We’re up in Maine, spending the anniversary of the accident at the scene of the crime, so to speak. The actual anniversary is today (Sunday, November 1st), but Lynn wanted to drive (not be driven) to the scene of the accident yesterday, and then visit the Pen Bay emergency room where the people who took care of her that night do their magic every day.
We made a celebratory day of it, and took a roundabout route up to Rockport, driving up Rte. 235 past Seven Tree Pond, then zigging left on Rte. 17 for a bit, then zagging right onto Rte. 131 for a bit, and then a left onto Butler Road which sort of parallels Rte. 131 but is an occasional dirt road through blueberry country, which develops a deep red color this time of year. We saw them burning the blueberry fields with a mechanical dragon towed behind a tractor. We passed through a village called Appleton Ridge (not on most maps) to Searsmont and stopped at the Fraternity Village General Store / coffee shop / bakery / pizza parlor / liquor store. From there we doubled back on Rte. 131 a bit to Rte. 105 through Hope (how appropriate), past Megunticook Lake, and into Camden, where we headed north a bit on Rte. 1 to Mt. Battie State Forest and drove up Mt. Battie Road to the lookout point at the top of the “mountain” (more like a hill; elev. 846 ft.) and the view of Camden town below. By then it was 4pm, so we drove to the Reny’s discount department store in Camden, which is where Lynn stopped to do some shopping just before the accident. We did the same.
Lynn took over the wheel from there and drove south on Rte. 1 to the right turn onto Rte. 90 west, drove a few miles and then pulled into the parking lot of the antique shop next to the Yankee Stripper furniture refinishing shop. It was just past that parking lot that the accident had taken place. We sat in the car in the parking lot for a few minutes, talking about what it felt like to Lynn to be back at the spot.
Then we went back to Rte. 1, continued south for a few miles, stopped at the Dunkin’ Donuts shop in the Sunoco Station and bought a “Box o’ Joe,” a dozen donuts and a dozen muffins, and headed across Rte. 1 to the Pen Bay Medical Center where the emergency room is where Lynn was taken first, before being transported to the Maine Medical Trauma Center in Portland. It was that first stop that Lynn remembers most.
Luckily, it was quiet in the emergency room. We walked in and a woman in the waiting room immediately started trying to get us to give her a donut. We ignored her. We explained to the receptionist who we were and why we were there, so she called back and got permission for us to go back to the nurses’ station in the emergency room, where we talked to a bunch of folks. I got to meet “Kelley” who was the one who called me at home in Woburn and gave the perfect delivery of bad news like that. A goodly number of the staff remembered Lynn and that night, and Lynn got to meet “Matt,” the nurse she remembered as being so kind and caring and who focused on her the whole time. There were more than a few moist eyes, and exclamations of how great it was to see a former patient doing so well, and how that they hardly ever get to see or hear about how a former patient is doing. We didn’t stay long, but long enough to convey our profound thanks for the work they do in general and the work they did that night in particular.
We had made previous arrangements with Lynn’s sister Marcia and her husband Tom (who live in the area and were with Lynn in the emergency room that night) to meet at a new Scottish Pub in Camden – “The Drouthy Bear” – at 6:30 for a bite to eat (Lynn’s family is 110% Scottish – Munroe and Taylor). We were ahead of schedule so we drove downtown to the harbor parking lot by the docks and sat and looked out at the lobster boats and winterized wind-jammers for a while before heading up to the pub. The Drouthy Bear offers about 35 single malts from all the regions of Scotland, plus another 6 or so blended scotch whiskies, and some American whiskies, and they serve them in patented Glencairn whisky-tasting glasses (hard to find in the States, but ubiquitous in Scotland; we brought some home from our 2013 trip)!!
It was a symbolic “closing of the book” for the year for Lynn. She’s ready to move on.