Joe’s Journal

Week two

Ramblings from an old scribbler
Wed, 03/25/2020 - 9:15am

Boothbay, like the rest of the nation, is on hold as we pause our lives doing our civic duty to stay home and self-quarantine. We are watching Facebook posts of cute cat videos, photos of our friends' new grandchildren, and cruising Netflix shows on the couch.

We are doing nothing, and that is the point. We are not out and about infecting each other and spreading the virus to friends, neighbors and grandma and grandpa.

As we stay inside our homes to avoid the bad bugs that are swirling around our community, county, state, and nation, there are lots of health care workers risking their lives to treat us. We owe them, big time. More than a few health care workers have caught the bug. And some of them have died.

On the local commercial front, it wasn't too long ago that there were no restaurants open in the off-season, except the old Thistle Inn. Today several opted to stay open in the winter, and we are thankful for them. Yet, because of the national public health emergency, many are staying open, but their inside services are closed. In many cases, customers can call and order takeout.

Give them a try.

Russ Pinkham, the owner of Pinkham's Gourmet Market, tells me he is open as usual, and business has been pretty good. When Hannaford Supermarket runs out of an item, many customers seem to be coming over to his store, seeking goods they were unable to obtain at the larger store.

Yes, he has stocked TP, and as usual, he carries his usual outstanding selection of custom meats, fish and wine. Like other stores, Pinkham’s offers curbside pick up service. If you are unable to get to his store, he will deliver it to your door.

You can find a story about other local businesses and their status on our website. A list of local businesses and their hours can be found on the Facebook page of Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce.

But there is more.

Hannaford supermarket is opening early (6 a.m.) to allow senior citizens a chance to shop before the rest of the general public and maintain the proper social distancing. The store is also shortening its hours to give the staff a chance to clean, stock shelves, and to rest.

Schools are closed, but that does not mean the process of learning is on hold.

Instead of treating this crisis as an extended snow day, Superintendent Keith Laser and the rest of his excellent staff of teachers and support professionals are pitching into offering remote learning experiences.

In our town, like much of the nation, many students depend on school meals to meet their nutritional needs. That is why the schools are fixing 200 or so breakfasts and lunches for the kids to pick up. And, if needed, they will deliver.

Last week, Boothbay Harbor Police Chief Bob Hasch offered a big shout out to local businesses who are staying open. The workers in grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and others who supply vital services are real heroes, he said.

“We need these workers. They go to work each day to provide the goods and services needed by our community.”

To give them a hand and help our community, Hasch has partnered with local fire chiefs Dick Spofford, Nick Upham and Gerry Gamage and with Holly Stover of Boothbay Region Community Resource Council to set up a unique delivery service for shut-ins. If you need help, you can call Stover at 350-7477, or Hasch at 633-5616.

Now for a tip that will bring a smile to your face. Outside, a few daffodils and tulips are starting to peek their noses out of the garden. But, except for the plants under the care of the plant wizards at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, most are still snoozing. But no fear. Here is a tip to brighten up your dreary confinement.

Go outside and locate a forsythia bush. Then get your trusty and, hopefully, not rusty, garden clippers. Locate some forsythia canes with lots of buds on them and clip a few and bring them inside the house.

The garden websites say you should snip them on the diagonal and soak them in a bucket of warm water. I am sure that is a tried and true technique, but at my house, we trim a bit from the bottom and arrange them in a tall vase filled with water. No matter which method you favor, both techniques work just fine. It will take you about a week for the canes to sprout dozens of bright yellow flowers.

There is nothing like a spray of bright yellow posies to brighten your day.

Be well.