If you drive by the Travis Mills Foundation this summer, you'll see construction underway. Currently, we are rejuvenating the Elizabeth Arden tennis court for tennis and basketball, as well as winter use as a skating/sled hockey rink. The retreat's Lakeside Cottage has also undergone a major winterization to allow for use during the winter family retreats, for ice fishing, snowshoeing, and other winter activities on or near the lake. In the near future, we will break ground for a new Health and Wellness Center.
Late one afternoon at the Travis Mills Foundation, as we returning to the cabin after the scheduled activities were over, a veteran in a golf cart with his wife motioned for us to come over. His leg had been amputated with some metal protruding from the stump. He introduced himself and his wife and thanked us for being volunteers explaining that we couldn't possibly know how great it was to be here.
The mansion on the hill overlooking Long Pond was familiar to generations of residents and vacationers first as elegant and elite, later as grandly fading and unused. Today, the Elizabeth Arden Estate is again one of the most noted establishments on the Belgrades. Now known as the Travis Mills Foundation, it has been transformed into a retreat of great recuperative health and wellness magic for veterans and their families.
Well it looks like we may have finally broken out of that long term drought forecast which we have only been living with for the past five years! They had been forecasting 26% less precipitation through the end of 2020 but that has all been changed. They are now forecasting just 21% less precipitation for this coming August and September, BUT now a 21% INCREASE in precipitation for October.
Wildness Within Wildness Without: Exploring Maine's Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail, three different years in fact, is a huge photo coffee table size paperback that holds center stage in our living room here on Great Pond and in SC as well. Bridget Besaw is the gifted photographer and Bill McKibben writes the foreword in this very exquisite publication.
Wild blueberries have become part of the culture of Maine. It seems like they have been around forever, and every year people are more and more encouraged to consume this fruit fresh for its health benefits (antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, etc.) Maine is the top producer of wild blueberries in the country, consisting of around 44,000 acres of production.
The Luckiest Boy
During the first half of the last century, articles and ads featuring the Belgrade Hotel were prevalent. Maine publications and some from Boston and New York were often quoted. Here are several that were researched by Belgrade Historical Society member Sandra Lewis, and some memoirs of my own from the early and mid 1950s.
We had a bit more rain and a lot of hot weather last week. I enjoyed visits from both my daughters and their families. For the 4th of July, my younger daughter drove up from Brunswick with our newest grandson, while her husband pedaled his bicycle. We went for a short cruise to cool off and then hiked to the top of The Mountain to burn some calories and get my grandson ready for a nap. He walked (ran actually) quite a ways and then was ready to ride on Mom's back. It reminded me of hiking with my kids three or four decades ago.