I am SO looking forward to a Kennebunkport summer of St. Ann’s, the Nonantum and the Colony as well as reading Wishy the Bookworm Chipmunk* at Maine Wildlife Park. Even if summer traditions gets a late start and they end up being two minutes instead of the usual five (honestly that’s how summer feels in Maine, it’s almost like one beautiful blur), I will take it with gratitude!
In addition to the closures I mentioned yesterday the Governor of Maine also shut coastal state beach parks yesterday afternoon. Knowing that everyone will then be heading to the remaining open beaches in my town, Ferry and Higgins, I will avoid them because they will likely be packed. I assume they will soon be closed, too.
I want to share the unsettling things that happened during my walk around my neighborhood yesterday, a walk I’ve taken hundreds of times that is usually pleasant and uneventful. It feels like an entirely different scene because it is.
Now when I see my neighbors out we briefly shout to one another from a distance. I miss chatting with them. It wasn’t that long ago, pre all of this, that a new neighbor gave me a hug when I went over to her house to welcome her. Now she doesn’t leave the house.
What was really unnerving was that a woman walking her dog was so engrossed with what was on her phone that she almost walked right into me! I was across the street but in the street because the sidewalk was still covered with snow. I watched as she started veering into the center of the street as I was getting closer to her. Coincidentally there was a truck parked blocking where I was headed. I was about to turn around but she went back to her side of the street in time.
A minute later a group of boys out on their bikes headed towards me and whizzed by within about two feet from me! Where were their parents? Why are kids still having play dates?
From a happier neighborhood walk last fall.
About ten minutes after that I passed a house where a mother and two kids were doing exercises and laughing together in the yard. That lifted my spirits.
Next time I go to walk in public places I’m going to be much more anxious. I think as soon as all the snow melts in my backyard I might just do laps there! I’ve always cherished having a yard and woods to call my own, but now it’s more than ever.
Our side yard late last spring.
*I hope you will consider purchasing my ebook to pass the time inside! Your purchase helps keep the lights on here at my blog.
Curt Johnson, Maine Wildlife Park Superintendent, reading Wishy’s book.