Monday Memories

Maine Sculpture Trail

June 2018

Today started out bright and beautiful with us in no rush to go anywhere – at least not yet.  We had no definite plans for the day when we woke up but that soon changed.  We knew we had mail waiting for us back at Pumpkin Patch and we were interested in finding more of the granite sculptures on the Main Sculpture Trail.  Along the way we were to also discover the Hancock Memorial Park and the Prospect Point Lighthouse.

So if you haven’t guessed already before long we were on our way.  The sky was again clear and the temperatures in the mid 70’s.  A perfect day.  The big question again would be what kind of traffic would we encounter on a Friday in a prime tourist area.  Guess what?  Again, no traffic coming or going.

So our first stop was back at Pumpkin Patch where we picked up some mail that came just a day after we left.  They were gracious enough to hold it for us until we were able to pick it up today.

On the way back, our mission was now to find some of the granite sculptures that make up the Maine Sculpture Trail.  The Trail consists of 39 stone sculptures that are made up of locally quarried granite and basalt.  The artists who made the sculptures come from 16 different nations including Taiwan and Sweden.  The full Trail covers some 200 miles along the coastal region of Downeast Maine.   Following are the sculptures that we have discovered to date.

This is called the Whispering Stones and is located in Hancock, Maine.

Hancock Whispering Stones best

This is called The Gate and is located in Gouldsboro, Maine.

Prospect Harbor The Gate Better

This is called the Cleat and is located in Winter Harbor, Maine.

scup 1

This is called the Tribute to Life, and is located at The Schoodic Institute in Acadia National Park.

scup 2

So, by our count we only have another 30 more to locate and take a picture of!

Along the way, we quite by accident, discovered this memorial park along Route 1 in Hancock, Maine.  First up, is a monument that honors those who fought in the Civil War.

Hancock Memorial Civil War

Hancock Memorial Civil War Close Up

Then there was this flag pole that was dedicated to those who served in WW II and Korea.

Hancock Flag Pole

Then this monument which was dedicated to those who served in the World Wars.

Hancock World War 1

And finally this monument honoring those who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War.

Hancock Vietnam Inscription

Finally, we found another lighthouse of which, of course, there are many up in this area.  This is the Prospect Point Lighthouse.  The Lighthouse was built in 1850 and rebuilt in 1891. This white cylindrical lighthouse with a black lantern top matches the keeper’s house, a classic New England clapboard home with black trim.

The station was automated in 1931.  It remains an active aid to navigation and is owned by the U.S. Coast Guard and licensed to the American Lighthouse Foundation.  Today, it is  a Navy recreational asset known as Gull Cottage and is available for lease by Active, National Guard, Reservists, and Retired military of all branches.Prospect Harbor Lighthouse

So that brings us to the end of our day.  Remember in the beginning I said that the temperatures were in the mid 70’s?  Actually over by Pumpkin Patch the temperatures were in the mid 80’s and the humidity was oppressive.  That quickly changed by the time we got back to Schoodic Woods and home sweet home.  The temperature had dropped to the mid 60’s and the fog was beginning to roll in.  You could actually stand on the road in front of our site and literally watch the fog, I guess really a cloud, come down the road!  That was a first for me.

Once again we had a great day, traveling along, hand in hand, singing our song.   We had a day of discovery and a day of interesting sights.  Night is now here but no stars tonight since it is completely overcast.  Hey, did you have a great day?  Sure hope that you did.  If not, why not?  Your day is yours to make of it what you wish.  Now a closing thought for all of us:

These are the voyages of  Graybeard and it’s occupants, four paws and two humans.  Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have not been before


Things You Probably Didn't Know about Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all everywhere. Whoever you are and whoever you are celebrating the holiday with, I hope you have a fantastic day filled with good food, good companionship, and love.

This past year has been a bit of a wild ride for us. Yet, bottom line, we have so much to be thankful for this year. To begin with I’ve been given a new lease on life, Barb is doing well, we have a wonderful new home, we find something to laugh about almost every day, we have a new four legged friend who brightens up our days, and we are still very much in love with each other. Really, what more could one ask for?

We’re so grateful, also, that we’ve been able to spend time with family this past year and we’re looking forward to spending more time with them in the coming year. Our son Paul and his wife Brittany are coming down for Christmas and staying for several months. My sister Cindy and her husband Charlie will be down in January for a week.

