The puddle in our front yard has reappeared right on time, just as it has every spring for the past 50 years. It forms in the corner where the driveway joins Beach Road, more of a pond these days than a puddle. Melting snow (in a snowy year) or just rain like this year run off the road and driveway, and collects in this one spot.
Every few years the Maine DOT comes along and adds another coat of asphalt to Beach Road, covering up the cracks and filling the potholes and raising the level of the road. In turn we add a few yards of crushed rock to the driveway every few years, raising it up another couple of inches. The resulting puddle gets deeper and deeper.
This spot was a magnet for our little boys. In winter, when the plowed snow was reliably deep enough to cover the mailbox that little corner might have a pile five or six feet deep. It was a ready-made snow fort, a place to carve out a cave. A favorite family tale has one boy abandoned in the collapsed cave while the other two had come inside and were drinking cocoa with marshmallows as their brother struggled to escape.
That same boy couldn’t be kept out of the puddle once it melted. Knee-deep in cold water, he’d splash happily as long as we’d let him. Fast forward (all time seems to be moving fast these days) and his son has discovered The Puddle.
Bittersweet for a grandma who sometimes thinks she’s mixing up the generations. The ash tree that came with this house figures in lots of our early snapshots. You know, the ones where visiting aunts and uncles, grandparents, or cousins pose out in the driveway at the end of a visit. In one, I’m obviously pregnant with our first, as we bid good-bye to Wally’s mother and her husband driving away. In another, our three-year-old is chasing his Siamese cat up the trunk of the ash, barely 6” in diameter. Today it’s a mighty 20”.
Note: if there is no link to a remote meeting, contact the Town Office or 763-3555 to get it
WEDNESDAY, Mar. 31
Library book pick-up, 3-6 p.m.
Planning Board, 7 p.m., Remote
THURSDAY, Apr. 1
Recreation Committee, 5:30, TBD
SATURDAY, Apr. 3
Library book pickup, 9 a.m.-noon, Library
AA meetings, Tuesdays & Fridays at noon, Norton Pond/Breezemere Bandstand
Lincolnville Community Library, curbside pickup Wednesdays, 3-6 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon. For information call 706-3896.
Soup Café, cancelled through the pandemic
Schoolhouse Museum open 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, In person and on Facebook
United Christian Church, Worship Service 9:30 a.m. via Zoom
That same boy had encounters with other of our livestock in that same spot: there was Wilbur the ram who butted him across the yard; the mean rooster who pecked a (small) hole in his back and who ended up in the soup pot that night; and I’m sure he’s never forgotten the geese who loved to terrorize him. This animal-beleaguered kid currently lives in a household with two puppies (one destined to be 120 pounds), a cat and a bunny.
But back to the puddle. When the puddle makes its appearance, when it’s no longer a skating rink, but rather 8” of cold water, spring can’t be far behind. People report spotting crocuses in bloom in Camden, and Corelyn Senn keeps us up to date on the emerging skunk cabbages, always the first growing thing in the spring. I know of a certain doorstep surrounded by daffodils in bud (but that one is located in Lincolnville’s tropics, near the shore), but here in Sleepy Hollow spring, as usual, is reluctant.
It’s the time of year when all our neglected chores are on full view. The browning wreaths still hang on the doors; the Christmas lights and decorations, broken and scattered; the perennial stalks I never cut down; the dog toys that litter the back yard; the dog poop that decorates the deck. (That would be my dog, Fritz; he’s never been one to venture out into the snowy yard to do his business. Conrad, the upstairs dog, is much more fastidious.)
Speaking of dogs, I ought to mention that a third dog has joined our household. Bella, recently of P.A.W.S., is settling in upstairs, figuring out the two dogs, four cats, three children, three adults, and 30+ chickens who already live here.
It’s also notoriously, Mud Season. The guys who cut wood had to stop weeks ago when the ground turned to goo under their equipment. Lincolnville’s dirt roads are becoming nearly impassable, as newcomers, who may have moved in during fall’s glorious weather, are becoming acquainted with a Maine Spring.
