Three Sisters Family Restaurant

In last week’s column, I had written that Three Sisters Family Restaurant on Route 1 in Biddeford was closed, an error that I regret. Three Sisters will reopen in early August.

Three Sisters will reopen in early August. The family has been working hard to get everything ready. They’ll be serving lunch and dinner, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Three Sisters is located on Route 1 in Biddeford, near the Arundel town line. Dan King photo

Maine’s restaurants had been closed by the statewide executive order back in mid-March. A long three months later, they were told they could begin to partially reopen. Some have decided to remain closed. Three Sisters is not one of them.

My mistake was in trusting a Google listing for the restaurant. We were loyal customers wanting to return for their great breakfasts and lunches. Weeks ago, a notice, “permanently closed,” appeared on that Google site, which I now know the owners have no control over. They had been trying for a week to get Google to remove that listing. I was unsuccessful in contacting the owners by phone or by stopping by the restaurant, but it was my mistake to trust Google and especially not following up more.

I’m hoping that the Post’s readers last week sense both the affection and sadness that my wife and I felt about possibly losing this treasure. I apologize for the error.

Three Sisters will reopen in early August. The family has been working hard to get everything ready. They’ll be serving lunch and dinner, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. It’s a brand new menu with new exciting home-cooked items at their still reasonable prices.

My wife and I will be there that reopening week and we hope to see you there, too.

Tom Murphy

Dogs and cats revisited

The day after my tongue-in-cheek column ran in the Post about a dog’s changed life during this pandemic, the cat owners began asking why I hadn’t included the felines.

As a family that’s been owned for the past 55 years by a succession of dogs and cats, I first thought it would be like comparing apples and oranges, but they’re both God’s little creatures, so you can’t help but love them both. I also realized by writing up a follow-up column, I was walking into a minefield and potentially a whole lot of trouble.

Dog parents tell us that dogs, like humans, crave human contact. Come home and they’re right there, shaking and shook with the tail wagging away.  A cat, they say, may not show itself for another couple of hours. Call out a dog’s name and it’ll come running to be hugged or have its belly rubbed. A cat will often just show you its derriere and then fastidiously saunter away.

Our first pre-kids dog, Monk, was a Saint Bernard puppy who never realized that he wasn’t a puppy any more when he hit 160 pounds. He’d run to me, but he was often so excited, he’d knock me over. It felt like a Patriots’ linebacker just hit me. He would then patiently sit on me, waiting for recovery, so we could really begin the serious rough housing.

Most dogs are eager to head out with you for a walk, while a cat will give you a disdainful look, sending the message, “Seriously, you want ME to put on that leather thing, go outdoors into the rain, and walk?”

In the evening, a dog will cuddle up with you on the couch to watch Netflix. Often, you’ll find a cat on your lap only if you’ve forgotten to set out its food or the litter box is past its due date.

Dog owners will tell you that a dog’s face is much easier to read — smiles, excited, nervous, or contented. Some will even tell you that they have frequent back-and-forth conversations with their dog.

Often, you can’t tell what a cat’s thinking. It’s unreadable because an aloofness-like veil can drop down over its face, causing its expression to never change. They can take pride in radiating disinterest about the people who are being allowed to share space in that cat’s house.

If you’re a fervent cat owner, please hold off a bit on hitting the “send” key for that email you’re ready to zip my way, please.

During this pandemic’s sheltering in place, on a cold winter’s day with the sun streaming in through the frosted windows, it a cat’s gentle purrs that lulled you to sleep in your easy chair, as it passed its contentment on to you. That’s a sharp contrast to some dogs, chronic barkers, who go off the deep end, madly barking if a car goes past the house.

While a curious cat might jump up on the table or kitchen counter to sniff what’s cooking, it was always our dog, Woofer, who’d eat the low hanging, home-baked gingerbread men and candy canes off our Christmas tree. We learned early, don’t have any food — a stick of butter, bread, a potato, or dessert within the standing-on-the-back-legs range, or it was a goner.

Because of local coyotes and fishers, most Maine cats aren’t allowed outdoors, so there’s no need for those disgusting tick checks, while it’s mandatory to pull off and burn those hideous things every time a dog has been outside.

When a cat has do its thing, it’s always a very private, totally unseen, and mysterious event, but your nose always knows when it’s time to clean out the litter box. The dog owner has to trudge out into the pounding rain, deep snow, or wilting hot temperatures with a leash in one hand and the pooper-picker-upper bag in the other.

When it was time for our young daughter to practice the piano, our dog would relocate to the most distant room, but her cat, Surprise, would climb up and walk on the keys while she played. It was bedlam, but that cat and our daughter believed they played beautiful music together. I believe the two of them planned it so she could scoot off earlier to her softball practice.

During this COVID crisis, we’ve seen TV commentators Zooming in their reports from home. Several times now, I’ve seen a cat jump up on the desk and then either sits itself between the computer’s camera and its owner or it begins walking on the computer keyboard. It must be in some cats’ DNA.

It doesn’t matter whether your preference is a cat or a dog. One of the few positives during this lengthy sheltering in place is that so many Maine folks have been able to find comfort and fight off the resulting loneliness because of these dogs and cats. Too many of us have been alone during this pandemic. We’ve learned that in times like this, we’ve needed all the help we can get.

When this crisis has passed and we can begin again to see our doctors, I believe we’ll learn that our cats and dogs played a major role in reducing our anxiety, stress, sleeplessness, blood pressure, and mental health concerns.

For more than four months, these cats and dogs have truly proven that they’re God’s creatures. If they could talk, I believe, despite your protracted time together, they’d also keep you as their parent.

If you’ve shared this crisis with your dog or cat, you’ve been blessed. I envy you.

Tom Murphy is a former history teacher and state representative. He is a Kennebunk Landing resident and can be reached at [email protected]

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