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 sixth 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.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

June 26, 2015

ERRAND WANDERABOUT

... john said, "i have to run down to western maine to pick up some maps that are mine, want to go with me" ... you know me, i'm always for a wanderabout of any sort, especially one for which the excuse is so absolutely thin ... "maps ... envelope ... post office" ... nah, not something i said to him until the day was almost over ...

... we stopped at the shaker village near sabbath day lake, where i enjoyed watching john use his new wide-angle zoom to get up close and personal with the sheep ...

... in the museum we met mr. charles c. perry, who is a master wood carver ...

... he's created a wonderful collection of little wooden creatures ...

... i got the very distinct impression that he enjoyed talking about his fantastic menagerie as much as we enjoyed listening to him ...

... there are only three shakers left in this community, but they seem to do a good job of keeping everything neat and tidy ...

... i always find that i connect to their architecture's aesthetic functionality ...

... when i was a child this sort of thing was relatively common ... in spring, when school ended, a voice from kitchen window, "summer doesn't begin until the fence is painted ... now, and i've no reticence in using the word "sadly," it seems that pre-made plastic fences are the norm, and another of the ways we marked our lives is naught but a routine purchase at the local home supplies big box ...

... inspecting some of the shaker crafts, i began to suspect that my daughter, liz, is a secret member of their community ... both her grandmothers, too ...

... "molasses drops" i can understand, and i suppose with some stretching of one's imagination "cow tales" could be considered typical of an agricultural community, but, as for the little bag labeled "mike & ikes," of that i wonder a tiny bit ... i did notice that apparently shakers are macbook pro users, another score for the faithful ...

... if i applied to the "united society of christ's second appearing," even if well-intentioned, i doubt if they'd issue me a membership card ... putting aside all the specific religious disagreements we might have, including but not limited to the fact that as a rational agnostic i don't specifically believe in the "first appearing," there's one particular aspect of earthly life the shakers have chosen to eschew that i'm just not quite ready to give up ... with a rather dramatic 33% surge in membership, however, i'm sure the only active shaker community in america will get along just fine without me ...

... i wasn't paying much attention, so i can't recall the name of the town john side-tripped us to so that he could investigate one of his favorite roadside attractions, another odd mileage sign ...

... i think someday john should take a trip to alaska ...

... as a kid my family took ten days to drive what was then 1,700 miles of unpaved wilderness road ... i remember this as being a modest collection stretching along the side of the alcan highway, now there are well over 60,000 placards in the "signpost forest" ...

... we stopped for lunch ... again, having not been paying attention, i don't recall where we were ... i do, however, have a most excellent recollection of the roast beef sandwich i enjoyed ...

... on the way home we stopped at the songo locks, where we watched as this miniature version of the panama canal was used by a little pleasure boat ... actually, considering that these locks were put into operation almost 90 years before their more famous brethren to the south opened for business, perhaps i should more accurately state that the panama canal is just a larger version of the songo locks ... the "uphill" journey is free, it's $6.00 to go in the other direction ... over fifty years old, the wooden gates are approaching the end of their service life ...

... on the dam next to the locks i was fascinated by this huge worm gear ...

... i like this snapshot because i can see the shadow of my head ...

... the sun ended gently a wonderful day ...