On crisp cold mornings, just before dawn, you might spy the Goddess rapidly working her magic brush over the edges of windowpanes, along the bushy banks of a bubbling stream tumbling with ice crystals or on the spiny tips of the naked branches of winter. She seems driven to leave exquisite patterns of breathtaking and unmistakable beauty on all she touches. If you are an early riser adept with a steady hand and good camera, you may capture the essence of her unique work just before the sun rises to veil the earth in a full rosy glow.
Before the brightest sunlight rises to highlight her frosty artwork, she retires, exhausted from dancing in the moonlight. She falls into a deep sleep where she dreams she has become part of the landscape, deep within a puffy blanket of snow.
Only the creator of such a precious art fantasy could sleep after creating such a tedious project, knowing her fragile and priceless work would sparkle and melt in the first rays of dawn. The knowledge does not deter her from recreating yet another intricate spectacle with the next morning light, just before the flash of dawn illuminates her earth-born gallery.
Wendell is blue in the face, having lost all patience from attempting to educate and explain how cost-effective it is to utilize wind power! Wendell is passionate about his beliefs. Although his frustration makes him suck in his breath at the adverse reactions of so many intelligent people, he does not waver from his mission.
Difficult for him to understand why he was living on a dying planet starving for renewable and affordable energy. Still, so many people were hopping into their sport utility vehicles, mindlessly driving faster than the speed limit to rush getting to Burger King, only to toss the used containers out the window as they speed back home. As he looks up to the sky, his mind is focused on the following elementary steps he attempts to explain daily to the multitudes of skeptics he encounters. Steps in wind energy generation
The wind blows on the blades and makes them turn.
The blades turn a shaft inside the nacelle (the box at the top of the turbine).
The shaft goes into a gearbox which increases the rotation speed enough for the generator.
The generator uses magnetic fields to convert rotational energy into electrical energy. These are similar to those found in regular power stations.
The power output goes to a transformer. The transformer converts the generator’s electricity at around 700 Volts (V) to the correct voltage for the distribution system, typically 33,000 V.
The national grid transmits the power around the country. Wendell wonders how many lifetimes it will take before more inhabitants of planet earth realize we are using up something we can never regain. He continues to look optimistically toward the day when another, less expensive, less intrusive, more technically advanced method of generating the power we are all so dependent on can be discovered and implemented.
He is proud to be one of seemingly few who sell power back to the power company today and has little compassion for those who constantly complain about how their energy bills are escalating! He will not be swayed by power monopolies to allow chunks of his state to be used to deliver power to states outside his own, leaving residents shaking their heads when opening their current power bills.
Curiosity is the key that unlocked many doors for Grand Mother Wisdom. Although her aura may suggest that she has always been a sage and wise mentor, she remembers the days when innate curiosity was the driving force that helped her earn her present status. She spent much time listening to her inner voices while observing and testing the advice of her elders, aging, and sage-ing.
As a young maiden, Grand Mother utilized her own curiosity for lifting the heavy burden of victimization in which she was taught to believe. Now her belief is that every maiden must listen intently to her elders, and using the tools of curiosity, emerge with an original idea belonging exclusively to self. The pride in the journey of discovery unraveling your own mystery is the reward of wisdom.
She firmly believes her purpose is to offer the idea that curiosity flows into knowledge, resulting in power. Interest, wisdom, power, yes, that’s it! Her utmost hope is that curious young maidens everywhere will open their eyes wide and “hear” this most vital message, although she knows no one can hand down the message to another. One must embark on the quest for knowledge, the key or the exclusive secret to one’s own wisdom.
Grand Mother likes to keep a low profile observing more than dictating her own message. It is not her method to press but rather impress upon young maidens that solitude and privacy can be most beneficial if they “hear” their innermost selves. Grand Mother would prefer her message seem to come from within, knowing that the message will be far more vital, longer-lasting, and immensely more empowering if perceived in that way.
Almira Almeda was a proud woman with a strong jaw. She would look you directly in the eye with her well-honed confidence and ever-so-slight smile on her lips. Almira Almeda remembered working as a shy child raking blueberries to fill plastic tubs in the hot, dusty fields at the very top of the hill until her arms ached, and her back was red with sunburn. She knew then that it would take many years of hard work to save enough money to buy the parcel for her own, but still she woke up each morning dreaming of that day.
Within her tattered, crumbling journal, Almira Almeda remembered her grandfather’s huge weather beaten hand enclosing hers, tiny, smooth and pink, as they earlier walked through the same blueberry fields when she was only 8 or 9 years old, him talking about wanting to own property on the hilltop. She thought about the gleam in grandfather’s eye as they soaked in the breathtaking sight on a clear blue-sky sunny day. She remembered as a teenager, slowly straightening up from what seemed endless hours of blueberry raking and dry lips, to see the snow capped purplish mountains far on the western horizon. Local people enjoyed riding their horses to the top field just to see that spectacular 360° view for miles around.
