“Earth Day is the first completely international and universal holiday that the world has ever known. Every other holiday was tied to one place, or some political or special event. This Day is tied to Earth itself, and to the place of Earth in the whole solar system.”
—Margaret Mead, 1977
My friends Beth and John Clark know me pretty well. Last year for Christmas they bought me a page-a-day “green” desk calendar, and the above quotation was taken from today’s page. (Yes, I save the pages to use as notepaper. You didn’t think I just threw them away, did you?) Anyway, good thoughts from Margaret Mead.
Yesterday, my daughter Shannon came over and helped me clear the flowerbeds of the leaves, acorns, little sticks, and debris that accumulated over the winter. As of April 19, the lawns are raked, the patio has been leveled and tightened, the beds are cleared, and, most significantly, the blackflies have arrived. Never, and I mean never, in all my years as a Mainer have so many things happened so early in the season. Truthfully, it feels more like May, even though the weather is a little cool. Besides, in Maine, even in May (and often into June) the weather can be quite cool.
When we came in from working outside, I found a tick on my leg, and it gave everyone the creeps. While we had our afternoon snack of popcorn, we all could feel our skin twitch with imagined ticks. Fortunately, I was the only one who found one, but after working outside, we all make it a point to check ourselves carefully each night, as we get ready for bed.
Another change for Maine. Even as recently as ten years ago, ticks were not a big problem here, and earlier than that, when Shannon and her sister, Dee, were young, we never gave ticks a thought. Dee and Shannon played in the woods by the stream all the time, and nary a tick was found. In the late 1990s, when Dee went to Bard College in New York, we all became aware of ticks, which were a real problem on the campus. At the time, we pooh-poohed the college’s extreme concern, which we considered paranoia. Oh, how our tune has changed. Nowadays, we are as paranoid as any New Yorker, and for good reason. We have come to expect to find ticks, and many people we know have had Lyme disease.
On a happier note, Shannon and her fiancé, Mike, stayed for dinner, and we had home fries, using the last of our precious Maine potatoes, and pancakes, using Maine butter, Maine eggs, Maine milk, and Maine maple syrup. For dessert, apple pie made from Maine apples.
In fact, my husband, Clif, and I are doing quite well with our week of mostly Maine dinners. We have enough leftover potatoes from the home fries to have some tonight with Maine haddock that Clif will buy on his way home from work. We also have more greens from Lakeside Orchards, and we’ll have a salad. (Salad sure does taste good when it’s made from fresh greens.)
Tomorrow, I plan to make a quiche with smoked Monterrey Jack from Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, Maine, and we should be able to get at least two meals from this, even when Clif’s appetite is taken into consideration. (That man just loves his dinner!) On Friday, we will be going to a public supper featuring food from local farms, and this brings us to Saturday, when we will be celebrating Shannon’s birthday. Her actual birthday is on—ta-dah!—Earth Day. Totally unplanned but totally cool.
Speaking of plans, we have something special in mind for Shannon’s birthday dinner, but since she is regular reader of this blog, I won’t be going into any details until after the big day.
Finally, no more mice in the house. At least for now.