This weekend I had some free time (a first since the December holiday break!) and I decided to take up Cheryl Oakes‘ generous offer to visit her at her mountain house in MAINE. Admittedly, along the way, I got a few American place names confused – now I know without a doubt that there is a large geographical difference between Sugarloaf, Maine, and Sugarbush, Vermont. Fortunately, I discovered this before I set out on the road. My 12 year old son, Nathanael, bravely set out with me on my small adventure to Maine to meet Cheryl Oakes and her family.
Just to keep my readers on the edge of their seats with my scintillating adventures, we made a couple of stops along the journey – which should have taken 4 hours from Montréal.
My first stop was planned. Jen Wagner, Vicki Davis, Cheryl Oakes and I had arranged to pre-record an interview with the inimitable Terry Freedman about Coming of Age (2nd edition) for this week’s WOW2 webcast. I was able to borrow a friend’s Internet connection for the interview in the quaint village of Ayer’s Cliff in the Eastern Townships of Québec. All went well for the interview and it should be ready and posted by tomorrow night. Terry has some great things to tell us about the second edition of Coming of Age and the chat between the five of us was quite lively.
For the second half of my journey, I admit that I read the map not quite right, ended up at the wrong port of entry border crossing, and was directed to the next one by the kindly customs official.
On the way back to the main highway (in the middle of rural nowhere), in the middle of a sudden snow squall, I lost control of my car and sort of gently, but firmly, drifted into a snow-filled ditch. We landed just about at a 90 degree angle. Sigh.
An angel of mercy (who could speak English flawlessly!) drove past within minutes, picked us up and took us back into town where he spent some time on the phone tracking down a tow truck for us. I still can’t get over how blessed we were by him! He wouldn’t accept a penny for his troubles and dropped us off at a local restaurant where we waited another hour in the warmth for the tow truck. Not a scratch on the car for all that!
The rest of the driving to the border and through northern Maine was simply wretched, but not impossible. We made it to Cheryl’s mountain house much past my intended time of arrival.
My son Nat spent the next day in skiing heaven. Sugarloaf was a great ski hill and the weather was awesome. I had brought my snowshoes and had a great hike on the trails.
Cheryl and I were able to snatch a few discussions during our visit. I have so much respect for her wisdom and experience as a public school teacher and technology integrator. While the state of Maine is quite different in its demographics than my situation in Montréal, Canada, there is so much we could learn from what they are doing with their resources and approaches to technology.
Cheryl had been teased by her family about her online friend (me) coming to visit, so we talked about how we would like to do a joint blog post on how to know who to trust in online relationships. For me, it had not even crossed my mind! This will be an interesting topic to explore….
(The Sugar Pie, or tarte au sucre, which I brought along, was enjoyed by Cheryl and her family!)
I am home safely now – the trip home did, in fact, just take a little over four hours after all!