Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Taste of Maine

Sunday we were heading down to my parents home for a visit.  They live way off the beaten path on a dirt road that goes around a huge lake. (It's actually a pond - Maine's full of huge, lake size ponds). This is the place my children affectionately call "Up in Maine" and we spent many vacations there. Now we all live in Maine so every visit seems like a mini-vacation. My stepdad was finally out of the rehab center and my stepsis, niece and nephew where visiting from Florida. 

Before we left I had checked my email and that's when I got the word that the editor was interested in my book project. So what's a writer to do?  I brought my notebook and pen and worked on my story in the car. We live about an hour and and a half north of my parents so it gave me a nice opportunity to slip away into my imaginary world. It was wonderful to be able to share my good news with my family! It was fun to talk over a some new ideas that I got on the ride down with my stepdad, who has been my consultant for this novel.

For dinner we had a delicious feast of fresh Maine "lobsta" and "steamers", sweet corn on the cob, homemade whole grain bread, and Maine blueberry pie. It was my niece and nephew's first lobster and first taste of clams.
The man at the lobster pound gave them a little education about lobsters and even told them how to tell a male from a female. They also got to hold a rare orange lobster. The lobsters were soft shell, meaning they recently molted so they could grow a larger shell, so they were fairly easy to handle. All the grownups in our family are pros at getting at every bit of meat so they had plenty of fine instruction.

And yes, I already have a lobster story in the works that I started last year.  You know this atmosphere must inspire! In fact, I have a friend who's husband is a lobsterman several hours further north and have an invitation to do some story research with them.
After the lobster feast was over most of us headed down to the pond. At 69 degrees my Florida native sister was freezing, but the kids didn't seem to mind at all! We all had a great time swimming and canoeing past the Loons.

At the end of the day, I got the news that my own father was taken to the ER with a high fever and headache, this was a few days after surgery. After two doses of morphine he was still in excruciating pain.  He has some serious vascular issues so we were very concerned.  This happened several weeks back when I had some good news about my book project that I was celebrating.  My stepdad was in the hospital oncology unit and then my father was taken the the ER and later had surgery.

So this is what my life looks like right now.  Sharing bitter-sweet times of family health concerns right along with my writing joys. In many ways, first experiences for both.

It feels like a roller coaster ride, but I think I'd rather liken it to the canoe ride I had this weekend.  I'm terribly uncoordinated and whenever I put my oar in the water we just went in circles. So I let my son do all the paddling and just went along for the ride trusting in his ability to carry us over the waters and safely back to shore. Ultimately I know I'm in even better hands than his.

"Taste and see that the LORD is good;
 blessed is the man who takes refuge in him."
Psalm 34:8

What does your life look like now?  What joys and concerns do you have?


  1. Carla, what a day you had. I'm praying for your dad... I've only ever had lobster once. My hubby is not a seafood fan. I wouldn't know what to do with the creature and you would have instruct me like the little ones!

  2. Great pics, Carla! Life always gives us the bitter with the sweet. Praying for your dad and your book project. Maine is such a beautiful state. I'll never forgot the time my family spent there when I was a girl. Bless you today!

  3. Hi Carla -

    I'm glad you enjoyed the family visit. I'll be praying for your Dad and Stepdad.

    Susan :)

  4. Carla, having just lost my dad, I understand. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


    All this about Maine is exactly why I want to take a trip there! Seems so ideal and quaint. Thanks for sharing your day with us.

  5. OK, now I want to go to Maine. Great pictures, Carla and I can't wait to read your story :) I'm so glad God is giving you this bright spot in the midst of difficulties.

  6. HI Carla,

    I can relate to your roller coaster ride. I've had trouble focusing on my own writing, between job changes and my mother's up-and-down escapades with health. What a blessing that you can continue to share with honesty. I am praying for your continued success with your writing--

  7. Carla, that's wonderful news about the book project! Praying for you and your family.

    Maine is lovely. I haven't been in YEARS but I remember how beautiful and peaceful it was. And how delicious the seafood was!



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