Everyone Loves a Parade

Every summer morning in Maine I swim immediately after waking. Toweling off following the swim on the 4th I saw nine ducks round South Point and paddle into the cove. I expected them to swim outside the dock. Instead, they swam past the moored boat between the dock and the bank into what I thought to be a dead-end. Undeterred four ducks swam alongside the bank and passed beneath the ramp between dock and shore. The other five swam in straight line to the edge of the dock. One hopped out of the water onto the dock and the rest followed, as I watched from five feet away. Ignoring me when I stepped towards them the five ducks waddled single file down the length of the dock, turned right, marched to the far edge, and hopped back into the lake to rejoin their companions swimming up the lake. Before re-entering the lake one duck looked at me, as if to say “what are you looking at? We do this every morning.”

After my swim and morning coffee I biked around the lake. Riding south on 121 toward Bolster’s Mill Road four vintage cars passed me, heading in the same direction. Approaching the fire station spectators lined both sides of the road, fire trucks from South Paris, Poland, Norway, and Casco assembled in lines, more vintage cars organized themselves, and I realized I was riding into parade staging preparatikons. I got stuck behind a long line of fire trucks, vintage cars, and locals waving, stopping, and starting, and joined the pre-parade parade. I kept my place, nodded and gave the two-finger cowboy wave (perfected while riding out west) to spectators, and then chatted with drivers as I passed them. “Nice day . . . great car! . . . enjoy the parade . . .” Past the staging area I was free of parade traffic and rode the rest of the way to Casco without seeing another car.

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