We're in Bath, Maine at one of my favorite stores, Reny's Department Store. They have just about anything and good prices. I wish there was one in Brattleboro, but they are all in Maine. However, Dollar General has come to Brattleboro. It's no Reny's, but it is my second favorite chain department store. It is several cuts above the typical dollar store because it has a dependable inventory anywhere you go -- and Dollar General is expanding all over the country. It is a fairly good quality bargain department store, about as close to the old Woolworth's 5&10 of my youth as you will find in today's world. If it had a lunch counter, it would practically be a Woolworth's. We have seen them in small towns all over the midwest and west, and I think they have a totally different philosophy from Wal-Mart. They are not predatory, they build relatively small, modest stores in very small communities, yet they provide a cross section of clothing, housewares, office supply, sundries -- sort of everyday stuff at reasonable prices. For a long time I bought my bandaids there whenever I found one - a box of 60 good quality bandaids for $1.
Earlier today we had a wonderful hike at Morse Mountain, a Bates College Reserve near Phippsburg, that takes you down to a wonderfully secluded beach. A beautiful day and a wonderful hike. Yesterday we had lunch with dear friends, Phil and Deborah McKean at the Tomaston Cafe, one of our favorite cafes in the world. Phil had just finished teaching a 14-week class on The Cultures of Asia in the Seniors College program in Tomaston. He put me on to Amir Acsel's The Jesuit and the Skull about Teihard de Chardin and Peking Man, I just ordered it. It will be worked into my blog on Creationism and Evolution (which is still in the works. Be patient!).
Tonight we're going to a concert here in Bath -- the Oratorio Chorale is performing the Durufle Requiem, and two Bach Cantatas, $80 and #23, all of which I have done with the Blanche Moyse Chorale, so that will be fun. It will be interesting to see how another chorale sounds. Speaking of the Chorale, I just wrote program notes for our upcoming concert on December 10 and 12 - notes on Britten's Ceremony of Carols, Palestrina's Missa Hodie Christus Natus Est and Vaughan Williams' Nine Carols for Male Voices. After our director, Mary Westbrook-Geha vets them, I'll post them here.
Tomorrow we'll meet Ellen's brother Jim, his friend, Mary Cooke, and her son DJ, at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockport, ME - one of my favorite museums in the world, famous for its Wyeth collection but a lot else besides. It is Jim's birthday. We'll spend a couple of hours there and then, late in the afternoon, we'll walk out on to the jetty at Rockport and watch the full moon rise. Monday we'll visit Ellen's old friend, Nancy Carney in Brooklin, ME. We're staying at Jim's place in Woolwich, which is very cozy. Tuesday we'll stop in Kittery, ME on the way home to buy several loaves of bread at the When Pigs Fly outlet - our favorite bread in the world (and the world is full of good bread!). And we'll probably stop at Bob's Clam Hut in Kittery, our favorite fish place in the world. We'll be home in time for River Singers rehearsal.