Hello all, sorry it’s been a few days since I posted. As it often does, life got hectic. My youngest cousin decided to come up for Connecticut and visit us, so this week has been an absolute whirlwind so far. Yesterday my little sister, my cousin, and I all were getting a little bit of cabin fever and feeling a touch landlocked, so we decided to go for a drive, and after a series of confused GPS directions, and several wrong turns until we found ourselves in Belfast. It’s about an hour southwest of Bangor, and it’s a charming little town right on the ocean. There are beautiful ship-yard and antique houses with loads of charm. We spent most of the morning popping in and out of some clothing stores and debating where to eat lunch while admiring the river, the boats bobbing in the Passagassawakeag (try saying that three times fast!) river which connects to the Salty, Atlantic, Penobscot Bay.

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Belfast, ME (Repurposed, Recycled, Repainted Buoys); June 27,2017

 

After several frenetic Google searches of local establishments that we walked by, we eventually settled on the Lookout Bar & Grill, which is located right near the shipyard on Front Street. The food was absolutely amazing, but the real heroes were their bloody marys which had plenty of olives, limes, and lemons and a locally sourced pickled fiddlehead. Now if you’re not from Maine or New England, chances are you’re a bit confused right now, and you’re only going to get more confused. Mainer’s are nothing if not innately original. In the early spring, when all the plants are just beginning to wake up and bloom, we go out into the bogs and collect baby ferns, still curled tight and tender.

 

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This is NOT my photo, the growing season has passed and I don’t have any fresh fiddleheads on hand. Click the picture to be linked to the source of this content.

 

After a vigorous washing to get rid of the pine needles, dirt, and dead fern residue we then steam or pickle our crop for consumption. I’ve had steamed fiddleheads many times, with butter and a little vinegar. They’re a unique flavor, pleasantly bitter, crunchy, and with a strong flavor that is slightly reminiscent of asparagus. In addition to being a local ingredient, you can literally go into the woods and pick, Fiddleheads are chock full of vitamin A and C (which is part of why they’re so bitter), they have boatloads of iron, potassium, and fiber too. All in all these little emeralds are tasty and super healthy for you. I ended up asking the waiter if I could purchase some of their pickled fiddleheads and bought a pint of them for $8. Generally, I wouldn’t pay that much for any type of pickle, but fiddlehead harvesting is labor intensive, and this was a local product, so I decided it was worth it.

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Jar of Pickled Fiddleheads; June 28, 2017

 

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Pickled Fiddleheads; June 28, 2017

 

I feel like it’s worth noting that the local bar we visited also offered fiddleheads deep fried, I totally regret not ordering that dish and it’s definitely on my “to eat” list now.

 

Cheers!

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I was collecting sea glass in the early hours of the morning this weekend when I heard a still, small voice that simply said “you are enough”. Honestly, for people with confidence and high self-esteem, that’s not a revelation, but I am constantly questioning my own worth, my own value, and my own purpose. The realization that I am enough, even if others chastise me for falling short, was liberating. 

As I stood in front of the roaring ocean, engulfed by fog, I felt the weight of a thousand damning comments lifting from my shoulders. Despite what those closest to me may say, or what a stranger mutters under their breath, I am enough. Truthfully, I have heard this repeated in sermons, spoken by counselors, or whispered by siblings, but until I heard it from this still, small voice I never took it to heart. 

The reminder that I do not answer to my fellow humans, but rather to my creator is a lesson that will bear repeating. However in that moment, when I needed it the most, it gave me freedom from the concerns that cloud my head and weigh me down. 


IndianPoint, ME ; June 24, 2017



Cheers!

Walking Away

I recently lost a relationship that meant the world to me. This person was a relative constant in my decidedly inconsistent world. No matter who came and went in my life, I knew that if I reached out, this person would always be there for me, quietly cheering me on, consistently supporting me.

The list of reasons that we parted ways is deceptively short, considering the underlying issues. We wanted different things from a relationship, and we were at different places in life. I would be dishonest if I said I don’t think my faith played a role in the decision to walk away from our relationship. This confronts me with a troubling matter; what am I willing to compromise to make a relationship work? My older sister and her boyfriend were forced to confront this issue not long ago. As two strong, intelligent, independent, Christians they were compelled to examine the issues that different opinions held by their respective denominations made in their partnership. If I’m honest, watching them debate with one another sparked doubts regarding my relationship, and how enduring a friendship (let alone a romantic relationship) could be between two people who have such different perspectives on matters of faith and ideology.

Although the choice to walk away was not made by me, part of me is thankful that my friend had the personal integrity to confront a reality I wasn’t willing to confront. He has never been one to avoid a challenge, or confront an issue head on … and truth be told that’s a quality I don’t possess. Change terrifies me, admitting that I’m having misgivings and being decisive have never been personal strengths of mine. I applaud him for having the personal integrity and decisiveness to make a decision for both of us when I wasn’t strong or stable enough to make the choice for myself.

I know I am not a self-assured individual, however, of one thing I’m sure. I am not willing to make compromises on my faith, and on the isolated incidents where I do make compromises I retreat into silence, internally bitter, and toxic towards the individuals I interact with.  In the twilight of this season of my life, in this transition of relationships, lifestyle, educational status, and personal location I am forcing myself to take a step back, breath, and remember that even though I might not see it, God has a plan for my life.

 

What I’m listening to

I’ll Find You – Lecrae, Tori Kelly

Even When It Hurts – Hillsong United

Give Me Faith – Elevation Worship

 

“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future.”

