I’m sure that can cover a number of people, places and things, but I got it just thinking about spring. Spring at Hancock Shaker Village, in fact. With all the promises of warm sun and baby lambs. It really can’t be beat and I want it. Now.
I don’t love November. If we’re being honest, it’s my least favorite month. It’s surrounded by goodness – sandwiched in between the glorious foliage of October, and the glistening goodness of December. All of the promise. And November hangs there in the balance – with its cawing crows and dead things. Fallen, faded leaves. My camera can barely contain the colors of every other month This one is blah. Its also the darkness. I can’t stand darkness. This November has been wonderfully mild so far, with only a few of those New England heavy cloud gloomy days but I haven’t been well for even a second of it. I only get sick like this every few years, so I should be thankful. It’s just a cold, with no fever or sore throat or stomachache. Just a cold. I tend to get melodramatic with colds. I even said to my mom when she asked me if my kids knew she was visiting this week, “I didn’t tell them, because quite frankly, I wasn’t sure I would be alive on Monday.” I was only half kidding.
Worry not, though, it IS just a cold. I was feeling and doing way too much for far too long. If this isn’t a sign to take in more bad movies and good baths, I don’t know what is. And then there’s that feeling. I’m REALLY bad at wanting what I can’t have. I didn’t even bother with those kinds of unattainable crushes in my youth. I didn’t even care. Sometimes would one slip under the radar, quite like this cold I have right now, and it would be mildly or moderately agonizing, but my happiness is my default. So that feeling I get when I look at a photo of a majestic bull moose and I know their antlers will shed soon and I’ll settle into my least favorite season, it’s all ok. I filled my moose love bucket (that sounds weird) quite beautifully in October.
And after all that rambling that even I don’t fully understand, but it involves feelings and moose and a bad cold, let’s talk about Bethel, Maine. What did I leave you with last? A picture of moose. A success! We set out that Friday and pretty much drove through rain and whining for a long time. It was ok, though. We arrived and got dinner at a bar Cassidy and I had visited the first weekend we met, and then we explored our bed & breakfast suite. As is often the case, everyone loved the bed:
Actually. Des fell asleep in the car somewhere in Vermont or New Hampshire, and didn’t wake up when we checked in, grabbed dinner, ate dinner on the floor, jumped on the bed, showered and ran around like lunatics. He missed it all!
Then we set the alarm for a ridiculous hour. I was way too excited to sleep, and just had our moose driving routes laid out on the bed along with my iPhone as I closed my eyes and imagined what moose we’d see the next morning. We woke up before sunrise, gave the kids snacks and set off on the “Magical Moostery Tour” which is a real thing and a 125 mile, self-guided tour through the woods and lakes of Maine. They can’t guarantee you’ll see even one moose, but you may see 40!
With those odds, we set off on the same roads Cassidy and I saw our first moose together on in 2004. One of the first things the two of us saw this time was a hunter loading a dead bull moose into his truck. I gasped. I thought maybe my eyes were deceiving me. In broad daylight, I have wonderful vision. Before or after that, and in artificial lighting, I sometimes don’t. I hoped my eyes had played tricks on me, but of course they hadn’t. We didn’t tell Scarlet why I really gasped. I made up a story and she was semi-satisfied, I think. We drove on and saw the sun rise, which calmed down my racing heart.
And then, it happened. We all saw them at once. Well Des didn’t and he cried until Cassidy hurried him out of the car and to the side of the road. We stared for so long until they retreated and then Scarlet and I got giddy. Drunk on moose.
We stopped to get snacks and use the bathroom at this giant hunting and fishing store. It had a life-sized, stuffed, once-was-alive albino moose. I stopped in my tracks and gasped. I had never even told Scarlet about albino moose. Needless to say, it became a new and major life dream of hers – along with seeing Phish with Cassidy and northern lights with both of us. She’s so our kid. Then we stopped in the town of Rangeley and found this glorious breakfast spot. The Gingerbread House. Pure magic. We went off-roading on bumpy roads. Then we stopped along some scenic heights for fresh air and photos.
Is there more? Yes. Will you hear/see about it? Of course. In time. This is the meaty stuff. We saw six moose in all, but the photos above are the clearest ones and even they leave something to be desired in my photographer’s mind. Was my dream fulfilled? Partly. Do I want more? Yes. It’s a little funny looking for moose when you’re not 25 anymore. In some ways I realize, “Oh, I don’t have magical powers. I used to think I did. And I could summon them.” On the other hand, I DO still believe in magical powers and open hearts and believing and receiving. I really do. It just takes some chemistry and timing. And that whole open heart thing. Sometimes your dreams feel tired and whiny and gassy. And that’s ok. That doesn’t make them any less real. Chemistry, timing, open hearts, whining, good snacks and some good music? Opening doors.