Feature Writer Karen Crowder – My Relaxing Vacation in Northern Maine

Tuesday, September 10, I boarded the 9:05 down-easter from North Station, in Boston, to Portland, Maine. With train and reservation numbers in braille, it made the process easier for Amtrak staff. They are courteous and kind to anyone with disabilities. In Portland, I received assistance buying tickets and boarding a bus to Bangor. After a lovely lunch at a local seafood restaurant in Bangor, I caught the 6:30 bus. I arrived in Holton, Maine at eight thirty. Pam and John helped me put my luggage into their car on this cool summer night. While we drove to their home in Littleton, John made me feel welcome with his charismatic smile and said, “We are taking you to Grammy’s restaurant for your birthday.”

We appreciated Pam’s delicious chicken stew which was accompanied by slices of delicious garlic bread. As time sped by, Sharon, Jonathan, John, Pam and I chatted. Yet by eleven, we were ready for bed.

On Wednesday, it was a warm humid summer morning. I enjoyed creamy scrambled duck eggs, toast with home canned strawberry jam, and coffee. No one expected the surprise storm, which brought tree damage and power outages to Aroostook County.

On Thursday evening, Pam and John served a delicious turkey supper to Mormon missionaries. They enjoy meals at their house every other week. The storm had upset their plans for smoked turkey. The turkey was deep-fried and was juicy. The mashed potatoes, stuffing and vegetables made nice accompaniments. Pam and John’s hospitality and cooking are raved about at their church. The missionaries took pieces of chocolate silk pie and some of my oatmeal cookies with them to a Scripture class.

By Friday, I was enjoying the pleasant unhurried rhythm of these days. They flowed by at a leisurely pace. Sharon, Pam and I shared late breakfasts and talked and laughed during afternoons, and spent time reading or listening to local radio stations. The rain persisted until Saturday night. Because of the dampness and cooler temperatures, John turned on the pellet stove Friday night.

On Monday, since it was my birthday, at 5:30 we drove to Grammy’s restaurant. They prepare most of their dishes on the premises. Their menu is famous for homemade rolls, onion rings, fries and seafood. There were five of us, four of us ordered shellfish. As we finished our meals, I thought we were going home.

There was silence and then the staff and customers began singing Happy Birthday. Wasn’t it coincidental someone else was celebrating their birthday here? When they said “Happy Birthday Karen,” I was touched by this loving thoughtful gesture. A small piece of German Chocolate cake was placed in front of me. Pam said, “Blow the candle out.” I smiled and appreciated this sweet surprise.

On Tuesday morning, John and Pam drove me to the bus stop. On this brisk September morning we said goodbye knowing this had been a wonderful week of laughter sharing love and memories.

Maine is a lovely state to visit, especially during summer months. It is known for delicious seafood. Houlton has a dairy known for good ice cream and butter.

Have Ziegler readers spent summers in Maine?

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