Friday, January 26, 2007


The rest of the trips usually depended on how much time we had
left. Longer vacations usually included a drive up to the Aziscohos
Dam where dad’s Uncle Clarence had been caretaker since 1924
and did the job for over a half century, or a stop at Tom’s Diner in
Wilson’s Mills. If it was winter we got to see the deer come down
out of the woods to eat grain put out to keep them from starving
in a bad year. One usual stop was a trip to the ice cream stand in
Berlin with all the cousins.

If we chanced to be there on Sunday we’d drive into Berlin to the
nearest Catholic church and attend Mass. This was a matter of
some importance to my mother. Dad converted to Catholicism
so they could marry and it might not have been a decision his
parents were comfortable with. The clearest memory I have of
those masses is of the day we realized the priest was speaking
French now instead of Latin or English.

On the way back home we might stop at one of the attractions
along the way: Six Gun City, Santa’s Village, Clark’s Trading
Post or The Old Man of the Mountains. Sometimes we’d bring
back more than souvenirs. Over the years there were several
kittens, at least one puppy, and one parakeet that made the trip
down south to Massachusetts with us. Twice we brought back
the flu.

We’ll skip the details on that.

I haven’t been back up to Maine or New Hampshire for twenty
years now although my sister has made the trip with her family
several times. I’m not a great long distance driver. But lately
I’ve been thinking about those vacations and the land where
my father’s family took root a lot lately.

Maybe I’ll take a trip up there again. If I ever get a reliable
car to do it in.

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