I am writing from sunny, balmy Palm Beach, Florida, though my thoughts are 1700 miles north. Today is camp opening in Maine. This year will be different than my camp openings in the past. I am doing the work remotely. Greg, a local caretaker and handyman who has been helping me for years, will have all the fun, doing the things I would be doing if I could be there. There is still ice on the lake–the Canadian side of the lake is frozen over, but my side of East Grand Lake is melting away. Being some 100 plus miles north of Bangor and on the New Brunswick Canadian border delays the meltdown a bit. This is the best time at camp, to experience the joy of sunup over the lake on that first morning, when the insects wake up and commence their buzzy choruses, buds everywhere are blooming, and the local cove ducks are back looking for a handout. The small creatures who have been hibernating all winter pop up and start scrounging around the cabin grounds.
Out at the dock the water level is high. It is truly a Spring Awakening. Indoors, the first job at hand is to release all the mice who have been enjoying my sofa and chairs all winter. Then, the pipes need to be blown out before the water is turned on. The kerosene heater is primed and tested to make it through another year—always a big relief when it turns on as there is no one left in the area who can repair it. The fireplace is opened to expose a few more mice who have spent their winter cozied up in the ashes and wood chips of the last fire from last season. On day two of camp opening, we usually go to the storage barn to retrieve the camp chairs and the canoe and start up the old Rover. Camp opening holds so much promise for a joyful summer outdoors. The Corona virus has kept me in Florida this year, but I will be back soon, I hope.