Thursday, May 26, 2011

Readying the beachfront town.

These morning walks clear my head and lungs, not that my lungs feel like they need clearing, this coastal air feels as pure as the ocean horizon it meets. But after the long winter we just had an the ridiculously rainy Spring, Summer just arrived, like a relative without notice. I am happy to see Summer but what happened to Spring? Regardless, it's here and this small coastal town is putting the final touches on getting beach-tourist ready. I watch it like an odd mix of a foreigner and a local. We've been here 5 years, going into a 6th summer and I still feel the West desert blood in my veins, finding this coastal life quaint and an interesting mix of quiet and and something like a junior version of Coney Island 4 months a year.

I called this town "Maybury" when we first arrived. It's a huge contrast after Phoenix and its traffic, crime and "air pollutants" as they were called every day, from too much leveling of Pima cotton fields to build way too many un needed ranch-sytle homes. Del Webb, you build nicely planned communities but really, there isn't enough water for all that Stepford Wives neighborhood sprawl. I hope those farmers were paid handsomely and are enjoying a nice vacation in the Bahamas.

Southern Maine is charming, dayboat haddock rules, and my auto insurance is $67 a month. The air is clear, the drivers kind until the summer visitors from Massachusetts arrive every Memorial Day weekend and bring their road aggression with them.  Slow down people. Really. And be kind.

Fresh tar is being laid down in front on Beach Street after the town put in a flood prevention underground water channel, much needed apparently, after the "Mother's Day flood" of 2006. I remember that flood. We hadn't arrived here yet but saw the picture on the front of the LA Times of a man in a rowboat rowing past the front of what would be one of the candy shops that I would walk past 2 weeks later on my way to our new little post office. The water was halfway up the storefront windows. Wow. This is going to be interesting I thought. By the time we drove our U-Haul truck up Route One and to the hotel, the water had receded, people were putting the final touches of paint on new wood of the repairs and the beach was open for business.

They'll come from Massachusetts this weekend, there's a bit more tar to lay down, a few more strips of sod on the lawn in front of "the Bluff". The Goldenrod will start making taffy, hypnotizing toddlers and 3 generations past them with humming antique taffy machines in the windows stretching the next batch of peanut butter or maybe blueberry goodness.  York Beach will be open for business. And I'll want to go to Boston.

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