We’ve had four power outages within the past 8 hours. Just blips deep enough to cause the clocks to reset to zeros and begin their annoying blinking. None of that is of much consequence except that the clock on my stove must be set for the oven to work. The oven must work in order to make a pan of biscuits. No biscuits soon, however. It’s not the right weather yet, but you take my point.

 Because I understand a little bit about how electricity works, I always wonder what is behind such outages. This recent series seems to have been either due to yesterday’s drenching rain and where shorts were instantly reset by automatic resetting breakers or something like that. Or it could have been planned “maintenance” of some kind. Usually, the more traumatic kinds of outages like some poor sod shearing off a pole taking an unfamiliar curve too fast, last much longer.

 Even so, an outage – any kind of outage, brings up once more my increasing dependence on electricity. I am not sure this is a good thing, but it is damned convenient and comforting. I don’t want to do without it. I can remember visiting relatives in the countryside who did not have electricity. Yes! We sat around basking in the semi light of an oil lamp. Cold outhouse seats, wood burning cook stoves, ( I’ve actually owned one of those ) and washing your face in the morning in a cold basin on a rail on the back porch. Just throw the used water in the yard. Electricity, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways, darling, my love.

 Plug it in, turn it on and stay tuned – – – I’m Jerry Henederson

It was a beautiful day for the Casco Bay Tour. Highly recommended. Another 180? Auto Stitch job from my iPhone which got hot in the sunshine and quit on me. The phone is white and I have a black case on it. White reflects, black absorbs. Lesson learned. We had a wonderful time.
No comment. No observation. No rant. Just reporting.
Jerry Henderson

From the deck a nearly 180? view of the gardens in front of the house. Some colors are fading and changing, but that is, in it’s own way, part of the beauty of the seasonal shift that seems always to be with us here.
This was done with an iPhone app called Auto Stitch. It is like magic watching it do it’s thing in the phone and then to be sent out over several channels. It’s only a simple 2 megapixel camera with nearly no refinements but for it to do this I can forgive some shortcomings.
The observant will notice that there are a couple of wood piles beyond. Anyone passing by is welcomed to stack a few sticks and then to come by and warm by the heat they produce later on in the year.
The air is wonderfully dry and cool this evening and is the “why” behind the summer infusion of visitors to our state. Alas, as soon as the frost arrives, those of the chicken hearted clan flee to Florida for the winter months. To be sure, there are moments somewhere around March when I would do likewise. Those times when the cold seems to be invading my bones, I would give a lot to feel the sweat rolling down the small of my back as I hauled one more load of wood into the shed to be stacked.
This kind of gossip is clearly not without substance as the Weather Bug promises 45? tonight with some wind. It’s August you guys!
Oh well, that’s the way it goes here near the 45th parallel.
Be well and stay tuned – – – – Jerry Henderson

Does this look like a day for kayaking? We will see. Could be nice and cool. Could be windy and tense.


News at six – – –

Pictures from the Lighthouse Lover’s Tour in Casco Bay. Take a wrap no matter how warm it is.

A wonderful overcast and cool morning coffee on the deck with blooms all around

It’s been one of those soul sapping. dizzying, hotter than a $4 pistol at the battle of Buil Run kind of days here in Maine, where life is the way it should be, or some such acceptable lie. Nothing seemed to help. I had to run into town for a couple of things and in the air conditioned bubble of my little VW it was heaven. I took the long way to and from. Could have driven to New Hampshire and back just for the cool of it. But I didn’t. I’m a southern boy who can take a week or so of this kind of heat. Truth of the matter is, that’s the truth. I “deal” with the heat much better than my New England friends, some of whom, become physically ill. I think a lot of it is mental. To them the heat is wrong. It is a moral outrage. The heat is the heat, it seems to me, and to resist only magnifies one’s perception of its intensity. Sounds high minded, if not down right self-righteous, doesn’t it? It’s hot on us all.

 There are a couple of deck options here where one can avoid the direct sun and hope for a breeze. But today nothing, not even that usually bountiful option seemed to work. It was just hot and you set your thermostat to idle and hoped for the best.

