Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Air of Maine

The air of Maine is in my lungs and in the blood that flows through my heart. I hope to share the sensation with my beloved grandchild, the ever smiling Samaya, through some stories about moving to Maine, about my mother and who knows what else.
I must admit to a small measure of irritation when we first settled into my mother's house in Eliot the time the back porch light refused to shine and it was more than a burned out bulb. In New York tradesmen would come at a call eager to rob and pillage, but they would come and fix the problem. The only tradesman I knew in Maine was my Mother's long time mechanic, a delightful individual whose photo would be right at home on the cover of Yankee Magazine. He would personally deliver her fixed car and the stay and talk with her in the kitchen. We had the only kitchen with a 400 pound vibrating recliner occupied by a 250 pound chiropractor named Dr. Mary. Anyway, I have this memory of Dana with his Vietnam era ponytail coming in the back door and my mother's face lighting up. "Dana, there is a beautiful golden aura around your head."
Dana's face lit up as he accepted anything Dr. Mary said to him as the truth and I could picture him in his ramshackle garage locate in back of the Eliot library proudly telling everyone of his golden aura as he put another log in the wood stove.
Anyway, back to my problem-a broken back porch light I called several electricians listed in the Eliot phone book and was greeted by a recorded message. I believe that every recorded message of every tradesman was made by the same person and I base this emotional assessment on the fact no electrician would call me back! Finally, after a few days of stumbling up dark porch steps I decided to pay a visit to my good friend Dana who surely could fix me up with a competent electrician.
He was sitting at was once a hundred years ago an elegant living room chair. All my frustrations came to the surface as I complained that I could not get an electrician to come to the house. He rose to his feet scratching his chin demonstrating his sincere desire to help. "Well Ron it is like this. In boom times all the tradesman including the electricians are busy working on new housing construction and they can't be bothered with small jobs. In bad times they all leave for the big cities where they can find work. So there is only a small window of time when you can get a tradesman. "
I was astonished at his answer and my frustration was at the boiling point. "But Dana there has to be someone you know who could come over and fix a lousy porch light!."
More chin scratching and walking around deep in thought. "We...ll there is old Henry Smith. He could fix light and do a real good job, but..."
"But what Dana?"
"Old Henry passed away about six months ago."
"Dana", my voice rising higher than a choirboy. "That does me no good!"
Another well and more chin rubbing. "Ron, Old Henry is as apt to come and fix you light as anyone else."
I shook my head-defeated, thrashed beaten like an old rug-muttering to Henry Smith under my breath. "You old coot! Would it have killed you to live a few months longer!"-and that is when I knew I had become Mainer. My whole logic system had become Maineanised!" I needed a Maine solution and then it came to me. Maybe Dana with his brilliant golden aura surrounding his ponytailed head could be hired to stand on our back porch for a few hours every night-hmmm makes sense to me.

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