The heat wave that's swept over the eastern coast, right up to Maine, has put a bit of crimp in our fantasies of lolling around the cabin with fat hardcover novels while the kids turn the walls into a crayon art gallery of the loons and butterflies they've seen.
The digital thermometer reads no lower than 91 indoors, and sometimes hotter than the outdoor temperature by a degree or two. The ceiling fans are no help. And it's not like we can pop into a little book shop on the corner to cool off. This morning I write from the nearest coffee shop, a funky, friendly place with big couches and good music and a little old lady wearing a tie-dye Deadhead shirt and a hand-painted Obama hat--but it's a full thirty minutes away.
(Want to meet me here? It's 1.3 miles up a dirt road, left at the farm house, 11 miles to the stop sign, right at ORIGINAL CHAINSAW SAWYER NIGHTLY SHOWS AT 7PM, past 6 signs for fresh blueberries and the dead porcupine in the road, then turn onto Coastal Rt 1 down the hill towards town. On a clear day you can see Home Depot.)
The Mainers can be heard saying things like Ayuh, Ah never remember a summah like this one...nope, can't remember a summah like this all.
Indeed, the cah is pretty cool. So that's where we spent most of yesterday.
We took the Acadia Park loop around Mt Desert, past Bar Harbor, with brief stops at scenic overlooks and rocky bluffs that quite literally take your breath away. Even with toes in the cool water at Seal Harbor, it was still too hot for the kids (and uh, me) for more than a few minutes.
A movie sounded like a good idea.
Add to the list of things they never prepare you for in Lamaze class: Driving 90 minutes to a second-run showing of Cats and Dogs.
Of course when I tell Thalia and Sage the story in years to come, I will tell them I did it for them, like a Chuck E Cheese party or a life's savings spent on preschool. But it's only partly true. I did it for the air conditioning.
That sweet, blessed air conditioning.
With more than an hour still to kill before the showtime, we crossed the highway to my first ever Tim Hortons for maybe the worst iced coffee ever in history (now making it my last ever Tim Hortons too). We passed the final half hour playing Guitar Hero in the theater's arcade (Holiday in Cambodia!) and letting my kids buy about 65 Dum-Dums with the tickets they won from Skee Ball. Our body temperatures had begun to return to normal, and we were no longer insisting that the kids drink water every four seconds.
"As bad as the movie will be," my mother and I kept reminding each other, "it will be air conditioned."
Finally, finally the theater opened and we gathered the troops and prepared ourselves for the kids' complaints about the delicious cold.
Nate entered first, stopped in his tracks, and turned to look at me with eyebrows raised and eyes as wide as moons.
The theater wasn't air conditioned.
It didn't even pretend to be air conditioned.
I spent the next ninety minutes trapped watching a crooked projection of Kill Me Now in a hot, humid, smelly theater's squeaky seat, with a sweaty 3 year-old on my lap who alternated between telling me she was hot, she was bored, and wondering why cats were evil.
It's not that cats are evil honey - it's just the producers of this movie that are evil.
Thalia liked the part where the cat went onto the satellite. I liked the part where we got back into the car.
We arrived home in time to spring open the cabin windows and let some air circulate while we settled onto the dock for a glorious sunset.
The girls blew bubbles and threw stones. I sipped a glass of white wine from a chipped cup. We fixed the girls peanut butter sandwiches and cold carrots for dinner. The night was perfect.