The Way Life Should Be

Last week, hoping to beat the heat (and the cavalcade of motorcycles coming back from Laconia), the Davises rented a house Little Deer Isle on the central coast of Maine.

The front porch.
The back porch.

I spent most of our stay getting over a nasty cold, but that’s all right. By Friday, I was feeling well enough for a swim.

For me, the highlight of the week was helping the lovely Mrs. Davis make her world-famous clam chowder from scratch.

Not to brag, but I shuck a mean clam.

On the way home, we stopped at a restaurant in Bucksport called the Friars’ Brewhouse Taproom.

“Pour One Pro Nobis”

The proprietors are Anglo-Catholic Franciscan friars so, naturally, I felt quite at home.

We were seated beneath a replica of Cimabue’s portrait of St. Francis of Assisi. Every time I lifted my baby daughter up to see him, she smiled and laughed and kicked her feet. Apparently, they’re old friends. Beatrice was born on the Feast of St. John of the Cross, so I assumed she would become a Carmelite. But maybe she’ll be a Poor Clare…

A few hours later, we stopped at my favorite bookshop, Penobscot Books. The owner is a retired Episcopal priest and Navy veteran. From what I understand, the entire store is drawn from his private collection. There’s a whole wing devoted to religious books and Christian art. (He’s got a whole shelf devoted to Benedict XVI!) I got a lovely hardcover of John Keble’s The Christian Year and Edward Hutton’s The Franciscans in England.

Providentially, they also had a little copy of Cimabue’s portrait of St. Francis. Of course, I bought it for Baby Bea. How could I not? She’s still sleeping in a bassinet next to our bed but, when we finish doing it the nursery, we’ll hang it over her crib. If she smiles and laughs and kicks when she sees him, I’ll start fitting her for a wimple.

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