Almira Almeda silently vowed to herself early-on that she would someday own the top fields grandfather coveted, where she had raked blueberries with a crew of other Dresden and Pittston high school kids during her early years. It was her girlhood dream to someday make the announcement there would be a grand log house raised on her land where she could gaze endlessly out her parlor window to see that very special view overlooking the Eastern River. She often escaped her siblings; another well-worn book and her journal with then mostly empty pages in the crook of her arm as she hiked to her hiding spot, a huge boulder warmed by the sun, which she hid behind to read or write in her own private world for hours in the fresh air under the soaring eagles.
When Almira Almeda was 23, she married 25-year-old Zina Blinn from Dresden in a happy mid-August ceremony at her family home in Pittston (near the peak of Blinn Hill) with all 16 of her siblings and his 10 brothers and sisters surrounding them, quite a crowded house that day. Baby Alice came along within the first year of their marriage. By the time their second child, Effie Jennette was born in 1861, Almira Almeda had begun to hold well-attended Suffragette meetings at their modest home. Other strong women were attracted to what she had to say and impressed by her beliefs, her ability to draw interesting speakers to fan the flames of passionate local women for the cause.
The East Coast was a hotbed for the women’s movement in the United States during the mid-1800s, when Almira Almeda Kincaid Moody, Blinn lived in Maine. During the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, female leaders gathered for what would be remembered as the birth of the women’s suffrage movement.
Almira Almeda’s passion became the origin of her being known as a driven woman, a social organizer of local women, and their strong political values. She learned confidence from the value of hard work as a young girl from a large, demanding family. As a young married woman, she not only continued to hold meetings and tend to her husband and little family, also birthing twin girls she and Zina named Helen Grace and Grace Hannah in 1874. She was notorious for having taken extraordinary social risks for her time in addition to tending to the demanding schedule of housekeeping, gardening and mothering, providing inspiration, rewarding to her and many others in her town. She was also known to have made the best blueberry jam in the area!
Almira Almeda indeed finally achieved the breathtaking view of the mountains as owner of Blinn Hill property. She met the challenges, disciplined herself to stick with the hard work, invested her hard-earned money, and at last reaped her reward. She was truly “Blinn Hill Baronness” in the huge estate at the very top of Blinn’s “blueberry hill.” You can visit her and Zina’s gravesites in the Pine Grove Cemetery; halfway along the road to the peak of Blinn Hill, nestled in with scores of other Blinn’s, now spelled Blen after cousin Owen changed the spelling of their name later, due to a family tragedy.
Bernie remembers the Bean family’s sporting goods store selling sensible boots, fishing rods, and hunting & camping equipment from the two-story farmhouse with creaky oiled hardwood floors on the main street in sleepy Freeport village. The family began the outdoor-gear store in 1912, back when you would see many familiar faces talking away with one of the clerks, usually a Bean family member. Of course, Bernie was merely a young buck then, a “hippie” during his high school days back in the 1960s.
They now live in Cape Elizabeth, driving past the Burnham and Morrill baked bean-canning factory on the bay on their way up I-295 to Brunswick. Discussing the improvement in odor wafting from the 3rd story windows of the factory, they reminisce about the offensive smell of Stinson’s fish canning factory on the waterfront in Long Reach, just above the BIW shipyard where they worked so many years.
Now Bernie is a grandfather, driving the posted speed limit on Atlantic Route One into Brunswick in his conservative beige Volvo station wagon with Lindy, his wife, and grandmother to their twin grandsons by his side. Lindy and Bernie met at White’s Beach next to the big bonfire at the Freaker’s Ball and Concert. That was the summer they had both graduated, were married in the moonlight there, barefoot on the cool sand before a dozen of their friends, several short but passionate weeks later.
Lindy and Bernie manage a tiny natural food shop on Maine Street now that they have both retired from working the second shift at the shipyard in Bath. Many changes in their state and the world in the fifty-odd years of their lives have passed swiftly. Remembering the white water rafting, climbing Mt. Katahdin, kayaking the Saco River, they smile at the memories they have shared. They attended the launching of the state-of-the-art destroyer, DDG-1000, named the Zumwalt by BIW, completed in 2016.
As they take the I-295 exit onto Pleasant Street in Brunswick, they each turn to the other and smile an all-knowing familiar smile of comfort, a hand seeks another and fingers entwine. They share with one another a good life, at the salty and quiet pace of Midcoast Maine, “the way life should be.”