Sunday, August 24, 2008

Rugged Folk

Thanks for your e-mails keeping me up on what you are up to. Glad to see you've been mostly under 100 degrees in CA. We had some high fog form overnight and this AM. I'm in long sleeves and shorts. It will be low 80's today as it has been all this week.
Mainers are a sturdy sort of folk. This week I have noticed they are not scared of germs like the west coast. Twice now I've been asked "how do you want you hamburger cooked" (and no, not at McDonalds). I never got that choice at least in Visalia 'cause of the rare-meet E-Coli concern. A clam shack yesterday had unwrapped straws standing in a glass, so you had to touch several to get one out. A favorite restaurant in town keeps fistfuls of silverware (business end up) in a glass on the table and you have to touch several to retrieve your utensils. I notice these things especially coming from working at a hospital where cross-contamination was on the high priority watch list. I'm not offended, just noticing the difference.
Maine, the pine tree state, does indeed have lots of pine trees, but more noticeable are the hardwood trees that line all roads. Oaks and maples mostly are so dense that one feels "boxed in" driving out in the country. You don't have open vistas unless passing a cleared dairy farm or wheat field up on a rise. You can pass within yards of the many "ponds" (I would call them lakes) and never see them. Sometimes the top canopies of the trees can overlap up high and you drive through a "tree tunnel". Streets are only occasionally signed, so for the novice, navigating the area can be a challenge. Of course the locals don't need signs, so there is little need to put them up. I looked up the active ingredient in poison ivy and it is the same as poison oak, phew... last I checked I am not reactive to poison oak, but they say it can change. Ivy looks only vaguely similar to oak, but still "leaves of three", but much more like other forest gro
Finally... I am starting to get calls for job interviews. It's taken 7 weeks and I was beginning to wonder if I was blacklisted for being "from away" (or old). My thoughts were running to what it would be like to live on the streets in winter. They have a city division that oversees the homeless population for soup kitchens, but I don't know if there is housing. More on the job front as it unfolds. Michael has been a prince for putting up with me and Dedos for 2 months. I have no idea how I am going to show my thanks when this is over and I can get an apartment.

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