A word to any of you who’ve moved here this past year. Maine is more than a geographical spot on the map, and that applies to our towns as well. Each is unique, to its location, topography, and population. Notice how Maine sticks out from the rest of the states? It has the shortest boundary with contiguous states as any other state, a couple of thousand miles of coastline, more boundary with Canada, furthest east of the states. By rights, we ought to be in the Atlantic timezone.
We ought to be the coldest, snowiest, but in fact, especially here on the coast, we’re neither. Expect ice as much as snow, often gloomy springs but spectacular autumns, crummy winters but wonderful blue-sky summers. We pride ourselves on: no tornadoes, poisonous snakes, killer reptiles, hurricanes, floods, wildfires or avalanches. At least so far.
As for spring. First comes the mud (and the puddle), then come the ticks, the black flies and browntail caterpillars. Maine never does Easy.
March. March Hill. We’re climbing March Hill. Sadly, just in the past month or so we’ve lost three people: Fred Moody, Gina Knight, Bob Berry. I apologize if I’ve missed someone. I keep a mental list, but then, it’s hard keeping track. Time passes both quickly and slowly if that makes sense.
Here’s some random good news from our town:
Ben Rollins, a 2015 graduate of CHRHS and the son of Amy and Pete, has been hired as the varsity baseball coach at Camden Hills. As Amy writes “He finally gets to do what he went to school for! He graduated in May 2019 from Lyndon State College (Vermont) with a degree in sports management.”
And Dee Boehmer, known to many as one half of the duo who regularly pick up trash along Beach Road, is on the good side of a cancer diagnosis. Following recent kidney surgery in Portland Dee received the welcome call that all is clear. She thanks everyone who’s been supportive of her through what has been a months-long process. Needing medical treatment during the pandemic hasn’t always gone smoothly. Congratulations Dee!
Girl Scout cookies are in and being delivered. If you meant to order or wished you had, contact Tracee O’Brien
The 1821 Meeting House, AKA United Christian Church, in the Center is in need of a new roof. The good news? In just seven days the roof fund topped its goal of $15,000!
And as I write this morning, I’m being distracted by a hopeful cardinal calling for a mate. His song, though muted by the howling wind, is unmistakeable.
Dave Kinney reminds us that “nomination papers for local elected office are available at the Town Office during normal business hours. Nominations are being sought for:
Board of Selectmen 2 positions
Lincolnville Central School Committee 2 positions
Budget Committee 3 positions
Five Town CSD School Board 1 position
“In order to qualify for the ballot, nomination papers must have at least 25 signatures of registered Lincolnville voters and no more than 100 and be returned to the Town Office by 4:30 p.m. on Friday April 9, 2021. Be part of the solution.”
Susan Fockler, an AARP Volunteer Tax Aide Counselor writes: “If you are not filing a tax return because your income is only or mostly Social Security, you may be missing out on a refundable tax credit from the State of Maine called the Property Tax Fairness Credit (PTFC) and/or the Sales Tax Fairness Credit (STFC).
“We still have appointments at the Camden Public Library and will do your 2020 and 2019 (even 2018) returns if you have your documents. Property tax or rent may qualify you for the PTFC and low income may qualify you for the STFC.
“Call me at 763-2703 or the library at 236-3440 to make an appointment.”
Kindergarten registration has started for children who will be 5 years old on or before October 15, 2022. Call Marie Pierce, 763-3366, for more information.
Check out this week’s Lynx newsletter for an interesting introduction to SEL or Social Emotional Learning, “the process of developing the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work, and life success.”
Looking for Work?
Lincolnville resident and Revision Energy co-owner, John Luft, posted this to the LBB the other day: “Montville (formerly Liberty) based Revision Energy is growing to keep up with Maine's renewable energy demand, and currently has a variety of open positions. Revision Energy is a 100% employee-owned company and a certified B Corp and Maine's largest solar installer. We have our own in-house training center and technicians can work towards getting the required licenses while still earning a living in the field. Trying to get your kids to move back to Maine? Want to learn a trade and have a well-paying career with benefits? Want to do work you can feel proud of and work with an amazing team? Visit our careers tab. “