Quarantimes Week 22: Exploring Risk-Tolerance with Maine-iacs

August 13th, 2020

Eliza hurt her foot on a meteor. Or so she told me as we walked on the beach last night at dusk. I asked her how she can tell which rocks are meteors; she said they’re very bumpy. I guess it’s obvious when you’re five.

This was the week we were supposed to be on the Cape with friends. One of the families was coming from California. That trip was obviously called off. I couldn’t bear the thought of not swimming in the ocean once this summer. So we came to Maine.

See how easy I made that sound?


Actually, months before this I started obsessing over how and where to best vacation in Maine on a budget during a pandemic. Perseveration city. I’ll spare you.

Anyway, here we are on Mount Desert Island, in or near Bar Harbor — I’m really not sure because I don’t quite have my bearings, and technically we’re only here for two full days. The Airbnb is a killer a-frame walking distance from a bonfire beach (highly recommend).

We went down there last night to make a fire and scramble around on the rocks. My family of climbers is always on the lookout for good rocks.

“Look, mama, I’m on an island!”

“Look, mama, I’m on an island!”


It’s all about the memories. Like the memory I am sure they will have of me in a fit of hysteria when the overlook in Acadia National Park ended up being a massive sheer cliff with no barrier to prevent one from falling right off with one misstep. As the only non-climber of this bunch, I do not do heights at all. I am quite sure they’ll remember mom crying and begging dad to come back from the edge. 

100% no effing way

100% no effing way

I also kind of hope they don’t remember the palpable anxiety I exude when maskless people with New Jersey license plates get too close to us in public. Or how I rush everyone past crowded restaurants with al fresco tables, holding my breath, the way I used to hold my breath driving by cemeteries as a kid, to ward off bad luck. Of course, I’m not superstitious, but just in case.


But maybe, instead, my daughters will remember making s’mores on the beach at dusk. Walking across the sandbar to Bar Island at low tide. Swimming in the fresh water of Echo Lake and the salt water of Sand Beach. Learning how the moon controls the tides (at 48 this fact still astonishes me).

I asked Eliza to bring me 3 treasures on the beach

I asked Eliza to bring me 3 treasures on the beach

. . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. .

What I’m reading:

Can Bullet Journaling Save You? In the New Yorker

I finished The Nickel Boys and it gutted me. Absolutely ravaged.

I just started Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves by Glory Edim, which might be the greatest name ever.

Sidebar: I almost packed two books for this three-day trip. Isn’t that hilarious? I haven’t had a moment to crack the first one yet. I never do while on “vacation.”

What I’m listening to:

Monica Lewinski interview with Dax Shephard on Armchair Expert. She and I are about the same age, and I lived in Washington DC right around the time of the Clinton scandal. She was painted out to be such a hussy. Now, with so many years behind me, and the added perspective I’ve gained as a grown adult woman, I have grown to really respect her. At the very least, she is highly intelligent and articulate, which makes listening to her a pleasure. 

What I’m eating:

Coffee shave ice out of a styrofoam cup YIKES

Screen Shot 2020-08-13 at 7.12.30 PM

What I’m working on:

Absolutely nothing, this week


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