Marines.Together We Served

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Rain in Maine

With apologies to Rex Harrison, star of the movie and Broadway play, My Fair Lady. The famous line from a song sung by Mr. Harrison went like this, “The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.” This is what is called assonance. This literary term refers to similarly repeated sounds being made in a poetic or rhyming pattern.

Since leaving for vacation immediately following my daughter Laura’s wedding, I envisioned two weeks back east blissfully playing golf with my brother, John, while also spending time with other family members on our annual sojourn to Maine. Because the weather has been less than cooperative, I have formulated my own assonance in describing my two weeks of vacation: “The rain in Maine has plainly been a pain!” Or perhaps we could invert this sentence to say the same thing: “The pain in Maine has plainly been the rain.” You get the idea.

Being the dauntless men that we are, John and I weren’t going to allow a bit of moisture to dampen our spirits. After all, golf is for hale and hearty fellows who laugh in the face of climactic conditions. After all, John and I have played golf in Alaska during the summer when the sun barely set before beginning its ascent for the new day. John took a picture of me walking off the eighteenth green at twelve-thirty in the morning! Then there was the time he flew into Sacramento where I picked him up with golf clubs in tow and we played a course in the area not far from the capital that was enduring some of the coldest, most frigid weather I’d ever experienced. We layered up, complete with gloves, and played on. Another time we were playing at a club near his home in Virginia. It was a cold January day, but it was a beautiful day for golf (By definition, every day is a beautiful day for golf!). About the 16th hole there was the slightest hint of snow flakes in the air. By the time we played through to the 18th hole, there was about a half inch of snow on the ground. White golf balls and white snow add an additional dimension to the inherent challenges of golf. We were reduced to spasms of laughter watching each other attempt to putt the golf ball through the snow. The ball, having now acquired the same temperature as the frigid air, collected the snow around it like a belt as it rolled to a wobbly stop, always woefully short of the hole.

From the day of arrival in Portland, Maine, the weather was wet, cloudy and rainy. There wasn’t a single patch of blue anywhere to be had in the sky. This lasted for eight days – the same amount of time, incidentally, I would be spending in Maine. A day or two of rain in Maine during June is certainly nothing new. But this was ridiculous! In speaking to one of the grounds keepers at our favorite golf course, Belgrade Lakes Golf Club, he told me that as of that day, June 24, they had already had eighteen days of rain for the month. To say that the ground was overly saturated would clearly be an understatement. Still, we soldiered on, slogging through the squishy sod. The plus side to playing is that we virtually had the golf course to ourselves. Occasionally, we would see another golfer or two out on the course, at which point we would become somewhat indignant that they would dare play on our course! Of course, it wasn’t our course, but under those conditions it did feel that way.

Yesterday, on our final day of play for the week, we teed off early (7:20 am) and managed to play two full rounds dodging rain showers, finishing about mid-afternoon. During the drive back to the cabin located on the coast, the rain persisted with a few more showers as if Mother Nature was thumbing her nose at us. Then about thirty minutes from our arrival a small patch of blue sky appeared. However, this was short-lived because the coast was, and remains completely fogged in.

Tonight we celebrate our mother’s 94th birthday complete with fresh Maine lobster (caught today – we’re friends with the manager of the local lobster co-op); Montreal-spiced baked chicken; New England roasted red potatoes; homemade corn chowder, and split-pea soup; Bambi’s Cole-slaw; Ruth’s homemade strawberry cream pie, and strawberry/rhubarb pie; Johnny’s chunky apple pie; local chocolate and vanilla ice cream, all topped off with a fresh pot of hot coffee.

So let it rain! Life is good, and I am blessed!

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