– Jeremiah 29:11

 

Cheers!

The calm before the storm

Yesterday was one of those rare hot, sticky, humid days in Maine. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky until about 4:00. The better part of my early morning was spent lamenting the sheer heat and humidity while I installed a window fan. I know that compared to much of the country, what I would consider “hot” is probably merely considered “warm”, but that’s totally fine by me.  When I wasn’t combatting the effects of the unending mugginess that turned my naturally curly mass of hair into a ball of fluff that resembled a poodle, I was considering how different my life will be while I’m in school in New Hampshire.

It was due, at least in part, to this slightly nerve-wracking train of thought that I decided to go for a drive after work. I live and work in Bangor, Maine and one of the many perks of this area is that I am surrounded by water. The Penobscot River runs right through downtown Bangor, bifurcating the landscape and separating the two major (by Maine standards) cities in the area. If you follow the historic route 1 south ways you drive through Hampden, Winterport, Frankfort, Prospect, Stockton Springs, Searsport, Belfast, and many, many more.  Route 1 itself is a beautiful, historic drive that weaves along the Maine coast. If you ever get the chance to drive it in its entirety I would strongly suggest you seize the opportunity.  I only did a half hour drive, with a goal in mind, there’s a small boat landing just south of Frankfort’s town center and you get the most beautiful view of the river and (if the weather is clear enough)  the Penobscot Narrows Bridge. I will, at some point, visit that landmark again and provide a link to that post, but for now, I’m going to stick to Frankfort and Winterport.

 

Winterport, Maine (Village Center, facing downriver); Photographed June 19, 2017

After leaving Bangor, the first village (and yes it is a village)  you encounter is Winterport. This is an absolutely charming town which was settled in 1766 as part of Frankfort, a town just down the river. The harbor that gave the town its name remained relatively ice-free in the winter, thus leading to the name “Winterport”. When boats were coming to or from Bangor, which at that time was one of the richest cities in the U.S. due to the lumbar trade, Winterport/Frankfort was/were major harbors before and after arriving at or departing from Bangor. During the winter months, these villages were especially important due to the frequency of extensive freezing further up the river, for this reason, flour, and other necessary items were brought to the ice-free harbor of Winterport and conveyed to Bangor. If you’re interested in a more extensive history, information can be found here.Today Winterport is less of an economic epicenter and is more of a sleepy, small, village that serves as a bedroom community of Bangor.

If you drive about five minutes South on Route 1, you come across Frankfort which is (interestingly enough) the first settlement on the Penobscot River. Settled when Maine wasn’t even a state (we were part of Massachusetts for a while), Frankfort was the precursor to Bangor, Brewer, Orono, and Old Town. Much like it’s neighbor and cousin Winterport, Frankfort is no longer the thriving community it was, there are no longer shipbuilders or granite mines to stimulate the local economy. The village center proper is situated at the junction of the North and South Marsh rivers which flow into the Marsh Bay which is connected to the Penobscot further down river. More information can be found here.

 

Frankfort, Maine (Village Center) ; Photographed June 19, 2017

The goal of this day trip was to reach the boat launch on the Marsh Bay. I often come here when I need to think, as a break from the hectic, loud, messy life I lead. Sitting near the water, as it was just beginning to rain I took a step back and considered how blessed I am to have such a beautiful place to call home. No matter where I wander, I will always have my roots here, in Central Maine. No matter where I rest my head at night, this will always be the place I call home. God has plan for me, and even though I’m scared, even though I don’t want to take a step out into the unknown, this is a step of faith. I know that he called me to graduate school, I know that my career will allow me to serve him and serve others. Now it’s just a matter of taking a step of faith, despite my fears and trusting that This is what he has planned for me.

 

 

Frankfort, Maine (Boat Landing on Marsh Bay); Photographed June 19,2017

 

What I’m Listening to:

Touch the Sky – Hillsong United

You Make Me Brave – Amanda Cook

 

Bible Verse:

” Trust the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

 

Cheers!

 

Making the best of Fathers day weekend

Like so many millennials, my parents are separated and I have an absentee parent. As a result, father’s day weekend isn’t a holiday I celebrate very often, however, this father’s day happened to fall on the same weekend as my mother’s birthday. This year her birthday was a quiet affair, we went to our beach cottage, bought two kayaks, and brought our motorboat out to the bay. My little sister and I bought apple pie and organic whipped cream, and we celebrated with some popcorn, Scrabble. All in all, it was a relaxing, enjoyable weekend. I had to admit though, the highlight of the weekend for me was the kayak.

If you’ve never kayaked on an ocean bay you can’t even begin to understand the simple pleasure of having the gentle tidal waves rhythmically rocking you while you listen to the call of the seagulls and the lap of the waves on the sandy shores and craggy rocks. I’ve ridden in motorboats and canoes my whole life, but the solitude and freedom granted by a kayak are second to none. The stillness gives your mind license to wander while you soak in the serene beauty of the world around you.

 

 

I was also lucky enough to have a very close encounter with a seal (I didn’t get a chance to snap any pictures, but I’ll do my best next time). I spent about five minutes engaged in limited interaction with this the exceptionally curious little guy before I headed back to shore and rejoined my family for scrabble and apple pie by the fire.

 

 

What I’m Listening to:

Sweetest Thing – Allman Brown

Waves – Dean Lewis

As  The Years Go By – Johannes Bornlof

 

Cheers!