Monday, March 15, 2004

Up North

I just had a wonderful weekend in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine visiting my friends Don, Alex and their kids. I flew in early Friday and came back late Sunday. Trip highlights/observations:

-I have been to Maine several times, but every time I come I forget how wide open and unpopulated the state really is. Flying into Bangor (bolded on any atlas) there was nothing but uninhabited forest all around the "city." I figure if we went down our remains would be discovered sometime around 2008.

-On Saturday we got up e-a-r-l-y and went to the YMCA State Swimming Finals, where my friends' kids were competing. Everyone did great and will collect trophies. It was standing room only with family and friends screaming support for their kids. It wouldn't have been so bad if I wasn't hung over.

-Throughout our travels I met lots of people and am amazed at how quickly how Don & Al have immersed themselves in the community. Alex volunteers as a swim coach and does swimming of her own (more on this in a sec) and Don invites neighbors over to hang out (READ: drink beer.) They're amazing people and I'm so happy they've carved out such a great niche for themselves in Maine.

-After a great dinner on Saturday at Abel Blood's with Mr. Spaten we woke on Sunday and went with Alex to another swim meet where she competed in the Maine masters division. She did well but I was amazed at the age of some of the competitors. I watched an 87 year old man race. He was amazing. It makes me want to get into shape and start swimming. Inspirational.

-After my good-byes I went to the airport where there were hundreds of soldiers who were shipping out to Iraq. I spoke to a commander for a little while and he wasn't concentrating on the negatives, only doing his job and getting his kids home safe. But looking at them, wow, they couldn't have been more than 18 or 19. Puts things into perspective.

I have much more to share and will do so soon. A day off today and I have lots to do, including working on the blandness of this forum.

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