Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its fifth year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

November 11, 2016

ARMISTICE DAY 2016

... eleven o'clock in the morning on the eleventh of november, ninety-eight years ago ... of those who held their breaths as an unfamiliar silence blanketed softly the red-stained mud, none are left to talk of how they were to have been the last to suffer such insanity ...

... john and i are planning a "big moon" photographic expedition ... after hours and hours of tedious mathematical calculations and a most strenuous process of cartographically applied geometry—okay, i'll 'fess up, we used a website to do all the grunt work—we picked a spot ... this morning we drove over to preview how everything aligns ...

... once we'd checked out the spot we'd chosen john said, "let's go see the biggest tree in maine" ... a bit of wandering, we found the little park along the martin stream road, near where the pavement ends in norridgewock ...

... how fascinating ...  we were later to learn, however, that this huge tree is clearly not the state record holder ... no matter, in this fine morning it served us well so we're not going to tell ...

... as i'm sure all of you who follow my journal remember, per the "photographers' rule" john reciprocated ...
COURTESY JOHN MEADER
... in skowhegan we stopped in at the "bank" for coffee and treats ... yum ...

... after returning john to his house i wandered over to the railroad yards ... figuring it made sense to ask if it was okay to walk near the tracks, i went into the office building [yes, i hear you, i'm probably becoming a bit more responsible as i get ... hmmmm, read that "less young"] ... there was only one person around, a young man with a safety vest ... "i'm not going to say it's okay, i'm not going to say it's not okay" ... cool ... using linguist skills taught to me by my dear pa, i interpreted that to mean, "go ahead, it's your a** if you get caught" ... in the yard i found preparations for winter taking place ...

... i'm saddened to see this symbol on the side of a train ... i remember my first solo flight across the atlantic in one of the very first of the mighty 747s ... the stewardess asked, "would you like chicken cordon bleu or chateaubriand" ... [this in a cheap seat—those were the days] ... of course, i could but hope that the great mortification i felt didn't show as i whispered, "i don't know what those are" ... the best part is that after she leaned closer and whispered back to me, i felt neither embarrassment nor any sense of being a rube, but only the great joy i've since learned is how it feels when someone treats you with class ...

... the train yard is a fascinating place ... i'm sure that nowadays the workers communicate with cell phones, and that their locations are calculated to the inch using g.p.s. devices ... but, when it comes to deep drifts of snow and howling winds in the emptiness of the north maine woods, the world is still analog ... massive machines, huge nuts and bolts holding things together, giant engines exploding prodigious quantities of fuel, and rugged men and women who on a daily basis know that winter can be a beast—an unforgiving never-relenting beast ...

... i wandered down to the cemetery at the south end of town ... i don't care much for such places, but this time of year idling my car along at barely crawling speed in sunken lanes filled deep with dried leaves is a most relaxing thing ... i believe it's quite possible that piles of dried leaves are something g*d took an extra moment in planning ...

... countless times i've driven over the carter bridge ... i'm also one who knows that when they built it there was an old lady living in a house located on the spot along the shore where the highway was planned to cross ... she refused to sell her property to the state ... one night while she was away there was an accidental fire ...

... was a mother brought down to the river to see the gift her child had created for her ... ??? ... is it a rule that taggers must be secretly sentimental ... ??? ... i don't know ... 

... today was a wonderful day ... thank you, john, for sharing the morning with me ... and, to all who have sacrificed, but especially to my comrades of so long ago, thank you, too ...