We’re also part of a wonderful community of caring people. We’ve met many new people and made many new friends already. Last year we spent Thanksgiving on our own, however, this year we’ll be part of a community wide Thanksgiving feast.

Yes, we have many blessings to be grateful for this year. And we’re grateful for each and everyone of them. Yes, the words of the old hymn still ring true this year: count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.


Monday Memories

Bush Beans Visitor Center

First Published, September 18, 2018

So we were up and at it this morning.  No, not that early, but a nice I’m retired and this is the proper time to get up morning.  We had some sightseeing we wanted to do this morning and we really didn’t want to get back home all that late.  Thus off we went heading southeast into the Great Smokey Mountains.

Along the way, somehow, we ended up on a road that never went straight for a good ten miles.  Hairpin curves, twists and turns, up and down hills.  All I kept thinking was, what a blast this would have been on my motorcycle!  Ah, but that was back then this is now and I can’t and don’t really want to go back.  Travel in Graybeard is so much more comfortable.

In due time we arrived at our destination.  A little different from the normal places we go exploring  Yet, this was someplace that got our curiosity up and we had to go.

bush visitor center

I don’t believe either of us really knew what to expect, maybe a little hole in the wall, a glorified gift shop, or?  What we discovered instead was a fascinating museum and gift shop that took the better part of two hours to get through.  Let me just say there is much more here than I could ever put in a blog.  So many exhibits, so many displays, and so much detailed information about the Bush company.  I’m going, therefore, to just hit the highlights and share with you some of what I found absolutely interesting and insightful.

This is who it all began with A.J Bush and his wife Sallie – and a dream.  It now spans over one hundred years and is still going strong.  It all began in the little town of Chestnut Hill, Tennessee.   A.J. was a man with ambition, vision and a determination to improve the living conditions of his family and others in the community.  He believed quality was the best policy, and that honesty and integrity were essential to a successful business.

bush beginning with AJ and Sally in Chestnut Hill more

Sallie, it was said, was never in a hurry, never flustered.  She was called on by all in the community during births and deaths, sickness, tragedies and troubles.  She drew on an inner strength and religious commitment equal to her husband’s.

A.J. and Sallie raised four boys and two girls.  It was a large family that at various times included other family relatives, assorted guests and household help.  The boys worked in the fields, the general store, and the cannery once it opened.  The girls helped with household chores, and as they grew older in the general store as well.

Meals, especially on Sunday, were packed with guests.  Fresh garden vegetables, a bit of pork and a slice of cornbread satisfied many a youngsters appetite.  Sallie was well-known for her cooking.

bush raising a growing family poster

Long before there were Bush’s Baked Beans there was the General Store that A.J. opened in 1911.  It provided him the space in which to carry a broad selection of merchandise.  His brother, Oscar, along with Sallie’s brother, Bert, managed the store.  A center of Chestnut Hill community life, A.J.’s store operated for over 100 years.  It is now the present day Visitor’s Center.

bush general store poster

In 1904 A.J. opened a tomato cannery in partnership with the Stokely Brothers of Newport.  By the end of 1908 he had bought out this agreement and Bush Brothers and Company was born.  As to how the Bush Brothers processed tomatoes in 1908


What I learned about the early canning process is that the Bush Brothers first used a canning process called Hole and Gap.  Early cans were originally made completely by hand of tinplate’s.  To make the body, a piece of tinplate was bent into shape on a roller and the overlapping edges were soldered together.  Two round disks were cut for the ends, their edges bent down, and they were soldered to the body.  One disk always had a small hole in its middle.  The tomatoes, or pieces of them, were forced through this hole and then a cap  was soldered over the opening.  Using this process about 10 cans a day could be made.  Automatic soldering and wiping machines ultimately replaced hand-soldering in larger canneries and soldered many cans at a time.

This is a picture of some the early tools used when cans were soldered by hand.  In the left foreground are Tomato Spoons, used to core and peel tomatoes before they were stuffed into the little opening on the top.  In the center back is a blow torch which was used to heat the soldering irons.  In the right foreground is a typical soldering iron.

bush can hand soldering tools display

This is a picture of an early Hole and Cap can that was used by the Bush Brothers.

bush can hand solddered example of

Not long after the cannery was opened a revolutionary new kind of can made its debut.  Unlike hole and cap cans, these cans required no soldering.  They were closed instead by a machine called a double seamer, named for its unique closing process.  With these cans fruits and vegetables could be placed inside with less breakage and they were also free of the small bits of solder that sometimes dropped into the old cans.  The Bush Brothers soon changed over to this new technology.

