Recalling a Special Memory

Last month Linda and I celebrated our 36th anniversary. In what has become our tradition, Linda prepared a special meal: shrimp scampi and lobster tail with Caesar salad (with Linda’s special homemade dressing), asparagus, and a glass of Chardonnay from a bottle (not a box) costing more than $6.

As I was taking a bite of the lobster it brought back memories of a Dan Fogelberg song called The Reach. We took time out from our meal to load this song on our stereo.

It’s Maine…
And it’s Autumn
The birches have just begun turning

Ever been to New England in the the Fall? One of our first vacations together was a trip to New England in September, 1981. We picked up a rental car at Logan international airport in Boston and immediately drove  to Kennebunkport Maine. I will never forget the sensation as we stepped out of the car. The intoxicating smell of the honeysuckle vines and salty sea air. The beauty of the boats moored in the harbor and the lighthouse protecting ships from the craggy coastline. Sounds of seagulls competed with the crash of waves against the rocky coast.

We spent the next seven days exploring New Hampshire and Vermont. Covered bridges, State Parks, hiking trails, and unparalleled scenery. Each night we stayed in a different bed-and-breakfast. One night we sat on the floor of the living room in front of a roaring fire petting the innkeeper’s Labrador retriever. Another we met a couple from England that had come to the states on the QE2 luxury liner. They taught us how to play cribbage. Each morning we asked the innkeeper for recommendations on where to go. They helped us find a place to stay by calling fellow innkeepers. It was a very unscripted vacation. New England native Robert Frost described it  best in his poem The Road Not Taken

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

This was the first of many vacations we would share throughout our 20s. We frequently opted for the “unreserved” strategy. Although we missed a few tourist sites we saw most destinations through the eyes of a native. Travel was an important part of our lives. Thankfully we took as many vacations as possible before my diagnosis of MS in June 1992. Now I live my travels vicariously through Lauren and Amanda.

Your assignment for this week: Share a special meal with your spouse or significant other with whom you have taken a special trip. Is there any special music that reminds you of this vacation?

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9 Responses to Recalling a Special Memory

  1. Laura Rogers says:

    This hit a very special string in my heart. Charles and I spent two of our vacations in the part of the country you write about. On our second trip there we took a week sail on a windjammer out of Maine. We went west to Washington and California, East to Maine and Florida, South to Louisiana and New Mexico, North to Wisconsin and Michigan and so many places in between. You are so correct to tell us to share our memories with those we love. I treasure the memories that I have of the twenty plus years of travel with him. Homes, cars, furniture, clothes…..these are all going to disappear but our memories are there for the rest of our lives.

  2. Beth says:

    Oh Brad! You triggered a special memory for me, too. I’ve been to Maine twice, both trips meant time in Kennebunkport and in Ogunquit. So beautiful, loved those times there. Thank you and Happy Anniversary to you and Linda!

  3. Betty Hickman Minnick says:

    Dear Brad & family, It is a treasure to read your gifted writings & the lovely Memories you share. Aunt Fred loved telling me about you when
    You were growing up, she said “that boy has a tender heart”. She was
    Always right on the spot. ❤️

  4. Gary & Janetta says:

    Brad-one of my favorite artist’s! What sweet memories his music brings back -classic stuff!
    Congratulations on your anniversary, cherish each one as God has given us both special women to traverse this short journey with!

  5. Sue gibson says:

    Brad, you continue to amaze me as you pull from your spirit —God’s spirit. Your tenderness if a gift and an inspiration. Thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories of New England. Sue Gibson

  6. Mike Tinnon says:

    Great blog and song, Brad!

  7. Susan St George says:

    Brad thank for the wonderful memories of Kennebunkport and New England. I often miss the east coast its so beautiful. Lenny and I also vacationed right near that lighthouse when were first married. You described the sights sounds and even the smells perfectly.
    Happy Anniversary to you and Linda.
    Lenny and I love your blogs

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