A Good Ache

Yesterday I had a friend do something for me that moved me to a loss for words (don't worry, the words have since returned) and a few tears. Have I ever told you about my love affair with Portland, Maine? No? Well, pull up a chair.

I grew up in New York City but never felt comfortable there. Looking back now, I realize that I was a teenage girl and wouldn't have been comfortable anywhere, but at the time, I thought I had to get away. I wanted to go as far away as I could from the Upper East Side of Manhattan, but I needed to be within a day's drive of my parents' open arms. So I went to the University of Maine (for those New York Times crossword puzzle fans among you) in Orono, Maine.

I fell in love with the state. As almost anyone who has ever lived in Maine will tell you, it has a magnetic draw. An indescribable pull that makes it difficult to leave. So after I left Orono, I moved to Portland. I got an internship at the Portland Stage Company. The year was 1990 and I was twenty-one. I had a fourth-floor-walk-up apartment on Danforth Street where I could hear the fog horns from every room. There was a digital clock on top of a downtown bank building that I could see from my bedroom window. I woke often to see single digit temperatures blinking brightly into my bed.

At the theater there was a production manager who I had a thing for. Fifteen years later I married him and we spent the first night of our honeymoon just blocks from that apartment.

Circumstance keeps us from moving back there, or anywhere, for now. But a girl can dream.

So when Kathleen was giving away a copy of Portland Through the Lens, I knew I had to have it.

But Tara's was the lucky number. I was glad just to know the book existed and figured that one day I would buy it.

And then in yesterday's mail:

Thank you Kathleen. I was very touched by your generous and thoughtful gesture.

Niall and I poured over it for a long time last night, each retreating to our own memories of  time spent there.

And a special bonus: one of the featured photographers is my newest bf (that's blog-speak for bloggy-friend) Stephanie!

I love this book. It actually aches to look through it, but if it's at all possible, it's a good ache.

Maybe one day...

Thank you for visiting.