I’ve come to terms with things, I am a dreamer. I picture these perfect moments in my head but these moments are always slapped hard in the face by the cruel hand of reality. I guess you could say my spirit person is Clark Griswold. All he ever wanted to do was to take his family on the ultimate vacation, and we all know how that turned out.
So, getting back to the story, my family and I like to spend a little time each year up in Maine. We love the people, the scenery, and the lighthouses. One of our favorite lighthouses is the Nubble Lighthouse in York. Every year I say to myself, "I am going to pack a favorite pipe and smoke it out by the lighthouse." In my mind's eye, I see myself like an old sea captain, perhaps someone like captain Gregg from the Ghost and Mrs. Muir, standing stoically in front of the lighthouse, gently puffing my pipe. Last fall, I told myself the same story.
I packed my Savinelli Bing's Favorite, my Savinelli Long John, and my Peterson Sherlock Holmes. For tobacco, I bought a tin of Vashon Island from Seattle Pipe Club, Deep Hollow by McClelland and some Mac Baren Vanilla Custard. We were going to be in the York area for 5 days. There just had to be 20 - 30 minutes out of that time for a reflective, majestic, solitary pipe smoke. Right?
So, here comes the reality hand-slap.
Day One: We pull up to the lighthouse on the first day, my pipe already packed, and as I step out of the car . . . it starts to rain. Ok, day one was out.
Day Two: My family and I spent the day driving the coast, checking out antiques and eating lobster. At night, we pulled up to the lighthouse, my pipe in hand, and . . . you would have thought that the lighthouse was going to be blasted into space like the Space X Rocket . . . there must have been 150 people all standing around just staring at it. Now, I know that some people wouldn’t have cared about the crowds and would have just fired up the pipe, but I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone who might not enjoy pipe smoke. On top of that, this was not the private moment that I had hoped for.
Day 3: This was the day! It had been planned out. I spoke with my wife and we were all clear. The plan was to spend the day at the beach and then go to the lighthouse after the sun went down. There would be few people around and my wife would take the kids to get ice cream.
We packed up all of our beach gear and we’re out the door early. The house we were staying in was right across the street from the beach which made it pretty easy. Once on the sand, we set up our canopy and parked ourselves for the day. Back at the house, my pipe was patiently waiting for the sun to set.
The kids were in the water and my wife and I just started to relax. It couldn’t be better. Until, my then 15-year-old, came stumbling back to our area and started complaining that he didn’t feel great.
Moments later, he stood up, vomited and started wandering around the beach like a walker from the Walking Dead. And then the big moment . . . he passes out on the beach.
An hour later we found ourselves in the hospital while they tried to figure out why he passed out. One thing I learned is that the hospital makes wicked lobster rolls. Oh, and that my son passed out because of the cold water and that I was not going to be smoking my pipe.
After he was released, we took it easy and never made it back to the lighthouse. My dreams of lighthouse pipe smoking disappeared like fishing boats into the horizon.
Days later, standing in my backyard, I finally fired up my pipe. No, it wasn’t the dreamy lighthouse view, but it was still awesome. While the idea was cool, nothing beats being with my family.