So Quiet But I Finally Woke Up

Sometimes I feel like I’m drunk behind the wheel
the wheel of possibility
However it may roll, give it a spin
See if you can somehow factor in
You know there’s always more than one way
to say exactly what you mean to say

Was I out of my head or was I out of my mind?
How could I have ever been so blind?
I was waiting for an indication, it was hard to find
Don’t matter what I say, only what I do
I never mean to do bad things to you
So quiet but I finally woke up
If you’re sad then it’s time you spoke up too

Was I out of my head or was I out of my mind?
How could I have ever been so blind?
I was waiting for an indication, it was hard to find
Don’t matter what I say, only what I do
I never mean to do bad things to you
So quiet but I finally woke up
If you’re sad then it’s time you spoke up too

Was I out of my head or was I out of my mind?
How could I have ever been so blind?
I was waiting for an indication, it was hard to find
Don’t matter what I say, only what I do
I never mean to do bad things to you
So quiet but I finally wake up
If you’re sad then it’s time you spoke up too

Outta My Head – Fastball

Today was another day for a ride along the coast of Maine. I left Bangor at 4:30 this morning and drove to Ellsworth then north on US 1 all the way to Calais. I needed to clear my head after a difficult week of driving, and the beauty of the coast never fails to inspire.

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It’s fun to think I am looking at the same picture the earliest explorers looked at hundreds of years ago. The only thing different now is the presence of man made homes and docks. All the inlets, coves, islands and mud flats are unchanged. The above picture could be the vision of the first explorer to set foot on that beach. The presence of man brings new things, but still in harmony with nature.

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Many of these inlets may have filled in some with silt, but all it takes is one big storm to wash it back out. The ebb and flow of the ocean tides cleanse the coast and provide for all the flora and fauna that thrive here.

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As I roll along I feel my shoulders settle, my neck loosen. I smell the salt air and watch the birds fly over the flats. It’s so quiet but I finally woke up to the fact that I must have been blind to not realize before now, just how much I can see and do for almost no money. There are so many places to see and touch, smell and hear. I think about my former plans of a house or land, my little slice of the earth and I understand how narrow that goal is. Why limit yourself to just a small view?

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There is so much more I can see from the deck of a boat. Every day I can have a different view, every day I can turn the page in my book of life and add a new photo. Every day I can feel the joy of discovery, feel just like a child again.

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Can you see yourself anchored in this harbor, rowing the dingy to shore to go to the local Farmers Market for fresh vegetables and fruit, buy some fish caught just today right from the boat that caught it? A minimalist lifestyle can be had, and a much better life can be lived if your willing to do what it takes.

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This sea otter lives a life free from the daily grind we all face, so why can’t we? Alone or with friends he go’s where he want’s, when he want’s. So why can’t we? The answer is…we can, and I will! Imagine anchoring in this quiet cove. Nothing but the wind and the gentle sway of the boat. What is that kind of peaceful lifestyle worth?

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Nothing in life is free, nothing should be taken for granted. So many people work so hard for their retirement only to get sick or even die before they can enjoy life after work. Many others can’t stop working for fear of losing everything they worked so hard for. If you have almost nothing, you have almost nothing to lose I say. If my boat sank, I could work and buy another. If you lost your house at age 60, could you afford to buy another?

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The sunset of my life is coming, my body is not as resilient as it used to be. I can’t read a book without glasses, but I can rebuild a diesel engine. I can’t run a 5k race, but I can row a dingy and sail a sailboat. Ones worth in this world is not only measured by their physical prowess or their degrees earned in collage, but by their ability to fend for themselves. The founders of this country came here with minimal tools and supplies, the rest they had to come up with on their own. It may have been very hard by today’s standards, but they understood what it took to live a minimalist lifestyle, and I will do the same.

The sweat on my brow and the blisters on my hands are the price I will pay for my lifestyle of choice. I will have many more years of that currency with which to pursue my goals, live the dream before I am too old. My book of life will be filled with joy and laughter, sorrow and tears. A balance of each is my goal if I can help it. We shall see.

PS: I had lunch in Calais at a small diner in town and met Katalin. We had a great conversation and she reminded me of a former post about exceptional people, of which she is one. The story of your boys giving you a ring and saying you were married to them was so endearing it made my heart melt. I told you when I sailed up the coast in a year or two I would stop by again and take you and your two sons out for a sail. And yes Katalin, I will show up, but I was lying to you a little. I don’t often include two songs in one post, but this song is what I felt when I drove back to Bangor.

