Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Summer to Remember

Nate, Rob + I
This picture means a lot to me. You would not believe how far the three of us have had to come just to take this picture. Four years of friendship, four years of growing and learning how to be more compassionate and considerate of each other - in short, learning how to be friends. And it has certainly paid off. You might say it is worth the investment put into it.

Strolling of the Heifers in Brattleboro, Vermont (Rob)
Old Port Festival
Bath Heritage days
La Kermesse, Biddeford
Strawberry Festival, South Berwick
Simon and Garfunkel Tribute concert, OOB
Clam Festival, Yarmouth
Scarborough Beach
Old Orchard Beach
Reid State Park
Biddeford Pool Beach
Cousins Island
Cumberland Fair

No pictures
Fort Williams
SMCC (spring)

This list of seven festivals or fairs and seven different beaches and state parks represents what spent our summer doing. I have never had a busier and more enjoyable summer. My senses came alive at a veritable parade of festivals, each with more interesting crafts, food, bands or wares to sell than the next. I enjoyed the time I got to spend learning about and sharing experiences with my friends.

Why so many festivals? Well, they say one thing that autistics have problems with is joint attention, or sharing things with others. As autistics, we all have the tendency of engaging in "parallel play," being together but each doing our own thing and not engaging with the other. Going to a fair, however, is an easy way to share experiences with someone else, to gain a common connection. There is no shortage of things to talk about. You get to walk around, which helps with the anxiety some of us feel when sitting still. And, with my chemical sensitivites, outdoor activities are about the only thing we can do together.

So, from the crafts and whoopie pie eating contest at the Bath Heritage days, to the amazing Beatles band and oodles of strawberry shortcake at the Strawberry Festival... from the parade, concert and fun fair food at the Clam Festival, to the dissapointment of a lackluster La Keremesse and Old Port gave us something to experience - together.

The natural beauty and amazing waves of Reid State Park, the fun, honky tonk nature of OOB, and the fun of being out in nature, usually a different place each week - all part of the wonderful gift that is living in Maine. And how sweet to explore its riches together.

From cow udders to Simon and Garfunkel, 60s music sung with a Scottish accent, starfish found on the beach and 5 foot waves,
pig races and whoopie pies, I can honestly say this is the end of summer entry I've always *wanted* to write. Since I started keeping a blog, anyway.

I am always very hesitant to make statements like that, statements of something going well. It feels like fate will knock me off my keister and punish me for taking something for granted. So I say with a smile, KNOCK ON WOOd , and while many more challenges remain, let's hope they also come with a smile and an extra dose of friendship.

I was also fortunate enough to have visit or see just about every member of my immediate extended family visit this summer - my brothers Jake and Spencer, from California and Washington state, my mom from Missoula, Montana, and my grandparents also from CA! It was a busy summer indeed.

My thanks to the humidity gods for making this summer so much more bearable weather wise than any I can remember in the past several years.

Now bring on fall, with its cooler weather and its unique joys and challenges. Bring on progress, bring on hope, and bring on joy.

I wish you all the best.


Strawberry Festival

Beatles tribute group, All Together Now, at Strawberry Festival
Bath Heritage

Simon an Garfunkel tribute

Simon an Garfunkel tribute stage

Nate an Rob at the Clam Festival

Me at the clam festival

Bird's eye view of the clam festival

Me at Reid State Park

Rob getting something to eat at the lobster shack nearby.

Rob an Nate at the lobster shack

Rob's birthday gift

This is certainly not all the pictures I have, but all the pictures I have energy to put up! Until next summer... Enjoy the foliage!