Ocean Point would be our first stop home from the airport. Mother had never been to Maine — she was claustrophobic and the thought of flying terrified her.
But with the help of my sisters and some pre-flight medications, Mother got her courage up and made the trip. Not easy from central Pennsylvania back in the early USAir days. No direct flights and a lot of shuffling around for a rural Pennsylvania gal who had never flown.
But, “bless her heart” (one of mother's favorite phrases), she made it.
Mother talked a lot and was curious about everything. Her voice was lyrical — pure western New York from a gifted musical family. I often hear her voice in others as I travel about for work, but much warmer than our central Pennsylvania hard “r's” and chiseled consonants.
Soon enough we were headed out “96” for Ocean Point. It seemed like the ideal place for Mother to see the ocean and the idyllic Maine coast. But, as we drove along Shore Road, there was a distinct quiet from the back seat.
I thought to myself, “Oh dear, this is not a good sign.” Maybe the trip had gotten to her after all.
“So, how's it going back there, Ruthie,” I inquired. “You seem awfully quiet.”
“Well,” she said. “I was wondering why all these houses are boarded up?” It was mid-November.
“These are summer homes, Mom. People don't live here in the winter,” I replied.
The silence went on for a little longer as we passed by “Three Trees” about mid-way around the Point.
After a brief pause, Mother asked, “You mean they have another house somewhere else?”
I tried to explain, but to a woman who grew up pretty carefully with eight siblings and then married, just after World War II, and raised four children, the idea of a second home was not a concept easily managed.
“Their other homes must be pretty nice too,” she offered. “It would be hard to not live here.”
She had a point.