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.

IMG_9269 (Large)

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.

IMG_9295 (Large)

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.

IMG_9258 (Large)

IMG_9263 (Large)

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?

IMG_9267 (Large)

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.

IMG_9281 (Large)

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.

IMG_9275 (Large)

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?

IMG_9271 (Large)

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?

IMG_9249 (Large)

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.

 

 

Sometimes Goodbye Is A Second Chance

My eyes are open wide
By the way
I made it through the day
I watch the world outside
By the way
I’m leaving out today

I just saw Haley’s comet, shooting
She waved, said, “Why are you always running in place”
Even the man in the moon disappeared
Somewhere in the stratosphere

Tell my mother, tell my father
I have done the best I can
To make them realize
This is my life
I hope they understand
I’m not angry, I’m just saying
Sometimes goodbye is a second chance

Please don’t cry one tear for me
I’m not afraid of what I have to say
This is my one and only voice
So listen close it’s only for today

I just saw Haley’s comet, she waved
She waved, said, “Why are you always running in place”
Even the man in the moon disappeared
Somewhere in the stratosphere

Tell my mother, tell my father
I have done the best I can
To make them realize
This is my life
I hope they understand
I’m not angry, I’m just saying
Sometimes goodbye is a second chance

Here is my chance
This is my chance

Tell my mother, tell my father
I have done the best I can
To make them realize
This is my life
I hope they understand
I’m not angry, I’m just saying
Sometimes goodbye is a second chance

Sometimes goodbye is a second chance
Sometimes goodbye is a second chance

Second Chance – Shinedown

I’ve said goodbye to many things in my life, some good some bad. Through it all I felt a deep need to let go of anything that reminded me of situations I never want to repeat, choices that led to despair. People that unintentionally dragged me down, some that tried to help. Many people I had known for decades…I wonder if they miss me? Thoughts like this can make me second guess my actions. Were they to harsh? To abrupt? I made the best choices I could at the time, and there’s no going back.

Like the young woman in this song I thought I knew what was best for me, what road I should go down. Will she pass the audition, or will she come back home? Will her parents still be mad, or will they be happy to see her? Many times I was led astray, but my folks were always happy to see me come back. I can’t thank them enough for their support through it all.

The passing of my father has left a deep scar on me. That scar comes from my regret for letting petty and insignificant feelings interfere with my relationship with him. I knew I was wrong, yet I couldn’t let go of my inner child. Now it’s too late to make amends so I will have to live with what I did. Watching him die the way he did was so totally horrifying. I still see him lying there, so weak and gaunt. That image is burned into my memory forever. If we could talk right now, I’m sure he would forgive me, I just have to forgive myself, and that will take some time. If your listening Dad, I’m truly sorry.

When you read this mom I just want you to know how much I care. I was very lost for a long time, but I always listened to your words of wisdom, even if it took years for it to sink in. A piece of you and dad will be with me all the rest of my life. Your strength of will and dads willingness to work hard and provide for his family is part of who I am, part of what makes me keep going even when I feel down. Even though I will have to say goodbye to you also, hold your head high knowing you leave behind a son who will never forget how much you did for me and many others.

I’m hoping all my goodbyes give me a second chance. A chance to get it right, find some peace for my weary back and my aching heart. I’m searching for an answer to the question of worth, trying to place a value on the remainder of my life. What can I do that will be remembered? And who do I want to remember it? I will make my mark on this earth, however small, and if only one person see’s it and remembers me, I will have accomplished something real.

I just saw Haley’s comet, she waved
She waved, said, “Why are you always running in place”
Even the man in the moon disappeared
Somewhere in the stratosphere

IMG_3736 (Large)

 

 

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.

IMG_9244 (Large)
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.

DCIM100GOPRO
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.

100_0650 (Large)
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!

Another Holiday, Another Rest Area

I’m sitting in a rest area in Williston Vermont tonight. I will deliver the first stop of this load tomorrow in Burlington, then continue to Martinsburg West Virginia. I have worked almost every holiday my entire working career, but I’m getting very tired of it. As I drove over US route 2 from Rumford Maine through northern New Hampshire and into Vermont I realized just how much time I have lost trying to follow a dream that was not my own.

IMG_0580 (Large)

Driving in the mountains almost brought me to tears when I thought about the missed days camping in the meadows, swimming in the ice cold streams, all the photographs never taken. I thought about the time camping with my folks, my sister and my wife in the field below this mountain so many years ago. That was a snapshot in time I will never forget. I never lost my sense of wonder and the feeling of complete joy being out in nature, even if only driving through like today.

IMG_0722 (Large)

So many places I have lived, each holds a special place in my memory. Many days spent as a young boy sitting on the rocks beside this lighthouse dreaming of high adventure. A fertile imagination unbounded and alive even now, I have the power to make it real. Today validated all my plans, assured me my path was the right one. When I grow up I want to be a nature photographer, and that time is now.

IMG_0388 (Large)

But how do I compete, there are so many others? There is more nature than all the worlds photographers combined could ever capture, and each brings their own vision to the lens. Each has their own story to tell. I wanted to stop so many times today to pull into the lens the beauty I felt through my eyes. But like all of my adult life to date, I am at the mercy of my employer. Not much longer.

IMG_6053 (Large)

Every sunrise brings another opportunity to share the feelings only seen by one, create the same experience if only in a picture. This morning was spent paddling in a canoe, the only sounds were the splash of the water and the cry of the Loons. A perfect morning.

IMG_1130 (Large)

Even a dusty field behind a truck stop holds wonders of nature to those with patience and a steady hand. I don’t think I will ever run out of things to see. And soon I will add the aspect of the water view to the mix. The coast of Maine is truly one of the greatest spots on earth.

