I am just back from several days in D.C. The contrast is painful. Down south, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom and the trees are bright spring green. Here in Stonington, warm weather is a long way off. Aside from patches of green grass and a few brave green shoots in our garden, there are no buds or flowers.
When we awaken on a cold rainy Saturday the answer to the day is clear: drive to Ellsworth, an hour away, and do errands. If I were *Stuart Kestenbaum, a notable poet and director of the nearby Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, I would turn our list into a poem. Since I’m not, you get the rough draft. April is National Poetry Month.
First stop, Rooster Brother, the culinary store in Ellsworth. We stop for a fresh-from-the-oven, ham-and-cheese sandwich on brioche and some steaming Ethiopian coffee and cream. Then it’s on to the Family Floor Store to pick out carpet samples. The young woman who helps us, Erin, is personable and friendly. If we can measure the space ourselves, she points out, they will only have to come down to Stonington one time to install and bind the carpet. Hallelujah. She hands us four boards of samples and tells us no rush to get them back – she knows how long the drive is.
Then it’s on to Home Depot, the sprawling warehouse up the hill. This is not my favorite place to shop – the ceiling is too high, the aisles are too wide. It’s like being backstage at the Metropolitan Opera where the magic is punctured and the real work happens. We soldier on with our list:
– Three honeycomb pleated shades. The young woman cuts them to fit.
– A car jack that will hold up to 6 tons (to prop up our mattress where it is sagging slightly in the middle)
– Four baskets of pansies – yellow, orange, purple and blue
– Wooden hangars
– More grass seed
We turn around and head back to Stonington with an interim stop in Blue Hill.
At the Blue Hill Wine Shop, the eccentric owner, Max, is back after six weeks away in Italy. We pick his brain (he’s manic with suggestions) and come away with three Italian reds that are smooth and “food-friendly,” his term.
The final stop is the Blue Hill Co-op where I traipse around the store with a carefully written list of what I need for Dr. Mark Hyman’s Whole Food Breakfast Protein Shake. This is Dr. Hyman of the newly-published 10-Day Detox Diet. While I am skeptical – I don’t believe everything he tells us in his new book – I am intrigued enough to assemble the ingredients for his recommended morning smoothie.
Sixty dollars later, I exit the co-op with:
– frozen blueberries
– frozen cranberries
– raw almond butter
– pumpkin seeds
– chia seeds
– hemp seeds
– raw walnuts
– raw brazil nuts
– 2 avocados
– extra virgin coconut butter
– unsweetened almond milk
– a lime
– a bunch of kale leaves
– fresh ginger root
– a cucumber
– and a jalapēno pepper
This better be good.
* More about Poet Stuart Kestenbaum
Click here for Starting the Subaru at Five Below, one of Kestenbaum’s poems read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. Stuart just released a new volume of poetry, Only Now. We went to his book launch and reading at the Opera House a few days ago. A wonderful evening.
I wrote about Stuart and a poetry reading at the Opera House last summer: Poetry, Place and a Quiet Summer Evening.