On Sunday morning, I woke up wrapped in a nice warm woolen blanket. It was so comfortable that I almost stayed in bed.
After a while, I realized that a cold breeze was blowing through the bedside window. For some reason, our usual dose of hot air during the night was gone.
Was Mother Nature trying to tell us something? Are we approaching the time when she will turn the seasonal clock?
For weeks we’ve been in vacation mode, focused on summer chores caught up with summer jobs, picking berries, grilling swordfish on the grill, hosting friends and relatives, and enjoying the sunset from the porch while sharing an adult drink.
As the national political merry-go-round swirled around, some of our neighbors and friends back home were turned into the hook. Here on the peninsula, we were isolated from that train wreck as we focused on the simple pleasures of a summer on the Maine coast. You know what I mean, enjoying a scenic lighthouse, a graceful schooner or a moonrise. We experienced real things, not just tiny electronic images dancing on a flickering screen.
It’s a time when our summer visitors stroll the streets looking in shop windows, admiring our local art and picking up a souvenir or three. Then, after taking a boat trip and seeing a seal and possibly a whale, they sat down to a relaxing, fresh, unfrozen seafood meal.
Like coastal visitors for thousands of years, they had the rare chance to taste fresh lobsters, clams, local oysters and ocean-picked mussels, not sore muscles from hours spent in front of a computer. or strained in the gym.
Last week I had the chance to visit friends from afar. It started on Friday as we closed Robinson’s Wharf while chatting about old friends and happenings. The next day I sailed to Squirrel Island for a quiet evening with old colleagues laughing and joking about good times and old friends.
In both cases, no one stopped to grab a buzzing cell phone. No one has searched Google on an iPad. Even better, no one mentioned the word politics.
And, for a change, our lawnmower hasn’t been started for about a month.
Soon, the smiling college-aged kids who wait at the tables, change the sheets and do the dishes will be putting in their two weeks’ notice.
Teachers working summer jobs are starting to think about getting their classrooms ready as parents and students prepare to shift gears. Volunteers gather materials to hand out at my favorite community event, the Set for Success Festival on August 31 at Boothbay Area Elementary School. Unless you live in the deep woods, this is when volunteers ask teachers what items each student might need to be ready for the first day of school. Volunteers collect these items, throw in a new backpack and give it to each student.
Wiscasset held a similar event last Sunday.
A pat on the back to all the volunteers for these events.
The growing number of political ads on TV is another sign that our summer cocoon is unraveling.
Special interest groups have opened their TV ad checkbooks trumpeting their schedules as viewers complain that expensive commercials interrupt their regular evening visits with “Jeopardy” and the Red Sox.
A visit to the newscasts will introduce you to a very excited group of people from all sides reacting to the major news of the day.
I know the November congressional elections are only a dozen weeks away, so it’s almost time to kick off the biannual political season.
Soon, putrid political parasites of all persuasions will flood your computing devices with pitches for money. They will warn you that the world will end if you don’t send them your savings. Beware of them.
If you want to support a candidate, I suggest you avoid their hair-on-fire style pitches. Instead, if you decide to donate, support the candidate directly or send a check to an established political party.
All the “experts” tell us that we are facing a political season like no other in history. But, despite all their tables and diagrams, statistical analyzes and computer analogues, none of them will predict the outcome.
Their best estimate is that a third of the electorate is married on the right. A third is bound on the left. The election will be decided by the remaining people in the middle.
So make sure you’re registered to vote, ask your friends to do the same, and fasten your seatbelt. It will be a bumpy ride.