Tag Archives: Maine

ANOTHER CHANCE TO VISIT MAINE

Maine: A Novel
Author: J. Courtney Sullivan
Publisher: Vintage Books, 2011
Genre: Fiction
Paperback Edition: 509 pages
Source: Personal Copy

In this book published prior to Sullivan’s bestselling Saints for All Occasions, the author writes of the Kelleher family and their summer homes in Maine. The reader watches the Kelleher woman as they mostly struggle to put their relationships on firmer footing. There’s the 83-year-old matriarch Alice, granddaughter Maggie, daughter Kathleen – something of an outcast, and daughter-in-law Ann Marie, always striving and wound as tightly as coiled spring. Compassion and humor find a way to send up shoots between the rocks of fear, competition, and secrets.

Maine seems like it would be a comforting place and sometimes it is. But the beach house and the new house next door are bones of contention, too. The beach may call but not as loudly as one might expect. The reader learns about Alice through her memories, Maggie is a smart New York writer, yet she finds herself in a predicament not made of smart decisions, Kathleen wonders about like a lost soul, and yet she has experienced many life blessings.

What will become of the homes in Maine? Do family members love the place, or maybe not so much? The reader has a great time turning the pages and finding some answers to those kinds of questions.

This reader read this book because Saints for All Occasions was such a wonderful read. I enjoyed this one just as much. Highly recommended!

A DAY IN PORTLAND, MAINE

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This city stays in my mind. A memorable day – the city scenes keep coming back for a visit.
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The Portland Museum of Art is filled with treasures, as are most such places. Here we enjoyed the work of several of my personal favorites: Winslow Homer, John Singer Sergeant and Mary Cassatt, and, in a phrase you hear from me too often, much more.

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Pictures taken from notecards are “Looking Out to Sea” by Winslow Homer

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And “Helene is Restless” by Mary Cassatt. This painter’s pictures of women and children always touch my heart.

Learn more at www.portlandmuseum.org

Near the waterfront stood this grey building which caught my eye. It seemed a fitting introduction to the city.

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Our lunch spot, Scales, my favorite restaurant in Maine, and where I ate the best oysters ever! It is new, part of the famous Portland food scene many food writers can’t write enough about.

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Inside, the lines of the dining room were clean and nautical, befitting a fish restaurant, though I also watched a skilled staffer at work trimming flank steak.

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The remains of an interesting beet salad with yogurt and smoked trout roe. I’ve never had anything like it. Everyone in our group thought the flavor combinations interesting and delicious.

Here also the memorable Maine blueberry crisp, with oat crumble, and vanilla frozen custard. Maine blueberries just could not be better than our famous Michigan blueberries, but then again, they were mighty good! Blueberry desserts in Maine this time of year are a sure thing!!

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www.scalesrestaurant.com

Downtown waiting for the trolley tour.

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Bright sunshine and breeziness made the waterfront lovely and picture taking difficult from the trolley. I share a few shots that give an impression of this city.

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There was, as always, so much more ( I knew I’d say it again), including an interesting old church and a beautiful waterfront park.

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ST. ANN’S CHURCH-KENNEBUNKPORT, MAINE

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Some photos for this post courtesy of Karen Kozian

Is it possible to visit this church without becoming overwhelmed by the beauty of the building and the place, without becoming drawn into a state of unexpected spirituality or without becoming prayerful? A strong sense of history permeates the sights, sounds, smells, the touch of ancient stone, and the taste of the salt air as it burrows into the soul of the visitor. Being here on this point of land, wrapped in the sea breezes held me in a spell I found difficult to identify.

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In 1885 this drawing of the church was prepared by Boston Arcitect Henry Paston Clark. Kennebunkport Seashore company donated the building sites along with the existing rocks on the shore – a stone church was possible. Rev. Short wrote: ….a stone church here will give the impression of permanency. A stone church gives confidence to a congregation….A stone church shows that a congregation has come to stay…”

Hard pine beams frame the inside of the church. Pews and clergy stalls are hewn of oak. The cornerstone was laid in 1887.

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Much restoration was completed in 2005-2007. Among the restored items to be celebrated in 2007 were the bells and fully restaored stained and leaded glass windows. The bell tower was dedicated to Dorothy Walker Bush by her family

The park-like setting surrounds the church with grass and flowers running out to the rocky shore. Was there ever a better place for quiet meditation?

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This church is located near the home of George and Barbara Bush. The Bush Family has been involved with this church which has benefitted from gifts from both the Walker and Bush Families.

More information at the website www.stannskennebunkport.org

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Our Maine travel group also visited the lovely grounds and buildings at St. Francis Franciscan Monastery in Kennebunk, Maine. Google it for more information.