Tuesday, March 31, 2009


This past Monday meant a day off.

And a road trip.

Me and three very fun people took off to visit Portland, Maine. Three out of four of us had never seen the tip-top of our country before; I had been there only once and was more than happy to get some of that coastal Maine beauty back into my soul.

Oh, and getting all of our luggage and us into the car was sort of like solving a Rubik's cube. And believe me when I say that I was not the one to solve the puzzle.

Thank you, David and Kevin, for making the car look like this.
And whoever said that leg room is essential? I can tell you now that it is not.

However, the lack of it just might lead one to pick up a vice that they have never before tried...
No wait. Scratch that. I have a vague memory of chewing on a candy cigarette once or twice as a kid. So I guess that wasn't the first time I had tried it after all.

And my parents can breathe a sigh of relief since that picture was not what it looked like.:)

On the way to Portland we stopped in Kennebunkport and although we did not see the summer home of George Bush Senior, we did see this lovely and eclectic sign that seemed to go on forever.
And we had a fantastic sea food lunch at a little rustic restaurant overlooking some fisherman's boats lined up and looking like ducks in a row.
Then we got to Portland and explored this lighthouse.
I love the idea of a lighthouse. A large beacon, leading one to safety, to solid ground. With a light that pierces the darkness, the swell of the waves, the heavy curtain of rain and wind, it remains steadfast. And David and I might have tip-toed through somebody's personal backyard to get a little closer to it. We might have run and giggled like a couple of children cutting school as we cut a path behind their swing set into the woods leading right up to the lighthouse.

Although, I wouldn't exactly know how it feels to cut school since, being home schooled, it would have been nearly impossible not to be found out missing by my parents before I even got so far as the mailbox.
Add to the fact that the only other student was my brother, thereby negating the safety in numbers rule?

Attempting it would have been too much like a kamikaze mission for my taste.

But I can imagine the feeling of ill gained freedom and adventure and think that it could be just a little bit close to the feeling one gets when they trespass private property in order to get a good close look at a light house.

Not that I have done either...wink, wink.

Then we found a look-out point for German U-boats. Which is where we discovered one of the skinniest and blackest hallways that went further than my eyesight could follow.

Actually, couldn't you see this being the logo for the latest horror flick?
And I did try to make myself walk down that hallway. It was terrifying, to tell the truth. I got maybe a few feet in, my friends watching me from the start of the hallway, when I saw some shift in shadow in the blackness and screamed as I turned to run out.

David snapped a picture right as this happened, as luck would have it. Kevin looks like a bad, overacting extra from some scary scene in a movie.
Poor Mindy said she just about broke her neck snapping it back so hard when she heard me scream. But afterward, once we realized there was no imminent danger, we had a good long laugh.

And of course when we saw the timely pic, we collapsed into laughter all over again.

Especially at Kevin's face.

After that little scare, we explored a little further into the same look-out structure. The day was darkening into night and we noticed this ominous graffiti that said,

Blessed Death

And yeah, it really scared us. We all sort of saw it at the same time and then David said in a low eerie voice,

This is a dark place.

Well, he wasn't just talking about how our shadows were lengthening behind us and if we were living in a movie, the score would have gotten really minor right about then.

Suffice it to say, we abruptly turned around and started walking quickly to the car, happy to leave that dark place behind.

And back to lighter moments...

Here you can see the lighthouse in the distance, but what you cannot see is the beautiful and turbulent water beating against the rocks that are between the four of us and the lighthouse.
Also, what you cannot see is the sense of calm and storybook charm that you walk into when you find yourself in Maine (except of course, when it says blessed death an abandoned look out, but it rarely does, so you don't really need to be worried about that). It's a special place. There are no neon lights to blot out the stars, not an abundance of billboards to remind you of what you do not have, of what you do not need. It is uncomplicated in its beauty. The abundant evidence of the way nature just makes sense--how the water stops where it needs to, giving way to outcroppings of rocks and cliffs; how the moon works in tandem with the tide and the evergreen trees thickly cover the hills that rise and then dip into valleys--I find comfort in all of this. There is something about it that hints of a plan.

And God knows I need a plan.

Or at least to know that Somebody has one.

And that maybe, just maybe, whoever thought of the science of the earth, the astronomy of the heavens; whoever decided that people were, in general, a very good idea; whoever realized that words just weren't enough and that melodies and harmonies could make them soar and translate into stories that we all needed to hear; well I like to think about all of that powerful thinking and creativity dreaming up a plan for me.

A plan for you.

A plan for us all.


jason said...

Looks great! I've NEVER been to Maine, but I'm going to summer, so that's be awesome.

Jessica Latshaw said...

yes, you will LOVE it.

Jenna Latshaw said...

what a fun road trip! kevin's face is hilarious in that pic! before i read the caption i thought you guys were just acting scared, lol.

Jessica Latshaw said...

nope--we are way to Method for that!!!

kathiek said...

Looks and sounds wonderful, Jess!

peaj said...

Pic 2: You are just too cool.

Pic 5 (the narrow hallway): Actually, I think it would make a great album cover. "The Narrow Gate" or some such.

Looks like a fun time!

Mom said...

Pop & I went to Maine 2 years ago and just had a wonderful time in Bar Harbor. We saw the Greenplates there! We were walking up a main street in the town and they were walking down the same street in the town! What fun! And we ate lobster---big, big lobsters--together.

We also went to Bush's home town but it was so packed, we left right away.

Glad you did something fun apart from work!

Karenkool said...

YAY! Now I want to do a road trip!!!

Love the photos and wonderfully told story. Too much fun.

Natalie said...

"and if we were living in a movie, the score would have gotten really minor right about then."

...for some reason I found this horrendously funny, because you're completly right. Minor keys are scary!