Monday, May 25, 2015

Camden, Maine

We've just returned from a week in a lovely cottage overlooking the harbor in Camden, Maine.  If you're paying attention, you know that Jack and I lived in New England for most of our lives until making the horrendous mistake of moving to Philadelphia almost ten years ago.  For us, a week in New England is a week in heaven.  Take a look at the view from the cottage window:

Really, could you ever get tired of this?  There is always something to look at:  people, boats, birds, clouds.

The town of Camden is a charming old town, founded in 1791, although it was settled earlier than that.  It's on the Atlantic but is a protected harbor.  While we were there, Jack went for a sail on a schooner, Olad.  It wasn't the same as captaining his own boat, the late, great Jouster, but it got him out on the ocean and he came back happier than I've seen him in a long time.  Maybe he does need to get another boat.

In long relationships, you learn to give and take.  I tried to like sailing, but I just do not.  I put in my years and then put down my foot.  Jack doesn't read, Joan doesn't sail.  So while he was sailing, I was enjoying the sights of Camden.

The Megunticook River runs through Camden, under some shops, and down the falls on the left, into the harbor.  The town curves down to the waterfront and up into the Camden Hills.

There are three used book stores in town and one new book store.  Owl and Turtle has mostly new books and their used books were all fairly current used books.  Goose River Books was antiquarian books.  They had a nice selection, but these days I look for moderately priced used books, not collectibles.  My favorite used book store in Camden is Stone Soup, up a steep stairway into a few very crowded rooms of mostly paperbacks.  I'd been there years and years ago when we lived in New England and spent a night in Camden.  

One day during our latest visit, I drove up the coast to Searsport.  I'd planned to visit Penobscot Books and another book barn I noticed a few days earlier.  Penobscot Books wasn't open, but the creatively named 'Used Books' was  -  and it was what I consider to be an almost perfect used book store.  In a freezing cold barn, there were paperbacks for a dollar each, Penguins in plastic protectors for $3.00 each, mid-priced old books (lots of children's serials like Tom Swift, Judy Bolton, Cherry Ames), and some pricier ones.  I bought an armful of paperback mysteries.

On my drive, I had noticed a slightly dilapidated small white house overlooking a sweep of meadow down to the ocean.  I thought it had a 'For Sale' sign out.  So Jack and I drove back a few days later to check it out.  Unfortunately, it was the land next to the house that was for sale.  But what a view.  Here's pretty much what it looked like, and a few photos of the coast north of Camden:

We had taken some sandwiches with us to eat on the beach, but the wind was blowing off the water and we got back in the car to avoid frost bite.  We laughed though when two women with small girls arrived independently at the beach with pails and shovels.  Who gets up on a cloudy cold day and says to their little girl 'Grab your pail and shovel!  We're going to the beach!'?  I guess that would be a hardy New Englander!


  1. Replies
    1. Historically, we spend ten years in the city and then ten years in the country. I think we're about to head back to the country. And maybe back to New England. We miss it so much.

  2. Great tour...thank you. How the heck does such a small town end up with three used book stores? That's terrific. Jeez...I wanna move to Camden. :-)

    1. I have to admit to a bit of a bias toward New England. We lived there most of our lives and miss it very much. We may look for a rental property in or around Camden so we can stay there longer. It's not hard at all to find a plethora of new and used bookstores in most towns, no matter how small. And despite what many people say, most New Englanders are very friendly and helpful.

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