We stood at the top of Mt. Battie overlooking a vast view over the islands of Penobscot Bay and the small Harbor town of Camden, Maine, which played the role of Peyton Place in the popular television drama of the ‘50’s. There could be no more quintessential American small town than this small New England village, with its white church spires piercing a green canopy of the hills as they meet the sea. At my feet I read a poem immortalized in a bronze plaque.
All I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked another way,
And saw three islands and a bay.
So with my eyes I traced a line
Of the horizon, thin and fine,
Straight around till I was come,
Back to where I’d started from,
And I all I saw from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood.
Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1912
We descend into this picture of Americana, where we are met by the summer crowds on Main Street bustling down the sidewalks, some with ice cream cones, some laden with souvenirs, parents with their ducklings trailing behind -one lagging, lost in the crowd, mama duck screeching his name.
They all make their way past the storefronts and antique cars to the great lawn overlooking the schooners and pleasure boats in the harbor to spread their blankets with anticipation. From behind a band plays patriotic tunes in the amphitheater that Rockefeller built in the 1930’s. As the sky dims, a “BOOM” resonates over the still water as a signal for the Fourth of July fireworks to begin, and the sky and water become one in a confetti of color.
To most, this would be the perfect Fourth of July holiday, but to us it was only a prelude to something more. The next morning after hitting the grocery store for essentials, we head over to the ferry terminal in Rockland. The hour and fifteen minute ferry ride and a short nap proves just enough time to transport us to another state of mind and on to island time.
We arrive up a long gravel drive through the woods to our summer home and the tradition of opening drapes and carrying the wicker furniture to the porch begins. Last to adorn the porch are the twinkle lights and an American flag. We settle into our favorite spot over looking Old Harbor, some opting for a blanket to hedge against the chill in the sea air. Lobster boats motor past and a sailboat slips by, two girls hanging their feet off the port side, their toes skimming the water. An hour or so later (who would know?) the sun begins to slip and the sky grows a vivid vermillion and rose.
We had officially arrived; this was summer. Cocktail anyone?
Skinny Summer Margarita
2 oz Herradurra Tequila
1-1/2 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz lime
Touch of agave
Squeeze of orange
Shake with ice
Pour in glass rimmed in Tajin chili seasoning
Red, White & Blueberries
Fresh handpicked strawberries,
Blackberries & Blueberries topped simply with whipped cream.