Sunday, August 31, 2014

Not If, But When...

There are events that happen with dogs to create a situation you know isn't going to be pretty.  Such an event happened at our La Quinta hotel stay last week when we were heading back to the boat. Any guesses about which dog?

This was little Dee Dee's second night ever in a hotel. She was fascinated with the one room where everyone would stay together and ran around checking out every corner. We were busy finding places for clothes and computers and didn't notice that she had found the bathroom.

Unlike our house or boat, the hotel staff lays out little soaps and shampoos on the edge of the tub. You've all seen that before. Dee Dee hadn't.

La Quinta leaves Citros, a citrus-scented set of products. They're quite nice. I doubt they taste good but you can ask Dee Dee because she ate the entire bar of soap including the wrapper.

A quick search on the internet found that it's not dangerous although we'd need to watch her over the next few hours.

We knew this event wasn't going to pass without incident. We even had an idea of what might happen. The only question was...when.

At 2:30 am, Miss Dee Dee woke up and released the entire contents of her stomach including a 3/4 piece of whole soap all over the bed. Trust me, at 2:30 am, you don't notice the citrus scent any longer. And after that event, no one much slept the rest of the night.

It's a valuable lesson. New places can't be trusted when you have a puppy. Or a Dee Dee.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Short Timers

The crew has been very busy helping clean out the house and have hardly noticed that the summer has flown past. None of us can believe that we are down to days before we move back onboard. There's one more run to the dump, a carload of books to take to the library book sale, a few more boxes to pack up and stash in the attic, a car to pack, and then we'll be heading south back to aCappella.

So we've asked the kids what they will miss most about their land-based home. They love their daily walk around the block before breakfast - one of their two favorite times of the day (breakfast that is). Any guess what the other is?

It could be their lunch-time walk down to the town dock. Dylan loves the area where the pigeons hang out at the dock.

 And the smells there can't be beat!!

Is it the sun room window seat? It makes the perfect perch for keeping an eye on those dastardly squirrels - much worse than pigeons according to Dylan. He diligently stands watch and Dee Dee comes running when the alarm is sounded.

It also makes the perfect spot to lie in the sun.

The backyard, which Dee Dee points out always has a stick, is a big team favorite. The video shows how seriously they take stick retrieval.

Dylan and Dee Dee each have their own chair in Daddy's study which is perfect for a snooze after a good romp in the backyard.

And of course, the whole crew will miss the king-size bed. 

But ultimately it's about being together. Whether it's squirrels or dolphins, the town dock or aCappella's bow, a backyard or a dog park, the kids are happiest when we share the days and nights.

Of course, a king-size bed on the boat would be welcome too...

Friday, August 1, 2014

Our Old House

We've had several of you write us wondering about the history of our house in Maine. It is an interesting house - at least we think so. The house is somewhere around 175 years old - there are several different dates "on record" about when it was built. Amazingly, we are only the 5th owner. It's why so much remains intact.

When we bought the house it was in need of much work. Fortunately here in Maine there are lots of people skilled at working with old houses. We found a terrific architect who specialized in restoring old houses. A wonderful women who knew the art of working with horsehair plaster walls lived in our house for months bringing them back. We even found a fellow who had the same passion we did for the inlaid floors and meticulously restored them. But that's about us, what about the history?

The house was built by John Dresser, Jr., the only son of John Dresser who made his fortune building several ropewalks in Castine and providing rope to the ships on the Penobscot Bay. It was a good thing that John, Jr. was left a fortune by his father as he seems to have accomplished little in his lifetime. He considered himself a poet and some of his poems remain. As I said, he was lucky to inherit a fortune. He owned the house for 60 years.

Dr. Webster was the next owner. He was the town doctor but unfortunately was killed in WWI rescuing a young boy, as the story goes. The story is still told that he would regularly swim 1 mile across the Bagaduce River to see patients. He lived here the briefest period, less then 10 years.

When Dr. Webster died his assistance, Dr. Babcock, took over the house and Dr. Webster's medical practice. The house became the town hospital and when we moved here there were several people in town who told stories of "being in the hospital" on Main Street. Our dear friend Helene remembers having her tonsils removed and recovering in what is now one of our guest rooms. The Babcocks owned the house for 70 years. Eventually, Mrs. Babcock grew tired of patients underfoot and Dr. Babcock created the town hospital on Court Street which is still the Castine town clinic today. I served on the clinic board for 17 years which I like to think brought things full circle.

George and Katherine Marshall purchased the house from the Babcock estate living here for 17 years. George worked in the merchant marine industry and they lived all over the world. He came to Castine at the end of his career to work for the Maine Maritime Academy and then retired here. When they reached their 80's they found the stairs too difficult and built a one level house on the lot next door. They were terrific neighbors for many years. George passed away just 2 years ago well into his 90's!

We purchased the house from the Marshalls in 1994. We fell in love with the many beautiful details that had not been messed with (messed up?) by too many owners. We restored her back to original lines, modernized where it made sense, and kept features original where possible. It was definitely a labor of love.

So after 20 years we find we are ready to pass her on to new owners who we hope will cherish her as much as we have. Over the years it has been home to each of our 5 Labs - Duke, Tucker, Dyna, Dylan, and Dee Dee. So whoever the next owner may be, they'd better be prepared to find some dog hair along with the fine details.