Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This Is My Place


There's a place, a space where I feel whole. I arrive, close my eyes and breathe deep. I breathe so deep that my lungs fill to capacity and as I exhale I feel a release so immediate it's medicinal. I am so comfortable here.

 This place, Maine, is not just a vacation spot, it's so much more than that. It's where, when I think back on my childhood, some of my favorite memories took place. Hours upon hours of dodging waves with my sister while our bodies became numb from the frigid water, sitting around a nightly campfire with several close family friends singing Peter, Paul and Mary's "Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet, but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat…", sneaking into the camper to read a borrowed and forbidden copy of Judy Blume's Forever, and many more hours spent on the beach soaking up the sun and blaring the radio (Hearing Billy Idol's White Wedding can still take me back).




Sixteen years ago this week, one week after we were married, we moved to Maine and into our very first house. I discovered my green thumb in Maine cultivating a vegetable garden so large and prolific that I was forced to sell zucchini roadside so it wouldn't go to waste. I then turned those mad growing skills into flower gardening. This was also the time when digital photography was taking off and blogging was in its infancy. I combined my love and interest in all three by taking photos of my flower garden and blogging about it on AOL Hometown (remember that?). 13+ years later I'm still blogging about my garden but, thanks to improvements in technology, my photos are so much better. Maine is where I discovered my creative passions. It's also where we had our first son.



As with anything it's not perfect. I remember so clearly a 4th of July party that we were hosting where the day started off bright and sunny and warm but by mid-day when everyone was arriving a cool fog as thick as clam chowder rolled in off the coast and smothered our gathering and only 10 more miles inland it was still bright, sunny and warm. Also, If you live in the United States I don't have to tell you that the winters are long and cold, very cold. 


Life took us away from our semi-permanent spot in Maine, at first very far away and little by little we got closer. Now it's a 3-hour drive making week-long vacations and weekend getaways totally doable. Last summer we even found out that 4 moms and 8 kids can make it a day trip.

One day we'll move back to Maine, I have no doubt.  

 
So now that I've told you about my place, I'd love to hear about yours.

Thank you to the wonderful Focusing on Life ladies for the invitation.

                                                       Becky


It is our extreme pleasure to welcome Becky Laflam (Becky Sue) as our guest blogger today. I am sure many of you already know her from the Picture series of classes on BPC and she is also a member of the Prompt Addict community. You can see more of her wonderful work at Flickr and on her blog(In the list of tags on her blog, click on Maine for even more Maine beauty.) She's an Instagram addict and you can find her there as "beckysue".  Thanks for joining us today, Becky!



22 comments:

Linda said...

So nice to see you here, Becky! Happy anniversary! Your pictures really are beautiful and inviting. No wonder you love it!
You are very creative! Your zucchini story is great! Is it really possible to have too much zucchini? ;)
Blessings for your mom and your family. I still wear my bracelet and love it.

xo,
Linda

Carol said...

Welcome Becky - I will be going to a Sept wedding on Newagin Island near Portland, and my sister and I are going to make a week out of it. I can't wait - haven't been there in about 15 years. Any recs? I don't even need to go to anything - I'm just looking forward to the beauty.
As for my "place," I have two. My family memories center around my parents' summer place in Canada - I've gone every year since 6th grade. All those sister memories that you so PERFECTLY describe here are there. But, I have to admit, my heart belongs to Vermont! The second I cross the border into Vermont, my heart beats, my breath relaxes, the radio starts automatically playing all me favorite music, and my eyes take it all in with love. Sometimes a place just feels like it's you all over! Maybe someday I'll get to live there - for now I will continue to visit my Aunt and Uncle's beautiful farm!

terriporter said...

Welcome to our little FOL family, Becky! Loved all of your photos and what you had to say about "your place". I don't really have a favorite childhood place but from the time my kids were small we spent 1-2 weeks every summer for 17 years in a row in San Diego and it became our home away from home. We always stayed in the same place and our kids (and we) have so many wonderful memories from our times there. For me, the beach, any beach, brings me that peace and feeling of deep breathing that you talk about.

I have to admit, I have not been a reader of your blog before this but I popped in yesterday and you can be sure that from now on it will be among the places I visit often. Thanks so much for being our guest today.

Deanna said...

Oh Becky Sue, so glad you joined our little group of "life sisters" as we refer to ourselves. Your memories of Maine and your written thoughts and photos are totally delightful. It is so wonderful that you have such a favorite place to remember as well as visit frequently and one-day to return to. Thank you so much for sharing your talents with us. You know I love you...!!! I do have favorite child=hood memories of "the lake" where we kept our boat...many happy hours were spent swimming & waterskiing & spending nights right on the water.

Cathy H. said...

