Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thursday, March 12 - Back in the Bluegrass

Know that I don't ski, I don't snowmobile, I don't ice fish, and I hate snow. That's one of the reasons I moved to Kentucky. So why on earth would I come to Maine in March? Well, my house in Waterville is selling. Finally. It's an owner-financing deal, which isn't what I was hoping for, but it sure beats paying oil bills and trying to manage a two-apartment building from 1300 miles away.

The fellow who is buying it has already done a great deal of work on it, so he's obviously interested in improving the property. Primarily, I flew up to meet him and get a feel for how the deal would go. I'm pleased. So is he. It's a good thing.

It's really wierd, staying in a motel a mile from my house in Waterville, and that on Wednesday, I'm going "home." For 60 years, Maine WAS home. But you know, you can take the Mainer out of Maine, but you can't take the "Auyh" out of the Mainer.

Several highlights so far -- having dinner in Portland with Maureen and Josh. Visiting school and the warm welcome (and the "what the heck are you doing here in the winter" questions).

I taught two classes, answered questions about living in the south, and Kentucky in particular. The topic was the Progressive Era -- but the textbook only talks about the movement in the North, assuming that the nation as a whole experienced what the North did. The South didn't. Issues of racism, political intimidation, and several other topics were important for the kids to know, and I had some first-hand information to share with them.

It was great to see Alison and Glen, Marshalyn, Michelle, Linda, Bobbi, Steve, Tracy, Diane, Mark, Anna, Sue B, Hannah, Rick, Tom, Sue F, Paul, Eisa, Liz, Jon (forgive me if I forgot anyone), but I missed Blair! Blair, were you hanging out in the gym? I wanted to tell you personally how much Barry and I appreciated your help last July when we moved. We tried to pack this time the way you did it, but we couldn't come close to your competency. How you got ALL that stuff into the Penske truck, we will never know, but your help made the move possible for us. So MMS staff, when you see Blair, pass our thanks on to him.

Senora, it was such a pleasure visiting with you again, seeing all your beautiful artwork -- the Cardinal is FANTASTIC and will look perfect on the dining room wall overlooking the bird feeder in the back yard. I hope we got your computer setup done so it meets your needs though.

What a great bunch of people you all are. And special thanks to those of you who told me that you read my "blog". As much as I enjoy retirement, and as much as I do NOT miss all the garbage that's going on in education now, it was my colleagues and "my kids" that I really miss (oh, and Moxie, which we can NOT get in Kentucky, and good Chinese food a.k.a., Ming Lee's, which does not exist anywhere in the US but Waterville). I only hope the parents, board of directors, administrators, and taxpayers of the Messalonskee School District really know how great you all are.

On a sadder note, Maureen has been at her grandmother's camp, helping her cousin and aunt fit the place for grandmother. Grandmother is terminal, and wants to die at camp, so everyone is doing what they can to make that happen. I can't do much but I did help out on the gas, food, etc, as much as I could. Regardless of what has happened in the past with my ex-family, it IS in the past, and now is the time for us to ignore the "ex" part and just be a family. If I hadn't been flying out Wednesday, I'd probably have stayed a couple of more days just to be here in case I could help.

We will be back in Maine this summer, partly to escape the Kentucky heat. There are a few things at the old house we need to bring home that I can't fit this time in my checked luggage -- like the table saw, the Bridal Wreath shrub, and the LLBean greenhouses! That will give us a chance to visit relatives whom we haven't seen since the move.

Bruce and Shirley, and Carol, I wish I had the time to drive over to Waterford to see you all, but know that at least I would have if I could have. So when are you all coming to KY to visit US?

Before leaving, I had some great Maine seafood at Governor's (can't get in Kentucky), I got a good night's sleep, then visited Dad in Portland and drove to Manchester NH to catch my flight back to the Bluegrass. I'm home now, but with regrets that I can't spend more time with you all. But at least the cat, who missed me, is eating again, the spinach and swiss chard are up, the peach and nectarine trees are planted, and the asparagus bed is ready to go!

Spring HAS sprung (despite the photo just below this entry)!

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Denis,

    It was really nice of you to take time out of your schedule and teach us. I think it was the most I've learned since Mr. Klaus visited earlier in the school year. I could tell that Mrs. Lehto really likes the break from yelling at Luke and Travis. Anyway. Thanks again.

    ~Haileigh : )