Ilze Berzins

Here is our new home in Waterville, Maine. It's Dutch Colonial built in 1925 with a huge back yard.

New Year's day on Popham Beach. Amazing weather. Wish you were here!

Snow finally on the ground. We went for a walk at Thomas Point Beach and visited our favourite band of animals. Folk art... er, chain-saw art is wonderful here. Santa sent Laachuk a brand new leash for Christmas. Good dogs stay in Ottawa, bad dogs go everywhere...

Phantom and I in the parking lot at Popham Beach. It's a sunny windy autumn day, perfect for cantering along the vast expanse of beach at low tide.

The weather in Maine is unbelievable! Mid November and it's 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Laachuk and 'Mum and Dad' enjoy a day at Popham Beach.

Columbus Day(Canadian Thanksgiving) on Bailey Island, Maine. The sun is shining on the pretty little cove and the lone lobsterman checking his traps from his motor boat. We are very happy here. Check out Laachuk's Tales to read how we finally got here.

We passed a blissful week at the Driftwood Inn.

Our last night in Spruce Haven cottage was a humdinger. A major storm was brewing and waves of excitement rippled through our little colony. Dave boarded up doors and windows as most of the guests ran for their cars, fleeing to the mainland. But not us. We couldn’t wait for the mother of all storms to hit. Dad said that the Nor’Easter is one hell of a storm that usually comes in winter. Mum went on and on about storms she’s lived through in northern Quebec and in the Maritimes. In short: BRING IT ON!  

In the end it turned out to be a big build-up, but not such a big deal. Sure we awakened to crashing surf, but it was no national disaster.

It was also the time to leave our cozy cottage and the grounds of the Driftwood Inn. Pictures were taken, goodbyes said, and we pulled out of the parking area to head for the mainland.

It was raining and it was windy but, as the road wound its way along the western side of the islands, the bays actually looked quite peaceful.

Once we reached the mainland there wasn’t much of a storm. Or, actually, the storm became interpersonal. In a huff, Mum and Dad ditched the naval town house on Mariners Landing.

They deserved better and they got better. Presenting themselves to Morton’s Real Estate on a holiday Monday, they were immediately taken by the hand of dapper Paul Clark (the third) and guided to a most appropriate townhouse.

We had finally found a semi-permanent resting place. Dad brought the marital bed out of U Haul storage and we were back to our old routine.

I sleep on the floor.

Little did we know that Columbus Day was almost upon us. (That’s Thanksgiving for us Cannuks.) And due to this important holiday long weekend, we were turfed from the stinking hole of Days Inn due to previous reservations. Great news in some respects. But what now?

“Let’s get the fuck outta here,” Mum and Dad said in unison as they threw our meager possessions into the Volvo.

“Where we going, Honey?” Mum intoned. She wasn’t worried. After all, Dad was a former Mainer. He had to know what he was doing and where he was taking us.

“To where this land ends,” he replied cryptically.

Puzzled, Mum shrugged, but then, minutes later, she began to gush.

“Oh my God! This is soo gorgeous! I can’t believe it! It’s soo gorgeous!”

She carried on like this all the way as we proceeded up the winding, hilly, spectacular Route 24 which was to end at—you guessed it—Land’s End.

The vast expanse of the ocean was before us. We were on Bailey Island. Paradise found!

Some five minutes from Lands End we reached the hidden treasure called the Driftwood Inn– hidden only because of the narrow, winding lane that leads to the inn. We soon found out that Driftwood Inn had quite a reputation. It was almost fully booked. Almost was good enough for us. Dad eagerly booked whichever room or cottage was available.

From the moment we breathed the bracing salt air and set foot on the grounds we knew we had found respite. Maggie the ‘inn keeper’ enchanted us with her somewhat zany take on office work. With a toss of her lavish blondish hair and a twinkle in her merry eyes she relegated us to Harbour View cottage (dogs allowed in cottages only).

I did feel a bit unappreciated what with Mum carrying on about how wonderful everything was and Dad ready to pull out his wallet and Maggie and Dave and the real owner of the whole outfit whose name was MENACE.

To me he was just a plain old ordinary tabby but everyone kowtowed to him. Scared of my shadow he was and too inconsequential to be chased. But all the tourists at the inn were gaga over him. He was everywhere, being picked up and cuddled and cooed over. Quite nauseating when you consider that dogs were barely tolerated, had to be on leash all the time yadda yadda. But whatever made Mum and Dad happy. And they were indeed happy.

The days at Days Inn dragged on and on. The smell never got any better. It was clear that we couldn’t stay there forever. Besides, it was expensive.

Dad had noted that the airbase at Brunswick was closing and it looked as if there might be available housing for rent on the naval base. So off we went to Mariner’s Landing at Cook’s Corner.

Right away I had a bad vibe about the base. All three of us are born free types. Still, we had to get out of that polluted yet expensive motel room. Dad was desperate. Mum zoned out into her own little world. I heard her say, “Whatever you want, Honey,” and Dad was left to lead the way.

After a short interview with a fast-talking, young New York transplant realtor, Dad took the plunge and made a move on a two bedroom townhouse. He raved about the tiny fenced-in parcel of weeds at the back of the townhouse saying it was just great for me. At first I was aghast. Then I formulated a plan. A bit of digging and I would be free to roam the shopping mall right at our doorstep and then venture forth to wherever my fancy took me.

Awaiting approval (criminal check on Dad) (thank God they weren’t investigating Mum) we toured the coast.

The sand was great to play in. The water looked inviting especially when Dad threw a stick. But was I ever shocked when I took my first slurp! Yuk!

Check out the picture of Mum and me at Popham Beach.

Love the king-sized bed. Best thing at Days Inn.