My pal Martha and I share an ongoing conundrum: How many pairs of shoes to take on a trip? I’m thinking four when I take off for my beloved Mount Desert Island, Maine, on Thursday.
I’ll need the hiking boots for slippery climbs up Beech Mountain in the rain, my new turquoise sneakers for shorter strolls around Ship Harbor and Wonderland, sandals in case it gets summery, and heavy Dansko clogs — the wild card. What if it rain, rain, rains, as it often does, but I go out in the evening and want to feel taller, more elegant (?) than I do in tie shoes? And it’s cool enough that I need socks? That’s it, I’ll wear the clogs on the plane. (*Martha — there’s no need to call back).
See what putting words on the page can accomplish?
And to you dear readers, I’m gearing up for vacation mode. I’m not sure if I’ll pay attention to “Sheila Talking” while I’m in Maine. I’ll be talking so much more there: I’ve increased my cell phone minutes/texts for July. I’ll want to let Dan, back home in Tucson, know what I’m up to.
I love seeing all my dear friends and accepting invitations when I’m at my house in Southwest Harbor. The trick is to take time for myself, to breathe in the salt air, ride my bike alone along Seawall Road, and arrange myself in the rocky cliffs of Ship Harbor with a good book and picnic.
And there’s the annual retreat with two Maine children’s author friends, Margy Burns Knight and Anne Sibley O’Brien (who years ago suggested I start a consulting business called “Sheila Talking”), and Phyllis Brazee from the University of Maine, who singlehandedly pioneered the advent of quality children’s literature in Maine classrooms.
This year, there’s the added excitement of Brook’s book launch at the Southwest Harbor Library on Thursday, July 14 at 7 p.m., with a party at our house at 165 Seawall Road afterward. (MDI friends — If our driveway is full, please park at the Catholic church or on Shore Road and walk up the path to our house. Thanks).
I hope it’s sandals that evening. I have a new outfit — since I’ll be introducing my magnificent daughter in front of an enormous crowd — but hmm…maybe the dress I wore to both Brook and Ethan’s college graduations? Sound shallow? Now that I’ve turned 65, occasional brain relaxation suits me just fine.
Vacation… may you have all the shoes you need — on Mount Desert Island — or wherever summer takes you.