Corona Chronicles XXX
Windows of Belfast
When we relocated to Maine from the congested, traffic-snarled Washington D.C. suburbs I had wonderful visions of long walks and hikes throughout the parks and wilderness areas of Maine. As a “walking” traveler nothing was ever more appealing to me then ambling through foreign locales, meeting people, absorbing the smells of a new culture, hearing unfamiliar sounds and finding hidden surprises and unexpected sights away from the tourist spots.
I imagined my new life in Maine would include early morning walks beside the water, afternoon strolls in aromatic pine woods or among fields of wild flowers, and in fall brisk hikes amid painted autumn landscapes. In Summer I would take long swims in deep, cool lakes and in winter I remembered how much fun sledding could be. My new life in retirement would be “how life should be” to borrow a popular marketing phrase.
I had vacationed in Maine for decades enjoying the splendors of the state from Sebago to Bar Harbor. Two of my three sons had settled in Maine to raise families and pursue the good life. Both have a strong love of the outdoors and have biked, climbed, canoed, skied, and generally enjoyed all forms of outdoor life in the Pine Tree state.
While I knew I wouldn’t be breaking any records in outdoor activities I had no idea that my days of outdoor physical activity would come to such an inglorious and unhappy end. I had been dealing with peripheral neuropathy for several years and found it was fast becoming more difficult to walk. Balance issues accompanied by pain were interfering with many aspects of my day-to-day life. I sought every type of remedy and medical solution to no avail. Swimming at the YMCA was great until Covid reared its ugly head. Now I have a stationary bike that sits quietly in the corner of the room. Tomorrow…
Now my exploration of my new state is limited to car trips but I have discovered the joys of the armchair traveler. My active sons visit scenic sites, hike impressive trails, and through countless photos of their adventures let me see the beauties of Maine. It is obviously not the same as being there but there is a true thrill in knowing that I will see the views from trails and scenic outlooks they send me with that ever so bittersweet message: “Wish you were here.”
Elizabeth Irwin Sterner
Pink, orange, red and yellow tulips open against a background of green in the garden.
Blue water sparkles in the bay and the sun reflects off the white sails of a boat.
The red channel marker stands out amongst the white moorings and fishermen’s buoys.
The hills and mountain in the distance are dark blue against a pale blue sky.
The birch garbed in dark red stands out among the trees wearing green.
The lilacs bloom purple, lavender and white.
The black, tan and white dog sprawls on the blue green slate of the patio.
Spring has come to Union Street.
Elizabeth is a Board member of Senior College
Thoughts for the Day
You have to be able to imagine lives that are not yours.
Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.
~RALPH WALDO EMERSON
Walls turned sideways are bridges.
Courtesy of Gratefulness.org