As with much of America, the 1920’s were good for the Bush Brothers.  Business prospered and the company incorporated and added two new plants to its Chestnut Hill operations as it expanded its cannery business.


In the 1930’s as America entered the Great Depression the company like so much of the country struggled to survive.  They added Pork and Beans to their product line which proved popular during hard economic times.  They depended in the end on the production of simple foods such as hominy and sauerkraut to make financial ends meet.


In the 1940’s business as for most of America was defined by the events of World War II.  The war brought significant challenges to the company.  These challenges were compounded when A.J. and Sallie passed away soon after the war’s end.  It was the end of an era as both Bush Brothers and American entered a new postwar culture.


In the 1950’s stability and prosperity returned to the company.  They were on the road to becoming the company that they are today.  But one event above all others made the company what it is today.  In 1962 Bush Brothers bought an unused cannery in Augusta, Wisconsin for $35,000.  The facility canned fresh peas as well as dry beans throughout the 1960’s.  But there were many unexpected challenges and


Condon Bush who managed the plant realized that if something was not done soon he was going to be looking for a new job.  That something would turn out to be Bush’s Baked Beans.   They were based on fond memories of family dinners and warm summer days – and a secret family recipe.


The Baked Beans were a hit and sales rose steadily.  This not only helped turn the company’s August facility around, but more importantly, it set a direction that would become increasingly significant in the future.  It would encourage the company to try other items of the same nature throughout the 1970’s and 80’s.  It began the journey towards producing more of what would come to be called table ready items.



That then in a nutshell is the story of the Bush Brothers and their now famous Baked Beans.  As I stated in the beginning there is so much more that could be told, so many more pictures that could be included.  But time now for some of the whimsical stuff we did while there.  Like me in front of the giant can of baked beans.

bush can of beans and me

Or how about finding out my weight in beans?  Yup, in beans not pounds.

The day was not over yet, however.  Attached to the Museum is their own cafe.  We wondered, what would we find here?   As we were standing there mulling over whether to go in or not for lunch, a woman leaving said You just have to have the open face roast beef lunch.  Oh, it is so good.  That did it, in we went for lunch.

bushs cafe

This is part of their regular menu.


Here are the specials for the day.


Here is the Open Face Roast Beef Sandwich.  Oh it was so good!


Then after lunch walking to the car I discovered this.


Talking to the owner I discovered that it was a 1955 Chevy Fleetside with a big block 5.3 cubic inch Chevy engine, automatic transmission, and a complete air ride suspension.


He and his elderly mother had just driven up from North Carolina for a bit of lunch!

That then was our day.  Fantastic from beginning to end.  Oh, we did make one more stop but that will have to wait until tomorrow.  Thanks for joining us on the The Road of Retirement.  We hoped you enjoyed your journey with us.  I know we had a great time, made even better by the fact that we traveled together, singing our song, side by side.  As I bring this to and end once again something for each of us to ponder and think about:

Image result for inspiring quotes jimmy carter

These are the voyages of  Graybeard and it’s occupants, four paws and two humans.  Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have not been before


Friday, November 19, 2021

Temperature 79 Degrees

Another Project Completed – New Shower

This is the second “major” project we had planned for the house that being the installation of a new customer shower.

I went back and forth as to whether I should try to tackle this project or let the professionals do it. Now, for those accustomed to doing home renovation the decision would probably be an easy one. But I’m not that person. I don’t have the experience nor do I have all the right tools. So I turned to the professionals. In the end I’m glad I did. The remodel required moving a vent stack, installing new supply lines and vales, and moving the drain. It took them a day. If I had tried to tackle it I’m sure it would have been more like a week.

This was the old. It was a one piece plastic enclosure that definitely was showing its age.

Out with the old. It came out in several pieces because of its size.

The sum total of the old shower enclosure.

The materials for the new shower waiting to be cut, fitted and installed. We chose a new one piece shower pan, acrylic for the walls and a customer shower door.

After the pan was installed all new three quarter inch plywood walls were installed.

The acrylic was glued to this. Shelves and grab bars installed.

Finished! They did a fantastic job and we are absolutely thrilled with the way that it turned out.

So, the second big project is completed. Only one more to go which will be the installation of double pane windows sometime in the future.

Thanks for taking the time to read our blog.  We always appreciate your company, your comments, and your suggestions. Remember, take time to stop and smell the roses and live each day that God gives you to the fullest.