Tag Archives: random

One in a Million

Update:  I found out on April 7, 2010 that the blue lobster is headed back to Quoddy Bay Lobster and will be residing in one of their tanks, so be sure to check him out if you happen to be in the neighborhood.

I’ve been ridiculously neglectful as of late.  Since being laid off from my job, I’ve returned to school full time and am loving it, although it keeps me very, very busy.

Anyway, the other morning while walking my naughty little terrier, one of the lobstermen wanted to show me what they’d pulled out of a trap the previous day. 

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Blue lobster

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Isn't he gorgeous?

Blue lobsters are very rare indeed; supposedly one out of every million is blue due to a genetic mutation involving a complicated explanation about various proteins. 

It’s actually the second blue lobster I’ve seen from the guys at Quoddy Bay Lobster here in Eastport, but this one is so brilliant, I had to share him with you.

This little guy is going to live out his days in an aquarium somewhere yet to be determined.  And in case you’re wondering, blue lobsters don’t stay blue when cooked, so hang up your claw crackers and put the butter back in the fridge!

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A Simple Kindness Overpaid

I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me:

I enter a grocery store (or any kind of store) to purchase one item and inevitably a fellow shopper careens into the only open check out line just ahead of me.  

Also inevitably, the shopper’s cart is loaded to the gills, heaped up high.

Just as predictably the fellow shopper pretends not to see me holding my one box of cereal.  Stares right past me and begins to unload their 487 purchases onto the little conveyer belt while I attempt to remain patient and not say something rude.

I’m the type who always lets people go ahead of me in line.  We all have things to do and places to be.  Why make someone wait when they’re just trying to get out of the store with a 4-pack of toilet paper?

I was at the grocery store the other day when I noticed a man enter the check out line right behind me.

 I asked, like I always do, “Would you like to go ahead of me?”

The man hesitated.  He was holding a single bottle of wine.  He looked down at the bottle in his hand, as if to remind himself  what he was standing in line for, and looked back up at me.  He accepted my offer of a speedier exit and I thought no more of it, after all, I was busy unloading my 487  purchases (okay, maybe not exactly 487, but you know what I mean).

When my cart was unloaded I looked up to say hello to the cashier.  There were four women standing there, staring at me.

“What?” I asked, feeling slightly paranoid.

The cashier asked me if I knew the man who had just paid for his bottle of wine.  I shook my head, smiled, and waited for the punchline.

The cashier looked at her three coworkers, confusion evident on her face.

She waved some good old American greenbacks in the air.

“He left this money to put on your bill.”

Okay, now I was confused.  I looked back and forth between the four employees who all seemed stunned by a perfect stranger who paid almost half my grocery bill.

Heck, if they looked stunned I can only imagine the shock on my face.

A simple common courtesy, something I never think twice about doing, was rewarded in a very big way.

I left the store and scanned the parking lot for a man carrying a single bottle of wine but he was long gone, as I knew he would be.

I’m assuming he was performing one of those random acts of kindness people talk about.  Maybe he was “paying it forward”…who knows why he did it, but did it he did.

Heck, a simple “thank you” would have sufficed.

I’m not much of a believer in coincidence.  Is there anyway this man could have known that my employer had laid me off not two hours before?

I didn’t think so either.  This perfect stranger performed an act over and beyond what common courtesy deserved.

 I bet he’s forgotten all about it, just another day to him.  For me, it’s something I’m not likely to forget for a very long time, if ever.

Nor’easter!

I don’t usually get excited about snow but this storm was something else.   Mother Nature thought enough of Downeast Maine to drop a foot or more of snow just in time for Christmas. 

But it wasn’t the amount of snow that has me sitting at my computer this morning, it was the wind.  Granted, Eastport sits seven miles off the mainland and bitter winds are the hardest part of winter here.  

But never in my life have I felt the force of the wind so strongly inside my house.

  This kind of wind doesn’t howl; it shrieks down streets and through alley ways.  The windows were shaking and rattling and I was in fear for my roof.  The bed was literally shaking (and at times I was shaking too!)

The waves, according to the weather reports, were 21 feet and I couldn’t doubt it as I stood in awe and watched the water in my toilet suck in and out of the bowl and thought, “this can’t be normal”. 

I’m not sure how many people would actually admit to staring into their toilet bowl, but if you live in Eastport and did take a gander, you know I speak the truth.

When you’re talking that kind of wind, snow drifts are inevitable.  The front of my car was buried under a four foot, ice encrusted drift.

