As I write this my family and I are in route to Hershey to spend Thanksgiving with my mother. We are returning to PA after spending a week in Maine on vacation. It was with mixed feelings that we headed home today. This has been our first visit to this northern state, and along the way I think my husband, son and I have fallen in love with this land.
Its beauty reminded my husband and me of our trip to Alaska a number of years ago on a church mission’s trip. We mostly visited the Camden, Maine area, the only place on the northern coast where the mountains touch the sea. I can understand why so many that pass through this town are captivated with it and decide to move there. My son even mentioned the desire to relocate to this quaint town.
For me, it was a pleasure for many reasons. My family and I are probably considered strange to most that meet us. We love winter and love snow. I’m always ready to have more snow then we usually get in southeastern PA. On our last full day in Camden, I spent the afternoon in the local library. I was pleasantly surprised to hear some of the locals commenting about hoping it would snow soon. They were excited about the precipitation and desiring for their winter to begin. I think this is the first time I heard someone else (besides my family) desiring snow and joyful about its expected arrival.
It was another blessing to be able to see this town I have been researching about for many months. Camden, Maine is the setting for the historical fiction book I’m writing. In particular I have been learning about Curtis Island Lighthouse, which is on an island on the Penobscot bay, off the shores of Camden. I have seen the town and island via pictures on the web, and on a video, but it was something much different to be able to witness it first hand. To walk the streets and attend the church where my character has been living – at least in my own mind.
I was able to meet the archivist at the library who has been a tremendous aid in my research of the area. My son and I were also able to row out to the island with a local couple. All right, they did the rowing, while we sat and took in the scenery. We only had about a half hour to take in the island while the couple circled around and met us again. It was pure joy to walk on the paths my character experiences. To see the lighthouse and keeper house up close was incredible. I’m sure my face was beaming when the couple picked us up for the return trip to shore. I know my husband commented about the joy on my face when we returned to the harbor and he saw us again.
The next day we attended the first church in Camden. From old photographs we’ve seen, it appears the pews remain unchanged from the beginning of the 1800’s, other than the exception of cushions added. It’s where my character attends church as she is able.
It’s been such a blessing to go on this vacation with my husband and youngest son. We enjoyed seeing several different lighthouses and local sights. We also had time to relax, watch some Christmas movies, and enjoy playing games together. I know it’s been a memorable trip for each of us. It’s one I’ll hold in my heart for many days to come.