Last Long Day

After not sleeping well in the hotel last night, between coughing all night and the numerous sirens outside, Carter woke up this morning at 5:30 because she had an 8:00 AM final exam. Since I wasn’t sure how the Boston traffic would be she ended up getting to her exam at 7:15. I went back to the hotel to pack the car and was sitting waiting for her when she finished her last exam in record time at 9:30. We felt like we had already had a full day by the time we left Boston to drive to Maine.

Rather than go right home where Carter could have that awkward reentry into childhood home life after living the life of self sufficient college student, we are taking a little trip to wind down. Although I have been able to come to Maine every summer, Carter has not been able to visit for the last five years. Our friend Warren generously allows us to invade his home almost whenever we say the word.

Usually I come in the cool of Maine summer when it is horribly hot in Durham. Last fall I came after dropping Carter off at college, so coming back at pick up is a good bookend. September was perfect. Still warm enough to enjoy the front porch. April seems like Durham winter.

Carter and I drove up and stopped in Portland to go to our favorite DuckFat for fries, balanced out with salads. It was rainy and the bitter kind of cold that chills you to the bone. We got to Warren’s by 2:00. Was this still the same day of Carter’s last exam?

As fast as we got here we were all piled back in the car to go antiquing and run an errand. Turns out Carter is finally interested in “old stuff.” Apparently her generation sees it as “environmentally friendly,” which it is, but it means there is hope for antiques.

At the Rockland Marketplace where Warren has a booth of things for Sale Carter found many things I had to talk her out of. The excitement of furnishing her new apartment is September has her looking at art and old boxes that can be end tables. She found a Kellogg’s Corn Flakes sign that she had to have since she is a Kellogg. The nice ladies working the desk gave her a deal since she is Warren’s friend.

After our outing we went home to Warren’s and made a yummy chicken Francese dinner with spring asparagus. The sun set making the cold even colder. We played Mexican Dominos where everyone won at least one game and hit the wall of exhaustion by 9:30. A lot was packed in this one day.

Congratulations to Carter for a successful year at school. The time is flying by and I am happy to get to have these little trips with her. Just like when she was in lower school on the drives to and from school, there is nothing like the conversations you have in the car. Glad we still have that.

For now it is time to bed with the five blankets I have to counteract Maine spring. Wish Russ was here too, he deserves a little Maine and Carter time with me too. Soon.

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