IMG_4611 (Large)

Can I Find The Truth Of Me

20170110110800_img_8256.jpg

Alone by the shore, alone with me
I dreamed of adventure upon the sea
A young boy’s thoughts did rise and fall
In time with the tide, either big or small

White sails full with wind, the water thus parts
The thrill of freedom, rushing hearts
My home afloat, no matter how small
Brings joy to my soul, I still feel tall

And so I search, on land and sea
For what has so long eluded me
An answer to a question, not sure who to ask
I struggle for the end of this arduous task

Loved ones will go, some in their prime
Cut down by something as simple as time
We have no control over such a fate
I must find happiness before it’s to late

Can I find the truth of me
So many people I had to be
It cannot pass from you to me
Perhaps I’ll find it on the sea

 

The Trials Of Perpetual Learning 

a (2) (Large)

Like clouds in the sky, so too are the thoughts that wash over my mind. Remembrances of days on mountaintops awash in the glow of the sun, a photo caught in the lens. How far I have come from that day, how much I have learned. And yet many things remain the same, we walk much of the same path, never changing for fear of stumble.

Forward we must, or suffer the same occurrence we will. Straight into the future with head held high, we grasp at a dream with a single minded purpose. Never stronger have I been than this time, reminded by the past of the distance to fall. Each day a lesson to learn, each lesson however small adds to the cumulative effect of a life searching for wisdom and knowledge.

100_0522 (Large)

The trials of perpetual learning are most apparent on a night like this. Alone with my thoughts I sense the miles I have traveled to reach the point of understanding, the trials of acceptance to reach the peak. And still I climb, ever searching for the next lesson, the next moment of enlightenment to fill another space in the recesses of my mind. Learning is perpetual to those who make it so, those who realize never will you know all that you need.

b (13) (Large)

A life of learning brings more than an encyclopedic mind, it brings the joy of discovery and an undying wonder of what we don’t know. Take a moment to look at what is right in front of you, instead of ignoring where beauty is found. Each day is another chance to grasp something new, add another slide to the presentation of memory. The only thing you take with you when you die is the pictures captured during your time on this earth, if you bother to fill that album.

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

059 (Large)061 (Large) (Large)062 (Large)063 (Large)065 (Large)067 (Large)

Winterport Boat Yard

IMG_9211 (Large)IMG_9213 (Large)IMG_9216 (Large)IMG_9217 (Large)IMG_4671 (Large)IMG_4669 (Large)IMG_4668 (Large)IMG_4662 (Large)IMG_4663 (Large)

Penobscot River

IMG_9214 (Large)IMG_9215 (Large)20161005073221_img_6674.jpg20161005073341_img_6676.jpg20161005072454_img_6664.jpg20161005072413_img_6663.jpg20161005072304_img_6661.jpg20161005072454_img_6664.jpg20161005065308_img_6639.jpg

IMG_4660 (Large)

IMG_4611 (Large)

Bangor Maine

IMG_8955 (Large)IMG_8956 (Large)IMG_8957 (Large)IMG_8960 (Large)IMG_8961 (Large)IMG_8962 (Large)IMG_8971 (Large)IMG_8974 (Large)IMG_8987 (Large)cropped-20161005065932_img_6643.jpgcropped-20161005064705_img_6633.jpg20161005072151_img_6659.jpg20161005070530_img_6646.jpg20161005072627_img_6669.jpg

 

 

Patience Is A Virtue

 

IMG_9207 (Large)
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.

IMG_9201 (Large)
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.

IMG_9205 (Large)
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.

IMG_9209 (Large)

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.

IMG_9163 (Large)

 

 

The Truth Of Ones Destiny

tt (Large)

Do you believe in destiny? Do you think your future is predetermined such as in the concept of fate? Like this bridge, do you think there is only one road to your future? I for one know not what the future holds, or if some all seeing guide is providing clues to lead us one way or another. All I know is we are presented with choices each day that have a direct impact on our lives, and I try to choose based on life experience, instinct, common sense and lessons my parents taught me. I must say my choices have become less problematic as of late.

By simplifying everything in my life I have cut down on the afore mentioned choices therefor reducing the chances of bad decisions. At least that’s what I tell myself. In reality I hope it’s just the knowledge I have amassed over the years of trial and error that lead me to the best decisions. Either way I see a better future than I did 15 years ago with a real sense of accomplishment for how far I have come. I now like me.

20170110091039_img_8232.jpg

Like the beautiful calm in this picture of Portland harbor I took last winter, I feel that same calmness washing over me as I plan for the refit and my time on my sailboat. Whether it’s 5 years or the remainder of my life, that time will be filled with serenity, stillness and a profound sense of content. Each day I awaken to the cry of gulls, the gentle slap of the water on the hull, all of the trials to date will wash away in the solitude of a life immersed only in nature. Each photograph, meal or walk on a deserted beach with nothing but my thoughts and my dog, will be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow I have worked so hard for. No houses, no people, no demands….only freedom.

20170110111000_img_8260.jpg

I think the truth of ones destiny lies in the truth of your heart. Only if your willing to listen and understand what it’s saying to you can you attain a stillness to your soul, a bounty of blessings free for those who make it their goal. Only when you understand what really matters will you be at peace. My destiny lies on the sea, and to her I say, “Just a little longer and I’ll be right home to you.”

 

 

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.

006 (Large)

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

023 (Large)

Nature brings forth a beauty unmatched by man.

024 (Large)

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

025 (Large)

Even when broken, the will to live is strong.

028 (Large)

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

027 (Large)

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.

036 (Large)

033 (Large)