 I decided that watering the garden’s few survivors would be a kind and cooling thing to do. it was. I “accidentally” got a little spray on myself. The few carrots that survive look good. Tomatoes are abundant but still green with some turning a yellow-green. i have a few plants on the deck and from them I have had a couple of nice tomatoes. I am eating some yellow squash. Scallions, leeks, chard. kale and collards are good but not as productive as usual.

 So things were not a complete washout. My neighbor Dean, brought over a basket of snap beans. He always has great beans. Half of ours didn’t come up and those that did are making a few but not really enough for a mess. When our tomatoes come in, we’ll share. His tomatoes had the blight of which we were mercifully spared this year.

 As i am finishing this it is early next morning and the air is already heavy and portending another hot day before tomorrow’s promised cool front. If it is cool tomorrow I’ll do the yard work before the weekend when we get busy with visiting and being visited upon. It appears that we may actually get in our kayaks on Sunday. Could it be? Could it be?

 To put all this in it’s proper light: this is the season I dream of in March when my bones are brittle with cold and I yearn for sweat dripping down my back.

 Be well and stay tuned.

     Jerry Henderson

I went out to the road this morning to get the paper and it was not there. The “there”, where it was not, is actually the end of the driveway which curves up a rise and then to the right for another 100 feet to the garage. From the house the end of the driveway is not always visible due to the intervening foliage in the summer. So it is not easy to see whether the paper is laying in the driveway.
The “paper” said they would have one of those boxes or tubes with their name on it put up soon after we ordered the paper, and that has not been done, after more than two months. I now do not expect it to be done. At least I would like the paper to be thrown in the driveway where it is easily picked up and sometimes visible as well. I am not happy, way too early in the morning, when I have go bushwhacking through the weeds to find the morning news.
I mean, how difficult is this job, which I am sure does not pay the kind of money that vacationers in Aruba make? But it is a fairly easy job and one that does not seriously interfere with one’s other necessary activities such as listening to rock and roll, or talking to some sweet hottie on the cell phone – and safely operate the vehicle.
I am sure one of the issues I am dealing with here is continuity. For just about a month and a half the paper was dropped in the middle of the driveway entrance neatly ensconced in it’s bright yellow plastic weather sleeve. Then all at once it turned into be the “hide the thimble in plain sight” game. But, of course never in the clear driveway apron. It has to be a new guy who probably doesn’t want to do this kind of work anyway.
I am sure it is all to do with my history in the “helping people help themselves” professions that leads me to consider a deeper meaning to the meandering morning newspaper caper. Since the deliverer would obviously rather be in Aruba and not driving down this rather beautiful country road dropping off morning newspapers, and since he would would just as obviously enjoy sitting on a number of the porches or decks he is passing sipping coffee and reading the paper instead of throwing them wildly at the trees, it therefore takes little imagination to conjure up a bit of passive aggressiveness here. “I’ll just make that old fart work for his morning news today – Hee Hee.”
Of course nothing of the sort is going on except that i have a much too active imagination early in the morning. The paper has shown up every day except one in an ultimately discoverable location, and that one day’s news was quickly re-supplied.
I really enjoy going out for the paper and filling the bird feeders early in he morning. It’s all about the screen door, and not about looking for the paper. Just this spring I installed one on the front door to the garage, which is usually the main door. I love the jolting sound as it slams shut, if left to do so. It reminds me of my childhood in the south where any portal to the inside of a house was covered with a screen door.

You could always tell when Fritzie Kennon left the house across the street when his screen door on his back porch slammed shut and startled the Blue Jays in the China Berry tree, and was heard by everyone within a block. There’s no sound quite like it. It was a familiar, and in it’s own way, comforting symbol of neighborhood. 

Some folks had those little spring loaded closers that could catch the door and ease it shut in a few seconds. Always seemed kind of uppity to us. In my frequent adolescent fits of temper, I loved the ritual of slamming the screen door. Such a device would surely “dampen” the effect for me.
I’ll bet there is not a screen door on Aruba. I’ll have to ask my paper person If I can catch him some morning. He’ll know.
Jerry Henderson