Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bed and Breakfast


As you can see from my photo, the ordinarily well-behaved stream that runs behind my house, through the hayfield, and down to the river, had a tantrum last night. The ground was already soaked from heavy rains a week ago, so what fell the past two days just skipped merrily along, obliterating the banks of the stream. Birds have been having a heyday, nabbing worms floating in the newly-formed Lake Hayfield, which was taken over this afternoon by a pair of ducks looking for a bed and breakfast. I told them there was no charge, just change the linens when you leave.

Seriously, though, I wasn't expecting quite this degree of flooding, but it's nothing compared to the rest of Southern New England. At least there wasn't tree damage or power loss, and for that, I'm grateful. Things could easily have been much worse.

It's a tribute to Mainers that the most I've heard anyone say is, "That's a lot of water." I think that's one of the things I appreciate about them, it takes a lot to get them agitated. Admittedly, I've only lived up here four years, but I've yet to meet Chicken Little. If there's a blizzard in the forecast, people stock up on candles, flashlight batteries, and lantern oil, but otherwise they're pretty calm. The day after, my snowplow guy drops round and comments, "Yep, that's a lot of snow."

Before coming here for medical school, I'd only visited coastal Maine on vacation. During the summer the seacoast towns are so crowded it's hard to tell the locals from the tourists without a program. In the off-season, however, Mainers come into their own, and for the most part, seem to cultivate a coping lifestyle. They remind me of the ducks out in the hayfield. It rains, the stream overflows, and instead of wringing their hands and wondering when the next shoe's going to drop, they invite a flock of Canadian Geese to join them. I like that.

As long as they change the linens when they leave, that's all I'm asking.


(Photo by the author)

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