Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Red Hoodie

Family History Writing Challenge - Day 10

** NOTE: The italicized font is creative non-fiction. Based upon the stories of my mother and uncle it is my creative writing of their memories. **

“Look, look at that,” with her youngest child in her arms, Mason pointed to the swirling water of Roaring Brook in Baxter State Park and drew the 6 month old’s attention to the water. “Much better than last year” Mason thought to herself. She had been so sick carrying this child she couldn't eat. They’d almost cancelled the yearly trip, but Mason wanted to go home for a visit. It was only after they had set up camp in Baxter, was she able to eat. Unfortunately, she lost her appetite upon arrival home.

Mason loved Baxter and moose watching with her family. She enjoyed sitting in the sun on the big rock, beside a lake in the shadow of Mount Katahdin, waiting patiently for a big bull moose to step out of the brush into the lake. Surrounded by her family, all dressed in matching Red Hooded sweatshirts, Mason raised a pair of binoculars to her eyes to scan the distant shore. “Mommy, mommy look behind you” came the whispered voice of her first born daughter, “a moose is coming.” All eyes turned to the left as a bull moose with a full rack lumbered into view. “Wait, there’s another one” chimed in the voice of her son. With awe and wonder the little family watched as the two moose entered the water and began to swim away.

Later that evening Mason’s husband posed for a picture with the infant, holding her like a trophy. Now an adult, married with three children, Mason returned to Maine religiously. When not in South Lubec, Mason could be found tenting with her young family in the woods of Maine, moose watching, hiking and overall enjoying nature, just as her father had taught her. Now, she was passing his love onto the next generation.

Part of my mother’s story must include what she did to her kids. She gave each of us a different love for the state of Maine. My sister loves Baxter State Park, moose and Mount Katahdin. My brother inclines himself toward the ocean, loving the Boothbay area. As for me… well, I live here and as much I dislike winter, I do love the Pine Tree state. My mom takes great pleasure in reminding me I was almost named Katahdin; Katie for short. When a small child, my father would take me clam digging on the flats in South Lubec; it was there I gained the family moniker of the “Quoddy clam catcher.” To this very day, no matter who I am with, I enjoy taking them out onto the flats at low tide to hand-dig a clam, I still got it! Mind you, I never keep the clam, but gently place it back into the hole I got it out of. The nice part of hand-digging is you don’t break the shell.

I titled this post “The Red Hoodie” because of the pictures I own of me as an infant in a Red Hoodie at Baxter State Park; I am the infant in my parent’s arms. I thought it would be only fitting to write about this part of my Family History tonight, since it is my birthday. Although a few sizes larger, while writing I am wearing a Red Hoodie. I may be the only one of the children that got mom’s love for a good red hooded sweatshirt. But I am certainly not the only one that inherited her love for Maine and all the wonder it holds.

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