Sunday, March 24, 2002

All day I've been thinking about how my life is the complete opposite of what's going on in Hollywood today as people prepare for the Academy Awards. There are no limousines, hair salons, pedicurists, or media crews here. Just calm and serenity as far as the eye can see. It's been a truly beautiful, quiet day. Road traffic was so infrequent that I could've plunked myself down in the middle of the road -- complete with my afternoon cup of tea, a chair, and even some knitting -- without having to ocean view

In the summer when I was younger, my brothers and I used to entertain ourselves by lying down in the middle of the road at night. Not the dirt road that ran by our house, mind you, but the paved one that ran through the hint of a town up the road -- and the one that runs past my house today.

Those road-sitting escapades became our way of turning something dull into something cool. We could return home to the "big city" and wow friends with our tales of Maine tranquility. While the road-sitting got good reactions, the most impressive tales were of how locals set out tables by the road with boxes of blueberries and a tin can where you were trusted to leave money.

They still do this today in my little town, though the practice is slowing in more populated parts of the state. And people from away, or PFAs as I like to call them, still fill the area from June to September. You know spring is on its way when the Massachusetts and New Hampshire license plates start to appear, followed in summer by cars from New York and Connecticut. And I still toy with the idea of leaving my blueberries on a table by the road, not so much to make money as to keep up the tradition.

I imagine Jennifer Lopez breezing through town with her entourage, or Julia Roberts stopping at the market for some mineral water. They'd consider it quaint and vacation-like, as have the other celebs who have passed through here before them, but they certainly would move on. Yet for some reason, I've chosen to come back here and make it my home. And it's wonderful.

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