It snowed here in
on Thursday, snowed steadily all day long and into the night. In western Maine , it exceeded fourteen inches, while here on the coast, we topped out at about eight. Maine
It was, as we say in
, a beaut! Maine
And a perfect opportunity to spend a day at home.
I spent part of my time going through yet another box of family ephemera, and found this masterpiece tucked inside one of my old report cards. I drew it for my parents (or so it says on the backside) in 1956, when I was in the fourth grade; it was originally folded just above the roofline to make a stand-up Christmas card. I was a careful planner in those days – you’ll notice that everything’s plotted and outlined in pencil, then colored with, in all probability, Crayolas.
There’s something about the trees that makes me smile – those small, triangular fir trees plopped willy-nilly over the hillside; the thick-trunked deciduous trees (elms?) on either side of the path that leads up to the house – the red clapboard house with a green door (those are Christmas colors, for certain) and a warm yellow glow in all the windows.
I was ten years old.
When I found this drawing, I began to think about other places I have lived; began to think of my history in terms of houses.
My parents had a late 19th-century, dark gray house that overlooked
harbor in the 1950s (my mother insisted it was the color of a wet elephant, although I have no idea how she knew what a wet elephant really looked like). After that, they bought a series of old white ramshackle farmhouses in the Midcoast area, some with wonderful connecting architecture involving outkitchens, sheds and barns. Portland
The first house I ever owned was an 1820 cape near the
Kennebec River in the town of – I couldn’t see the river, but I could smell the water from my front porch. From there I moved to a small Greek Revival townhouse (white with black shutters) with a curved staircase, then another sweet farmhouse up in the Richmond Eastern River valley section of . Kennebec County
Now I’m here, in this house, back in the Midcoast area.
So Thursday, during the snowstorm, I looked at this drawing of my “first” house in snow for a long time, then bundled up in my parka and boots and hat and mittens and went outside, lumbered through the drifts in my driveway to the street to take a photograph of my “last” house in the snow...
First and last: Happy New Year to you all!