I enjoyed reading your post, Becky! Your photos of the beach are beautiful!! I can see why you would love it there!! My favorite childhood place was the small town of Booneville, Arkansas. It's the home of my aunt and uncle. Each summer my five cousins and I would stay with them for a week. They had no children of their own and they would totally spoil us! I now wonder how they put up with six young children! I'm sure we drove them crazy!! They provided pony rides, croquet games, horseshoes, fishing, and rides in the wagon pulled behind my uncle's tractor. My uncle always had his camera out taking pictures of us. He is the one that inspired me to take pictures. After his death I took some of the money he gave me and bought my first DSLR camera. Such wonderful memories I have of this small town and of a very special aunt and uncle!!

heyjudephotography said...

Becky Sue,
I love your photos. Maine has such beautiful shoreline and you've captured that so well in your photos. I don't have one favorite place, but if I'm by the ocean I am a happy girl. The sound of the crashing waves just lulls me into relaxation. I'm going to pop on over to your blog to check it out. Thanks Becky Sue!

Dotti said...

Becky Sue - Thank you so much for visiting us today and sharing your photos and memories of Maine. You have really whet my appetite because my husband and I are heading to Maine for 10 days in September. So much to look forward to!

When I think of favorite places there are two that are prominent: I spent many of my summer days with my cousins in New York, haunting Fire Island. It's been years since I've been there so it's a distant memory now.

As an adult, I've found another home away from home: Kiawah Island, SC. We started going there over 25 years ago and return almost every year, sometimes twice in one season (when we're lucky!). It's now the site of our family vacations with my daughter and her family. My granddaughter, age 5, loves it as much as we do.

Oh, my. Now I have what we refer to as "beach fever". ...*sigh*...

Dotti

leighlovedesign.com said...

So happy you joined us today Becky Sue! Maine is now on my list of places to travel to. I felt like I was there with you as you described your memories. Beautiful photos!

GailO said...

How have I missed seeing this blog for so long? If it weren't for Becky's Instagram addiction I would not have found it:) Love your Maine love! I too love Maine for our yearly Maine vacations with friends and family for the past....oh maybe 25 years!

Michelle said...

Great post Becky! Maine is so beautiful and a special place for me to. I used to join my best friend and her family on vacations to a cottage in Saco. Those are some of my most favorite memories....hours of playing in the waves like you did with your sister, paddle ball, being on sandwich making duty in the morning,lots of laughing, and flirting with her brother and his gorgeous friend....ahhh.....the memories :).

Becky Sue said...

Hi Linda! We really didn't know what we were doing when we planted that garden. My husband took in paper bags full of zucchini and we still had enough to sell roadside. We also had 5 rows x 60' of corn. Now that we have kids there are just a few plants plus our plot is much smaller. Thank you for your kind words and I'm so happy that you are enjoying the bracelet.

Becky Sue said...

Carol, I'm not familiar with that Island though I've been to a few in the area. I (mostly) grew up in Vermont, where is your Aunt and Uncle's place? I lived in Wallingford and then, after college, moved to Burlington. I still love Vermont. Be sure to go to Becky's Diner in Portland, it's along the water. Also, if you like beer a good pub is Gritty McDuff's. Of course, there's LL Bean and Freeport. Be sure to go see Cape Elizabeth and Portland Head Light.

Becky Sue said...

Thanks, Terri for your patience with me! I agree that the beach/ocean can bring that peaceful feeling just about anywhere. Hopefully I will be a better blogger this summer, it seems to get shuffled to the bottom of my to do list.

Becky Sue said...

Your lake memories sound wonderful. I love you, too, and I hope we get to meet in person one day. xo

Becky Sue said...

Wow, what a great memory and how wonderful that it had a direct impact on your current hobby. Your Aunt and Uncle do sound very special to host you all and make it so enjoyable. Thank you for sharing your cherished memory.

Becky Sue said...

The waves do have that hypnotizing effect for sure. I hope that you can make it to the ocean soon!

Becky Sue said...

I, too, have beach fever! My youngest gets out of school next week which will give us the freedom to be adventurous. We might take a trip to Martha's Vineyard since none of us has ever been. Your family trip to Kiawah Island sounds wonderful. I love family time. My parents usually come with us on our Maine vacation. Let me know if you need a few suggestions for you Maine trip. September is a beautiful month in Maine.

Becky Sue said...

Thanks for the invite, Leigh! Let me know when you plan your trip and we'll meet you!

Becky Sue said...

Seriously, Gail? Where have you been? Looking forward to your Maine pics on IG.

Becky Sue said...

I left out of the above post my many "crushes", it didn't seem to fit and I didn't have any photos. lol We'll have to visit Maine together someday.

stephmull said...

So good to see you here today, Becky! What a treat! I loved your post, hearing all about your memories and what a special place Maine holds in your heart. Your pictures are so beautiful, as always! Thank you again for sharing with us!

Becky Sue said...

Thank you, Stephanie, for your kind comments. :)

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