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My fearless terrier supervised while I dug what felt like a tunnel out my front door  then we headed downtown to see how the rest of Eastport was faring after Mother Nature took her frustrations out on us.

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 These sea walls range from 3 - 4 feet tall 

These sea walls range from 3 – 4 feet tall

      I receive a fair number of emails asking what winter is like in Eastport.  While this isn’t the norm, this is what you can expect from time to time, just like any other New England town.     

So for those of you who have written to ask, has this answered your questions?

A Pale Moon Rising

To the Lovers (you know who you are)

rising in the half light
the beach to cover as the tide
comes rushing in

white metal
wet from damp
legs on dashboard and a pale moon rising
love or lust
golden sun
who knows what brought her
to her knees

faces turn
only he knows
what made the moon rise again

 

Okay, Shakespeare I’m not,  but I couldn’t let this morning’s eyeful go without comment (I love blogging).

Up bright and early (4: 30 a.m), my faithful canine and I set off on a jaunt to the beach with Midge not far behind.  Through the mist I could barely make out a parked car. 

“Someone fishing,” I thought.

I thought wrong.

As I ambled down the path, I could hear music emanating from the car.  Soft, yet carrying through the silence of the morning.

I glanced to my right, saw a young man and woman enganged in (gasp!) SEX in the front seat.  No voyeur, I laughed and continued on.

On my return, I realized that with the slope of the path coming off the beach, I had no choice but to pass the car and would get a full view of Romeo and Juliet. 

They both turned and saw me, and bless his heart, Romeo didn’t miss a stroke (what a guy!).

Ahhh, the lure of outdoor sex. And why not? According to Nine Unique Places to Have Sex, five out of the nine “most unique” places to get naked is outside.   Most of us have done it at least once or twice but it was about the last thing I expected to see at the crack of dawn (no pun intended).

So to the young couple:  I know you thought you’d have privacy and  I’m sorry to have intruded on your passion, but isn’t it nice that your moment has been immortalized forever?

 

Ghost Stories Downeast

It seems as if everyone in Downeast Maine has had a run-in with ghosts.  In fact, you’re considered odd if your house isn’t haunted.  From strange voices coming from a falling down old fish cannery to closet doors that fly open, it seems as if everybody’s got a story to tell….myself included.

The odd noises started shortly after I moved in to my new home.   Loud crashes but nothing knocked over or out of place.  My dog would wake up and wildly bark at nothing. 

Now I am the type who has an explanation for everything but as the weeks passed it became harder and harder to explain away the things that were happening.

One evening last July,  I had six people over for supper and as we all sat around the diningroom table, we clearly heard what sounded like someone walking down the stairs.  We all sat quietly, eyes wide open, as we heard what can only be described as the front door slamming shut.  The door slamming shut would have been easy to explain if it had been open in the first place.   I looked at my guests, shifted uneasily in my chair and asked, “Did anyone else hear that?”

The mystery “person” coming down the stairs didn’t happen once or twice.  Over the summer it was a fairly regular occurrence.  Sad to say, I almost became used to it, but it was always interesting to watch the reactions of those who hadn’t before experienced my “ghost”.

My father spent a week here and woke up one morning to discover all his keys had been removed from his key ring and all the keys laid neatly on the bedside table.  I was certain I hadn’t touched the keys, and judging by the look on my father’s face, he didn’t think it was too funny.

Almost shamefacedly, I began telling some of my new Downeast friends about the goings on and much to my surprise they didn’t laugh or poke fun.  Instead, they looked at me with that blase Downeast expression and asked me what made me think I wouldn’t have ghosts.  As one friend put it, “We’ve all got them”.

One friend gleefully told me about the “man” who lives on the second story of her house who she calls “Sam”.  Apparently one  evening she had a friend over and was showing this friend how she was remodeling the second floor bedrooms. 

 As the visitor followed along, she started having difficulty breathing and blamed her difficulties on a cat allergy.  My friend being the understanding type, suggested they go back downstairs where her visitor wasn’t having any issues with the cats and their never ending supply of hair.

The next day, my friend received a phone call from her visitor who was very freaked out because she had bruises, like finger marks, around her neck. 

I can’t help but wonder what would make Downeast Maine a hotbed of paranormal activity but around here ghosts – or ghost stories – abound.

Thankfully, my house has quieted down for the most part, but every once in a while someone will ask about my ghostly housemate and relate to me another eerie story of spirits who don’t seem to want to give up their homes in Downeast Maine. 

I am hard at work compiling ghost stories from Downeast Maine.  Many of these stories will be told by different owners of the same houses (my house included), so stay tuned….