Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Beloved Waterfront


Corner of High and York streets, running along the west end of Portland, Maine with Commercial street the dry mat of the waterfront was where this Irish and French petite lass felt the most secure and nurtured … This was GeeGee’s dreaming and thought-provoking realm … This was my ‘Alice-in-Wonderland’ … My ‘Secret Garden’ … My Newfoundland tested boat to the seas of National Geographic … This boat-crowded and messy, smelly and seagull invested harbor was my perfect soul place! Surely a sea-faring Viking gene sails the spiral of my genome from my Norsemen and Celtic ancestors! Yet, as if  from a dry-footed highlander, I am cursed with dreadful mal-de-mer as soon as one foot boards a docked boat whether a Prince of Fundy or the ‘Lazy Day’  fishing boat for paying fishers. God forbid! If I wasn’t heaving over the rails, I was on my knees hugging an opened-faced toilet, swaying, bobbing, gagging, praying for mercy! Oh, to get my hands around that highlander! However, and no matter to anyone but me, I am at least 75 % Viking with light skin and green eyes and hair (once upon a time) black as a moonless night.

1214_03_5---Fishing-Boat--Portland--Maine--USA_web[1] I love the sounds of the fishing and the hell-a-bellyaching screeching of the seagulls. I love the guttural groaning of the bright colored buoys that mark the channels, reminding seamen to be alert and when a nor’easter was on the horizon or a fierce thunder storm flung penny nail size rain pellets that fired at roiling waves - and everything else in it’s path - the buoys called out for pray because a gut-filled fishing boat and it’s weary crew were coming in and we did, my grandmother and I, for whoever they were which usually included an uncle or two who hadn’t docked yet.

P1010008 At the beginning of this blog, I intro with a picture of me  … In this you can see a bit of my ‘beloved waterfront’ in the background, this recent photo shows traffic exiting from Commercial Street (waterfront) onto York and High Streets and to the right sitting on the side of the three decker tenement stairs, where from a long ago past, little GeeGee sits waiting for her mother, aunts and uncles to return from the fishing boats, from the sardine packing canneries … The packers will have dinner at their own homes in the West End neighborhood and if conditions are favorable, return to the waterfront to fish for smelts at favorite wharfs with their pails, and boxes to sit on. Others from the West End neighborhood will be there or join them later. I just knew that the following day we’d have golden brown smelts for supper with deep fried quartered potatoes.



  1. Nice job! Those dreams of yesterday are still alive in you. You have travelled many miles and seen many sites, some of these are fresh, as others seem to fade. But the innocent dreams of a child, are the gifts from God that last forever and ever. Hang on to your dreams, and stay close to God.

  2. There's the Alice that we all know and love! Whoosha!! You are a blogging my friend! What a lovely, lovely, story to start your blog with and I love the photos and the background....all of it!! Spectacular!! You are inspiring my friend and mother in law. As much as I hated eating smelts as a kid (and my parents loved them!) ...when I look at the picture you dropped in and read your story, I suddenly want a big plate of them! Glad to have you on board grape lady! You sure know how to come in with a bang. Keep up the great writing...we love it!:)

  3. Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging DearGeegee. The world has missed a great treat until now. Blog on in this new world you have opened a door to as your readers grow.

  4. Wonderful! I love Your writing! A perfect starting of Yur blog!

    I too grew up by the harbour and spent a lot of time there. Fishing, feeding the seagulls or just watching the big ships passing by. Later on in life sailing my own boat not far from the harbour. I think actully that my best memories are from those days :-)

    I´m looking forweard for more of Your writing!

  5. This looks like the work of a pro. I knew once you got threw the hoops of the set-up, you would take to this like a fish to water. Nice Job!

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