 

 

Leave Tonight Or Live And Die This Way

You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere

Anyplace is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose
Maybe we’ll make something
But me myself I got nothing to prove

You got a fast car
And I got a plan to get us out of here
I been working at the convenience store
Managed to save just a little bit of money
We won’t have to drive too far
Just ‘cross the border and into the city
You and I can both get jobs
And finally see what it means to be living

You see my old man’s got a problem
He live with the bottle that’s the way it is
He says his body’s too old for working
I say his body’s too young to look like his
My mama went off and left him
She wanted more from life than he could give
I said somebody’s got to take care of him
So I quit school and that’s what I did

You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so we can fly away
We gotta make a decision
We leave tonight or live and die this way

I remember we were driving driving in your car
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
And I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
And we go cruising to entertain ourselves
You still ain’t got a job
And I work in a market as a checkout boy
I know things will get better
You’ll find work and I’ll get promoted
We’ll move out of the shelter
Buy a big house and live in the suburbs

I remember we were driving driving in your car
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
And I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
And I got a job that pays all our bills
You stay out drinking late at the bar
See more of your friends than you do of your kids
I’d always hoped for better
Thought maybe together you and me would find it
I got no plans I ain’t going nowhere
So take your fast car and keep on driving

I remember we were driving driving in your car
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
And I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so you can fly away
You gotta make a decision
You leave tonight or live and die this way

Fast Car – Tracy Chapman

My life to date can be summed up in three words….Mistakes, disappointment and compromise.  Of those three I think compromise has the least sting and the most promise for a better future. Mick Jagger was right when he wrote “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”  One can hope for this or that, wish for a lottery win or rich unknown uncle, but I feel the only way to achieve a better life is first, knowing what it is you really want, then setting realistic goals that YOU can complete to reach your dream. Help from others is nice and appreciated, but you can’t count on it.

Winterport 1861
Winterport 1861

I took a drive through Winterport Maine this morning waiting for the grocery store to open. As I drove the small streets by the Penobscot River I felt a deep connection to the small cottages by the shore and the overall feel of small town Maine. I felt that old familiar pull of wanting to live in a small house by the sea, wondering what it would have been like to grow up years ago in such a small town. Images of summers by the shore, a one room school, Fourth of July parades and Fire Dept. BBQ’s by the station. Saturday night bean suppers at the Grange hall, the local church bells ringing on Sunday. All the things that make Maine my home.

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Big storms over North Yarmouth

Yesterday my brother and I took my mom over to Yarmouth for pizza “with her boys” and on the way we stopped by my boat so my brother could have a look. Again, I felt a rush of excitement knowing this was my future, a home no one could take away from me. Was it the boat I really wanted? No. But that’s the thing about compromise, You were right Mick, I’m getting what I need if not what I want.

I understand now that I am never going to be able to afford a house by the sea, but I can experience everything else that comprises all the things that make up life in a small coastal town, without the property taxes! I can attend the summer festival, buy food from a local farm stand, talk local politics at the country store, breath in the salt air every morning. Most of the things I want can come true with a little compromise.

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Boothbay Harbor Maine

I also reflect back on all the places I have lived, so many now I have lost count. At one time I did own some land in Sebec Maine, and as beautiful as it was I still felt an urge to travel. I seem to get bored after a couple years staying in one place, the 1800’s mountain man in me is pulled to greener pastures, cleaner springs.When I think it through, buying a boat rather than a house gives me the opportunity to be that mountain man, just on the sea instead. I can balance the travel bug in me with the want of small town life. Freedom comes in many forms if one bothers to look at all options.

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Rocky Mountains in Colorado

Years ago when I drove through Colorado I was overwhelmed with the complete majesty of the Rockies. I thought of miners living in a shack, panning in a stream hoping for the “Big Strike” that would give them all the things they felt were needed for a better life, only to find nothing but hardship and even death for their efforts. Trying to live your life on a hope and a dream no longer makes sense to me. Better to find the happy medium, compromise a little now before it’s too late. If I waited for enough money for a larger boat, tried to save for a down payment on a house, I don’t think I would ever reach a stable existence before I was to old to enjoy it. Leave tonight or live and die this way…that’s dam straight!

