Spring? Birds, boats, and Po-Boys…

We just saw 5-6 robins in our yard, our plum tree, and a cherry tree. There was a woodpecker on one of the feeders, and an unusual fawn-colored small brown bird, as well, maybe a warbler. The 13″ of snow that fell two days ago is 3/4 gone, and there’s talk of temperatures near 60 towards the end of the coming week. We had dinner with old friends at Caiola’s in Portland’s West Side last evening, and my hanger steak and scalloped potatoes were absolutely wonderful, with good French wines. F. had a fried oyster salad appetizer that reminded me that we have not yet been to Po-Boys and Pickles sandwich shop just a few blocks from us: just moved to my lunch schedule for the coming week.

In short, the signs of coming Spring abound, even here in the frozen north. It is the time of year that for a couple decades signaled almost daily trips to the boatyard to start prepping for the summer sailing season: lubing the seacocks, painting the bottom, knocking down the winter cover, touching up the brightwork, changing out the oil and water filters, inspecting the sails, waxing the topsides, topping up the batteries, and, in general tackling the 101 jobs required to ensure a safe season on the mooring in upper Casco Bay. Alas, those days seem to be over. We sold our wonderful old Hallberg-Rassy 35 a few years ago, as my advancing age chipped away at my stamina and agility (I am 76). But I will never have a spring without the rising expectation of time to spend messing about with our boat, whether or not I ever have another one. Our boats, Thalia, Dalliance, and Chantey provided us more pleasure and adventure and wonder than any other possessions shared in our quarter-century together, and they live in my personal mythos in a way usually reserved to major relationships to people, pets, and favored places. Maine is wonderful, and is waking up once again. Perhaps, me, too.