I experienced the opportunity to visit Downeast Maine last week. Scarcity of any signs of civilization, which some may find a culture shock. As many of my road trips are, it was an adventure. What should have been a 2 1/2 hour tour, turned to 3 hours. Along the way I met interesting people who remind me why I live here.
I stopped first to check my directions at a mom and pop store. Mom was really nice when I told her I was uncertain of where I was. She started her reply by explaining to me “you know, you’re really in 3 towns at these four corners”. (No, I didn’t know) Could she please tell me if I’m going the right direction for Ellsworth. “Ellsworth? Why didn’t you go 395?” (That was not what googlemaps or my GPS had suggested). “Well, she said, you should have followed that Home Depot truck that just went by. They go straight to Ellsworth.” Uh, huh. “Just keep going straight and eventually you’ll run out of road. Then turn right.” I thanked her and she looked straight at me and said “You could buy a slice of pizza.” (at 9AM?) I did buy a cup of coffee and a massive sized whoopie pie. (Which I had planned on anyway) It did occur to me to ask why the Home Depot driver doesn’t go 395, but I was raised to not question my mother. I did ask her how long she thought it would take to get to Ellsworth. Her reply: “That depends on how fast you drive”. Bake until done
Down the road a bit, I was getting nervous that while I had only gone a straight line, perhaps mom had pulled my leg. I stopped again. Taking my directions with me, which were impressively filled with street names and route numbers, I shared them with the nice mechanics at the auto shop. They took a gander, patiently explained a shorter route and wished me well. As I was leaving I remarked, “It would be helpful, if you folks would name your streets so I could better use my directions”. “We do.” he said with a grin and a twinkle in his eye. “We just don’t use signs.” *smile* I left my giant-sized whoopie pie with them as a token of my appreciation.
I made it to my destination where my host graciously accepted my apologies for my tardiness, adding that he is always late. He shared a wonderful meal of farm fresh chicken in a savory tomatillo sauce, sautéed fresh garden kale, fresh potatoes, and freshly made garden beverage. My contribution was made-that-morning chocolate chip cookies. The food and the company was inspirational.