binnacle: a case, box or stand containing a ship’s compass and a lamp (definition from Webster’s 3rd New International Dictionary)
How do we know when a string is plucked that will send a vibration through the tunnel of time to knock on our door one day? Or that we will recognize the stranger and realize an old friend has come to visit?
I received word recently that I’ve been named an honoree for a 150 word essay, “Glove,” submitted to The Binnacle’s Sixth Annual International Ultra-Short competition. The Binnacle is the literary and arts magazine for the University of Maine at Machias. Fifty-seven were selected out of more than 900 entries from 21 countries and six continents.
Robert Cohen, President, Video Monitoring Services of New York, and Elizabeth J. Westmark, President, Aladdin Communications, Inc., sign contracts selling Aladdin to VMS.
Nineteen years ago almost to the day, Buck and I closed on the sale of Aladdin Communications, a business we created together.
We ran that little business from a condo on the beach to the home we built in the country; from more than a year before we married in 1984, until that happy day in 1990 when Bob Cohen and his associates came and took all the files away.
Early the morning after the closing, we hopped a plane from Pensacola to Bangor, Maine. We rented a car and drove toward Canada until we reached Machiasport. We stayed there for ten days on a remote blueberry farm rented from Ken and Betty Maker, in-laws of one of Buck’s corporate colleagues.
Our Maine sabbatical opened new windows of possibility. For the first time in our married lives, Buck would no longer greet six employees coming in the door as he was leaving for his job as regional public affairs manager for a major corporation. The multi-line phone system was cancelled, as was the 800 number.
When we returned from Maine, we would truly be home alone, and that was an exciting turn of events.
On the blueberry farm, we wandered amidst tidal pools, drifted through waist high fields of wildflowers, feasted on Mrs. Maker’s “Blueberry Bliss” jam, and toasted our good fortune.
Compass and lamp at the ready, we began to dream new dreams. They continue to this very day.