Saturday, February 7, 2009

Laura Linnie

We just returned from a whirlwind trip to Maine -- left Massachusetts at 9:30 on Friday -- left Maine at 10 am on Saturday! From Taunton, Massachusetts, it is about a 5 hour drive to Old Town, Maine. All five children and a gaggle of grandchildren gathered at my mother's and father's house to celebrate mom's 80th birthday. Needless to say, mom was elated to have her offspring hovering around her extending birthday wishes and sharing a bountiful, thanksgiving sized meal. Laura Linnie (mom's given and beautiful name) is an incredibly resilient woman irrepressible optimist, and nothing seems to get her down. She is one of the most genuine people you will ever meet. Everyone loves her. She and Dad are running their race and finishing strong!
Mom also sent me home with my own belated birthday gift -- homemade fudge! I, along with many of the church staff, send her thanks!

Interstate 95 was a dirty, salt crusted, ribbon of asphalt snaking along between filthy snowbanks. Traveling along the highway, though, I found great joy in taking note of the constantly changing scenery just beyond the glass that surrounded me. Snow fields, frozen rivers, lakes, and expanses of purest white yielded their own unique beauty. I saw the beaver tail-like snowshoe tracks, that left evidence of someones lone trek, along the edges of a pond. Two giant nests built by osprey, one on the cross bar of power line poles, and another, in the middle of a bog atop a dying evergreen tree looked as big as a Volkswagen Beetle. In the middle of a frozen expanse, the rounded arch of a beaver's lodge covered by a thick mantle of snow, gave it the appearance of an igloo. Faint traces of old woods roads, once hidden by thick foliage, were distinguishable, twisting through denuded stands of hardwood forests. Meandering jab-and-drag trail of a deer pierced and pocked the smooth surface of snow, and criss-crossed the shallow, elongated tracks of a snowshoe rabbit just outside the perimeters of the tree line. Cattails were mottled and unraveling in the wind, and from time to time a bird would flit from tree to tree.

For 5 hours, Sandy and I squinted against the reflected sun and marveled at the brilliance of the created world around us and talked non-stop about an even grander spectre -- life.

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