Amazingly, even after beginning with a chocolate croissant breakfast, this day continued to get better. From the Village Bakery and Cafe to a farmers' market in Damariscotta where my cousin was manning a tent, we then headed down to Pemaquid Point, home of the best lighthouse in America. I didn't even spend that much time traipsing across the rocks, looking for different photo angles. We got some good early shots, then settled our backs against a properly slanted slab of granite and watched the waves crash along the coast. Later, after we'd moved further town toward the point, I noticed a seal poking his head up out of the surf. He bobbed there for about a minute -- before we could switch to our telephoto lenses -- then disappeared again into the depths, swimming off in search of lunch.
After our own lunch on the dock at Shaw's, we came back to the house for a leisurely afternoon (a nap and some reading) before getting dinner under way. For some, fresh lobsters boiled on the stove; for others, spaghetti with sauce and meatballs made from local sources -- meat bought down the street, basil, garlic and parsley from the garden in the yard and sauce made by my cousin from her tomatoes.
And perhaps the best part of it all? While this was all being prepared, we put on some of my uncle's records for background atmosphere, beginning with Darkness on the Edge of Town. It's rare enough that we listen to albums/CDs/mp3s in order as it is, but to hear Darkness; Crosby, Stills and Nash; Rumours and The Kinks on vinyl, with side breaks and crackling and popping -- yet still in wonderful stereo -- made for a perfect night. I can't think of a better setting to appreciate the opening chords of "Badlands," the Side 1 finale of "Racing in the Street," the splendid Side 2 opening of "The Promised Land" and the album finale of "Darkness on the Edge of Town" than a cool Maine summer night.