‘How was your summer?” co-workers ask now that I’m back to work.

Fun … interesting … full of surprises.

Starting off in early May with an email from a man I hadn’t heard from in 23 years, this summer I could sense would have both the unexpected and the expected.

The week after school got out, I went to Savannah for a few days. Already summerlike weather there, unlike the 37 degree day I flew out of Portland, this vacation jump-started my summer.

Back to Maine and a dreary June. Movies with Sally. Lunch with Diane. Dinner with Amy and Steph. My once-in-a year breakfast at Cracker Barrel with Kelley and my “grandson” Carson. China Rose in Freeport with my new friend Lisa.

But in contrast, a sad visit with my cousin Dick at the Veterans’ Home in Augusta with Jayne, his daughter, a bleak reminder of what the future can bring.

And two celebrations of rites of passage. My friend Tony’s retirement party from teaching and the Riellys’ 50th wedding anniversary party.

Later in the summer, unexpectedly I heard from a UMO friend, also a distant cousin, who asked me to co-present a talk at a genealogy meeting about her grandfather and my grandmother, who had been sweethearts. So I did.

At Beal’s in Gorham, sitting on a bench with her husband, having an ice cream, was a USM friend I hadn’t seen for years.

But perhaps the most surprising was finishing lunch at Applebee’s in Auburn, where I had gone to put flowers on a friend’s grave in Gracelawn, and looking up to see my former hairstylist and friend, now after a career change, a therapist at a hospital, having lunch. Not having seen him for at least 20 years, I wasn’t sure if it were he. So I took my chances and went over to him.

“Tom?” I asked.

“Vicki,” he answered. So then we caught up.

In addition to my many ice cream trips and beach times at Willard and Crescent, I found time to do many things on my summer list: the Saco Museum, shopping at the Mall and Bull Moose, walks around Back Cove and Bug Light, a nostalgic trip to Rumford, and get-togethers with my friends.

And day trips, more than once this summer, to York and Harrison, made special by seeing my dear friends Gladys and Shirley, who not only welcome me, but show me the sights of their towns. And after many trips to York, this year I finally went to Old York and toured the historic places.

The last week of my vacation I was busy trying to get everything done before work. But not too busy to have lunches with my cousins Jeff and Karl and their wives en route to vacation places.

Just yesterday someone asked me about my summer, then questioned, “Did you get everything you wanted?”

“Not quite,” I answered. For no matter how much my time off, I always want more summer.


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