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.

October 8, 2018

WANDERABOUTING WITH AN OLD SALT

... i picked up my friend, john—not the john who currently is hiking along hadrian's wall, the other one who is of the world's greatest workers in wood—and we began our little wanderabout ... "which way do you want to head," i asked ...

... an hour or so later we arrived at the penobscot marine museum ... john's quite familiar with it, but, rather odd, even after living in maine for near forty-five years it's a place i'd never visited ...
   

... the ships models were fascinating, of course, by even more enjoyable was watching this master woodworker's face light up as he examined the construction details of the many boats on exhibit ...
   
  
... the grounds were splashed beautifully with the vibrant colors of various late fall blossoms ...
   
  
... i walked by, perhaps thinking to myself, "jee'zum, if i was making a kitchen table i'd have found a knot-free plank to work with" ... on the way back through the room john explained to me how the three knots were not imperfections, but rather were deliberately chosen by the carpenter as a sort of "signature" ... without bending down to look john said, "go ahead, take a peek at the underside of the other table leaf" ... sure enough three different knots were visible  ... simply, way cool ...
   
  
... the docent enlivened us with a great story of how each ship captain wanted a "selfie" of his ship in every port visited, and that consequently a business arose in which right alongside the docks of the ports were studios which pre-painted numerous copies of the harbor, making sure to emphasize the unique features by which those knowledgeable of the shipping industry could easily identify the location ... when a captain came ashore and requested, "i'd like a painting of my ship entering the harbor," all they had to do was say, "come back in a few hours and it'll be ready," then insert the image of the particular ship into the preprepared canvas ... right, "photoshopping a selfie" in the 1800's ...
   
  
... this detail brought to mind memories of my grammy ...
   
  
... she was from the west indies, where to this day sunday-after-church tea is a most pleasurable ritual ...
   
  
... hmmmm, near as i can figure in the olden days they kept little basins by their beds so they could wash their feet before going to sleep ... such charming customs like this, yup, those really were the times when america was great ...
   
  
... the life of many a fisher has been saved by one of these suits ...
   
  
... well, look on their faces i'm not sure they thought america was great ... maybe they were scowling at their ship captain patriarch, "all the other families've got 'em, when are you going to bring us some of those way cool foot-washing basins" ...
   
  
... many beautiful paintings of ships—and, of course, now i know why so many of them seem almost identical ...
   
  
... of late i knew john had been—well, i suppose "depressed" is as good a word as any—by the national news ... [by the way, is a point of pride to me that to one degree of another pretty much all of my friends're feeling so] ... another thing about wanderabouts, they're perfect medicine for aliments of the heart and soul ...

Cheer up, Jack, bright smiles await you
From the fairest of the fair.
There are loving hearts to greet you
With kind welcomes everywhere.
And we'll sing in joyful chorus
In the watches of the night,
And we'll sight our land before us
When the grey dawn brings the light.
TRADITIONAL SEA SHANTY
   
    
... from our little journey, a final portrait of which i am most unusually proud of both seeing, revealing, and portraying ...
   

... a great day, thank you, john, soon we'll share another wonderful wanderabout ... ...