I spent a lot of time in Boothbay Harbor when I was little. Nana grew up on the Adam's Pond Road, which was dubiously named after our family, who bought their 200 acres and built their "big house little house back house barn" with "vessel money." Nana and her three sisters and her brother who "wasn't right" were raised by their mother and grandmother after their father died in a shipwreck. She was ashamed because they had to live on "mother's money," which was something the state of Maine paid out to widows with children. She was proud because if they didn't grow it, raise it, sew it, can it, knit it, gather it, or build it, they didn't need it.
We used to visit Toots and Louis who were cousins who lived behind the Big House where Nana grew up and where Aunt then lived. There was a mystery surrounding Aunt, but it was hard for me to imagine the birdlike old woman as anyone's red-headed illegitimate child. That was beside the point. The real point was that she shouldn't have the Big House. But again, I didn't understand why anyone would want to take a house away from someone whose fingers were as brittle and harmless as twigs.
I loved Boothbay Harbor. Nana told me stories like how the townspeople burned a cross in the dooryard because my great-great grandmother, AnnieBelle, took in the Methodist preacher from away who was tarred and feathered for banning the town dance on Saturday nights.
Nana and her sisters had two big rocks near the house that they called "Aunt Susan" and "Aunt Emma." I thought she was nuts when we would drive by and always wave, but I am 41 now, and I don't make a trip to Boothbay Harbor without a drive around Adam's Pond, and salutations to the two big. moss-covered hummocks overhung by maple leaves that do kind of look like hair.