretty plates I‘ve used for decades, and more recently a really warm and fluffy robe that comes out when the temperature drops.
Speaking of warm and fluffy, Bitsy, the sister I found in the middle of my life, left behind one year the throw I wrap up in every afternoon and nap.
A little framed saying has hung in my house ever since Edwena, another S-I-L, gave it to me at the end of a summer visit: Sisters-in-law by chance, Friends by heart. And scattered throughout my house and hanging on the tree every Christmas are the little handmade gifts that Linda, my childhood friend, sends each year.
And that got me thinking about presents. My house is full of them – some trinkets, others useful – I’ve received over a long life. A stained glass mushroom from son Ed, the butter dish Wally gave me to replace one I broke, a hand-painted sign welcoming our first baby that a long ago (I’ve forgotten her name) neighbor gave us.
I’ve kept each of them, feeling that whether I would have chosen it or not, it’s imbued with the giver’s spirit and that’s enough reason to keep it. Walking through my rooms is a constant reminder of the people I’ve loved. It also contributes to the clutter that’s another hallmark of my house, but then that’s another column. I suspect I’m not alone in this.
The spirit of the people who’ve passed through my life extends outside to the plants from friends’ gardens – a venerable forsythia and hardy lilac, the Elizabeth grape vines that have taken over the arbor, even the ghastly goutweed that snuck in disguised as an attractive bi-colored ground cover and then morphed into the invasive green monster I’ve fought ever since.
I don’t blame Hoppi, the dear friend who shared it. Neither of us knew what it was capable of. The tiny blue speedwell she gave me shows up every spring to creep all around my rock walls and almost makes up for the goutweed gaffe.
When my partner, the friend-who-lives-down-the-road (but has become much more than that) and I were getting to know each other, we agreed there would be no gift giving. Not at Christmas, not for birthdays, certainly not for anniversaries. But old habits don’t die. A couple of Christmases ago I found a package under the tree – no card, but which only could have come from him. Inside was a nifty cheese board with a little guillotine-like cutter, exactly like his, the one I’d always admired.
MONDAY, Nov. 22
No School all week for Thanksgiving Break
Selectmen meet, 6 p.m., Town Office
TUESDAY, Nov. 2
Library open, 3-6 p.m., 208 Main Street
Lakes and Ponds Committee, 7 p.m., Town Office
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 24
Library open, 2-5 p.m., 208 Main Street
Planning Board, 7 p.m., Town Office
THURSDAY, Nov. 25
Town Office closed
FRIDAY, Nov. 26
Town Office closed
Library open, 9 a.m.-noon, 208 Main Street
SATURDAY, Nov. 27
Library open, 9 a.m.-noon, 208 Main Street
AA meetings, Tuesdays & Fridays at noon, Community Building
Lincolnville Community Library, For information call 706-3896.
Schoolhouse Museum open M-W-F or by appointment, 505-5101 or 789-5987
Bayshore Baptist Church, Sunday School for all ages, 9:30 a.m., Worship Service at 11 a.m., Atlantic Highway
United Christian Church, Worship Service 9:30 a.m. outdoors or via Zoom
Dec. 4: Beach Tree Lighting
“It’s just a loan,” he insisted, “not a gift,” said by the man who swore off gift-giving.
Black Friday is just around the corner. Does that even have much meaning these days when you can order anything your heart desires with a click or two of the keyboard? Still, the idea that we can find the perfect gift for everyone on our list, may be simpler than that.
When catching sight of a little tchotchke on the shelf or a cross-stitched aphorism hanging on the wall brings a long-gone or distant loved one to mind it’s priceless.
And by the way: here’s an ornament (pictured above) to send to family and friends far away that will bring Lincolnville home to them each year when they hang it on the tree! The little wooden truck, loaded with a Christmas tree and our name on the side, is $8.95, available only at Janis Kay’s Red Cottage in the Center, open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 11-5. All proceeds go to the Beach Schoolhouse fund.
Beach Tree Lighting Update
Last week the prospects for caroling around the Beach bonfire next week looked bleak. But true to my assessment, the thing is loosey goosey; somebody always steps up. Yes, there will be a bonfire and singing and Santa and who knows what else!
Briar Lyons and Aaron Boetsch, with advice from veteran bonfire-builder Andy Young, will be taking over the reins. Song leader Morgan Keating is rumored to be heading this way, though my own son, Ed, says he’s willing to step up if necessary. That’s all I know, the result of a FB message thread. The date is Saturday, December 4, with the bonfire touched off at 3:30 and the caroling starting at 4. Santa arrives at 4:30.
So bundle up the kids and grannies; I’ll see you there!
A Couple of Thank Yous
From the United Christian Church:
Thank you, Neighbors, for your support of the Holiday Antique and Gift Show. It was a great success not only for the cash it generated but more importantly for the pleasure of welcoming you back for a joyful community gathering.
With gratitude and good wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving.
Mary Schulien, event coordinator
And from the Beach Schoolhouse Restoration Project:
A big thank you to all who have contributed to our Capital Campaign! Because of the community’s generosity we now have enough money to begin work on the 1851 building that houses the Historical Society. Last week the rusty old fire escape was “flown” over the roof via Rockport Steel’s crane to be restored over the winter.
This week Andy Young’s crew has begun installing the heavy steel beams that will add extra support to the second floor, one of the town’s biggest concerns with the building at the time they were deciding what to do with it.
And here’s wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I for one have lots to be grateful for, most of all, everyone of you who make up this town that I love . . . . Diane O’Brien