These are some of the last shots of Maine in film. I still have an unfinished roll to develop – so there may be a few more here and there. But for now, enjoy some snippets of summer as fall begins to slowly creep in.
Isle Au Haut is an island 45 minutes by mail boat from Stonington, Maine. It’s part of Acadia National Park and has one road that whips around the entire island. We decided to bring our bikes and ride around the entire place. We were dropped off at 9:45 AM and picked up at 4:45 PM. The first stop we made was the ranger station – which I highly recommend because looking at a map is much different than what is really there. About 6 miles (13 miles total) of the road (paved and unpaved) is actual mountain biking. I was pretty surprised by this because somehow in my mind I had visions of carefree cruising for the day, which is not the case. It’s not for the very young and I do not recommend bringing a bike trailer or a pedal trailer. You will likely regret it and your child will be bouncing around uncomfortably. But if you can do it all as a family, it’s awesome. And when you’re biking, you keep thinking to yourself, “people live here year-round – how cool is this.”
They have a school house (four students), post office and general store. The houses are beautiful. When we were there for the day, the weather was amazing – almost hot, as I was dripping sweat from biking. You can also choose to hike, which gets you closer to the coastline. Biking the road weaves in and out of forest most of the time, so for a more scenic route, hike.
My thoughts – If you ever need peace and quiet, or have a book to write – go here.
Maybe there is something about turning a year older, or, getting to a point in your life where you just don’t worry, or care about what others say. I think I am at that point. I think I am that person. Don’t get me wrong, I do care about people. I care about their feelings. I care what happens to you. In 39 years, I finally have me figured out. While I aim to be polite, I am not fake. I am not going to be overtly friendly to you. I will be the person who has your back when you need me the most, and the dragon slayer with my icy stare when you want me to intimidate the evil one. I am like the loyal dog who is always there. Who will bring back that stick over and over. I will do things most people think are not humanly possible. And then I will do them over and over again, just to prove you wrong.
So in 39 years, I have figured me out a little more. The introvert, the athlete, the mom and wife. The person who gives 110% and runs through life full-bore, while others may just sit and stare. I’ve been fortunate enough to see other countries, go to places where there is nothing but sky separating me from God. And I love those places most because I can just be. And I don’t have to talk to anyone. I can just write and write. I can take pictures and not speak. And see those everyday miracles people say don’t exist anymore.
So even when it seems there is nothing good going on, or, someone is telling me the opposite of what is really true, it does not matter. You do not bother me. Because I will keep on going. I will keep on running. I will set my goals higher.
And I will wave as I go on by.
I think I can confirm Deer Isle, Maine as one of my favorite places to visit.
Let me preface with some background about our family. We are active. We do not sit very long. Our children mountain bike and kayak. We are fine sitting in front of an ocean for hours. But not just sitting. So Maine, well, it’s a perfect thing for us.
Deer Isle is a quiet little island located about an hour and fifteen minutes (south)west of Acadia National Park. It was once known for farming and now, it’s a well-known arts and fishing community. So in addition to being a quiet place – nothing is really open after 7 PM, it is a farmhouse mecca .
And yes, I was having a field day with my camera in this environment. There is a distinct difference between a Maine farmhouse and a Pennsylvania one. The huge difference is the connection of the barn to the house itself – we were informed this was to accommodate for the harsh Maine winters. But then there is trim around the windows that is clearly Maine farmhouse. And I grew to love the Maine farmhouse as the week went on. So much so I told my husband we have to include that and this on our house one day. Even the barn being attached to the house too. He stated he wasn’t too sure about that, due to it being a fire hazard, but I assure you we will have a barn attached to our house one day.
Of course we rented a farmhouse too – what did you expect? It actually was a boarding house at one point, but is now owned by a brother and sister. The other sibling and her husband own the adjacent home that has this view (below) of blueberry fields and the Penobscot Bay. Harry, Kate and dog Jake quickly became acquainted with our family and Harry introduced us to their blueberry fields. He also informed us of the best way to make blueberry muffins – putting more blueberries then a recipe asks for, just enough to keep the batter together. We were pretty sure Harry wanted some blueberry muffins and after picking cups and cups, we happily obliged.
Most of our days centered around these views – a pebbled beach, pathways of blueberry picking, runs and bike trips down an unpaved road, lined with farmhouses. And that bay. Seriously – when I’ve read about Maine in blogs, I’ve kind of laughed at the thought it was that magical. Nothing is that magical. But maybe, just maybe it is. And maybe part of that magic resides in the fact it was summer and vacation. But whatever it is, count us in.
One of the amazing opportunities I had in Sendafa was being able to meet many of the single mother’s, with HIV/AIDS, who have benefitted from our micro-finance program. The women apply to get into the program and if selected, are given a loan to start a business. The objective is for these women to become self-sufficient, to provide for their families, and ultimately, pay back the money they borrowed.
I saw first hand, every day, how these tiny little loans, have changed people’s lives. How self-esteem is built – just by being able to provide for their families and many, for the first time ever!
Tayech was one of those women. Tayech started in the program a year ago and has grown her herd tenfold. She has paid back her loan, she sells dairy products at market and has a savings account!
To think how small this is. How just one cow can make a difference is mind boggling.
But it does.
Our church isn’t the only group making a difference in women’s lives like Tayech.
I have the honor of being a part of Epic Thanks 2011. “Epic Thanks returns to its roots by once again focusing on Mama Lucy’s work in Arusha. The students who went to fifth grade in the original classroom built from gratitude have just graduated from the seventh grade, and are now ready for secondary school. The classrooms at Mama Lucy’s primary school are now packed with over 500 younger children – so she needs to build a secondary school where her students can grow up and continue their educations in her loving care.”
So if you like, scoot on over there to see all the wonderful works by my awesome photographer friends and also contribute to a worthwhile cause this holiday season.