Winterport Boat Yard On The Penobscot River…Where I Call Home

I thought you might like a few pictures of my boat and the place I will call home while refitting. Winterport Boat Yard is located on the Penobscot River that leads from Penobscot bay to the town of Bangor and beyond. This yard has a great reputation for honest people, great service and reasonable prices. They are equipped with everything I will need to bring Renegade back to the glory of her youth, and return me to mine. And as an added benefit, you can’t beat the view!

Pearson 30 /AKA Renegade

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Winterport Boat Yard

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Penobscot River

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Bangor Maine

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Patience Is A Virtue

 

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I’m back at the TA in Maybrook NY again this evening on my way back to Maine. I should arrive in Bangor sometime tomorrow afternoon. I’m taking the weekend off to go visit my mom and to pick up the dingy that is part of my boat purchase so I can restore it over the next few weekends. This will take the place of the canoe I was going to buy for my camping trips before this deal presented itself.

IMG_9197 (Large)After another disappointing meal, I should know better by now, I took Vinny for a walk around the truck stop. Poor old guy, he’s at his max dose of pain meds and his tumors are really showing now. I’m not sure how much longer I should keep him going. I guess as long as he’s still happy and playful, still able to get up on his own then his quality of life is still good.

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As we walk around on the freshly cut grass I remind myself that patience is a virtue. I’m almost there, in the grand scheme of things, almost living the life I want. Though it’s been a long road to date, the shadow that has lingered over my steps is beginning to be overcome by a radiant light. This light comes from hard work and never giving up on ones dreams, it comes from patience.

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The signs that lead the way have always been there, but the shadow was too dark, my vision obscured. I failed to understand how much effort is needed to achieve a lasting peace, so fooled was I with the false hope of easy this or that put forth by modern media. The best things in life take time, lots of time. I wish I had thought of these things earlier.

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As I sit here in my truck, the days miles behind me, I understand the view through my windshield is only temporary, a fleeting moment that will soon fade into my memory. In it’s place will be days of adventure and wonder, nights of peaceful slumber. Meeting like minded people instead of those still blinded by the pursuit of money. Sharing beautiful vistas and scary moments with those who wish to see through my eyes, feel what I feel. All you need is a little patience, and I’ll take you there.

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The Forest For The Trees

Sometimes you have to look through your own perspective on things, see through the forest for the trees. Only then will you see what truly lies in a ray of light, basking in the sunlight between the shadows. Sometimes, if your open to it, a clear path will present itself.

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Remnants of the past are bathed in the glow of life giving rays.

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Nature brings forth a beauty unmatched by man.

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Fields of grass wave before the unseen force of the wind.

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Even when broken, the will to live is strong.

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Through a break in the trees, what do I find?

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On occasion, if your observant, you may find something truly stunning in the woods of Maine. These are Ladyslippers, a type of wild orchid. In my lifetime of 51 years to date I may have seen 10 of them. It was a great walk today.

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Am I Alive Or Thoughts That Drift Away?

Jan lays down and wrestles in her sleep
Moonlight spills on comic books
And superstars in magazines
An old friend calls and tells us where to meet
Her plane takes off from Baltimore
And touches down on Bourbon Street

We sit outside and argue all night long
About a god we’ve never seen
But never fails to side with me
Sunday comes and all the papers say
Ma Teresa’s joined the mob
And happy with her full time job

Do do do do do do

Am I alive or thoughts that drift away?
Does summer come for everyone?
Can humans do as prophets say?
And if I die before I learn to speak
Can money pay for all the days I lived awake
But half asleep?

Do do do do do do

A life is time, they teach us growing up
The seconds ticking killed us all
A million years before the fall
You ride the waves and don’t ask where they go
You swim like lions through the crest
And bathe yourself on zebra flesh

I’ve been downhearted baby,
I’ve been downhearted baby,
Ever since the day we met

Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand – Primitive Radio Gods

I needed some downtime today so I went for a ride down the coast of Maine to recharge my inner battery. I’ve had a difficult couple weeks as of late and time alone with Vinny and my thoughts always helps to refocus my mind back to what I am working so hard for. Interactions with people have drained me to the point that the only person I wanted to see today was my mom, and I stopped to see her during my escape. She’s the only person that really matters to me at this point and I was happy to see she was doing well.

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There’s something about the coast that gives me a feeling of peace, the toils of life seem to fade ever so slightly into the background. The smell of the salt air combined with the mud flats bring me back to a more innocent time as a child sitting by the shore in Cape Elizabeth. I stopped many times today when the view called to me.

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I made my way down to LL Bean again to look at canoes for this summers adventures. They have a wonderful assortment of kayaks and canoe’s to choose from. I think an “Old Town Discovery 119” solo will do the trick. I don’t mind paying a premium for quality that will last a lifetime and these canoe’s fit the bill.

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When I made it to Brunswick I stopped at a wire bridge to walk Vinny and get a closer look. The river is roaring right now and the day was brilliant. A great day to be in Maine.

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As far as I have come over the last few years I still find I’m wrestling with demons of my past, still looking for release from the sometimes harsh reality of the world we live in. As I sat beside the water today I’m reminded of what it is that has always given me the most happiness, the soft blanket to rest my soul on. Walking with my dog, the solitude in nature, no sound but the wind, the sun on my face. Some moments are so surreal I ask myself, Am I alive or thoughts that drift away?


Winters Icy Caress

Winter days bring visions of parkas and scarfs, blowing snow and icy sidewalks. But there is a beauty in winter, a change in the air more than the cold. Pictures seem brighter, clearer. People walk with a purpose, cars move slower. Each street a window into another business, another career, each house another birthday, another newborn. Walk with me through Portland Maine today and see this wonderful city the way I see it.

New Years Day In Maine

I left Bangor Maine this morning with my next load heading for Georgia. I will deliver it on the 4th and pick up another to come back by friday to start my vacation! It snowed alot over the last few days and it makes for a beautiful ride early in the morning. Maine has some incredible beauty in all 4 seasons. Here’s some pics of the first 100 miles of my day.

28 Days Until A Real Vacation!!!!!

Can’t seem to get my mind off of you
Back here at home there’s nothin’ to do
Now that I’m away
I wish I’d stayed
Tomorrow’s a day of mine that you won’t be in

When you looked at me I should’ve run
But I thought it was just for fun
I see I was wrong
And I’m not so strong
I should’ve known all along that time would tell

A week without you
Thought I’d forget
Two weeks without you and I
Still haven’t gotten over you yet

[Chorus]
Vacation
All I ever wanted
Vacation
Had to get away
Vacation
Meant to be spent alone

A week without you
Thought I’d forget
Two weeks without you and I
Still haven’t gotten over you yet

Vacation – The Go Go’s

When you think of a vacation, what comes to mind? Do you think of a beach house, a cabin in the woods, a 5 star hotel on the Rivera? How about flying to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower, maybe see the Tower of London and the castles of Europe? I’m sure you can think of many things you may have done or wish to do, but I have done none of these in my 51 years on this earth.

When I have taken “Vacations” they have always been something that cost very little money. Camping trips, cheap motels or sleeping in my car have been the norm. It’s not to say I didn’t enjoy myself, but I have always wanted to stay in a nice hotel, enjoy fine dining and take in the “Sights” of a nice city. Well, I’m 28 days from doing just that!

62742280This is the Hyatt Place Hotel in Portland Maine. I know, not going very far are you! This is a 3 star hotel right in the “Old Port” district of the city, perfectly placed in the midst of the best Portland has to offer.

I grew up in and around this city, I even worked for it’s Parks Department for 7 years, so I have a history here. In all the times I have worked, played and passed through here, I have never been to the Portland Museum Of Art, the Longfellow House, the Victoria Mansion and many other historic places within it’s limits. It’s time I immersed myself more deeply into the city I called home for so long.

62742289I chose the Hyatt due to it’s location as well as the view from the private balcony overlooking Casco Bay and the islands surrounding Portland Harbor. There’s so much history in New England but the harbor towns are where the United States began it’s long journey towards the true meaning of freedom.

For the adventurous types you can climb the Portland Observatory during the season, visit Portland Headlight in nearby Cape Elizabeth, or maybe ride the Narrow Gauge Railroad. There’s so much history in this city I could spend hours just trying to touch on the highlights.

64315538Portland’s “Old Port” is filled with foodie hot spots, brew pubs and the working waterfront. You can walk out on the docks and watch the fishing boats unload, take the Casco Bay Ferry out to one of the islands, or just walk the storefronts on Exchange or Market streets. It’s going to be exciting having the time to do more than just drive by all these places, I’m really going to enjoy this time in my life starting now!

I just purchased a new lens for my camera. Well that wasn’t cheap! They say you get what you pay for, and I will give it a good workout on this trip and bring you many photos over several posts of Vinny and I on our great adventure!

Here’s some photos I have taken along with some “Creative Commons” photos from the web.