The Maine summer - we wait a long time for it to arrive, and we think about it from October through May. Collectively, the population of our state, meaning us Mainers, put a large amount of brain-wave pressure on the climate ' because we're all focused on getting outside, swatting some black flies, and working on any level of tan that will help erase all similarities between our bodies and a trout's belly. Color-wise. We've almost reached 4th of July, and that means corn that's got to be knee high to make it, some early salad crops are harvestable, and that bridge that allows out-of-staters to creep into Maine, the one across the Piscataqua River between Maine and New Hamster, is clogged up worse than Grandpa in February. Usually.
Everything's different this year: the economy, the President, the weather. The weather. As I said, we wait a long time for summer to arrive. This year we're still waiting. Our summer weather has been coming down in drops. Big drops, little drops, misty droplets ' we've seen them all. Rain, rain, more rain, and today, for a change, it's going to rain some more. Our state's in a rotten mood, and we're pasty white to boot. Shoot. The bridge isn't so clogged up. The pockets of those who have ventured north are bulging with economic stimulus cash, or at least we suspect they are, but the tourists are buying raincoats, boot driers, and bumbershoots (I explained that one a few newsletters ago). Lobsters too, of course. Can't take a trip upcountry without wrapping your hands around one of these creatures, whipping out the tool kit that's required to eat them, and digging in. This helps the economy a bit.
So far in 2009 Maine has broken most old records for amount of rainfall received, cloudy days, and surly attitudes. Pen these folks up indoors for a long winter like we had this year and then cap it off with all this rain, and headlines start showing up in the paper that look more like February than July. Arguments in remote fishing camps, scuffles in convenience stores, mud boot sales go through the roof, land-locked salmon getting tired, etc. Enough already.
We all know what's coming too - you just wait - next newsletter will be my annual July/August whining about the lousy heat and humidity, crowded roads and overflowing state parks, restaurant lines and traffic jams. None of it sounds too bad right now, as I check to make sure my snorkel is within reach, just in case.
With all this rain I'm really glad that a lot of our leather comes from US tanners who know how to make leather water resistant. Waxes, oils, silicones, etc. We got in a couple of new leathers that have been treated for water resistance. Remember the Chainsaw sides we had two months ago? Got another batch, this time in Dark Brown. Looking for something a little softer? Check out Prairie Mud ' maybe not a great name but it truly is a great leather. Beautiful stuff, both are on the Full Hides and Sides page over on the website. Convenient, ain't it?
The Deal of the Week continues to be popular, which has kept our teenage employees hopping. Hayley, our 15-year old, has had her nose stuck in a crate of D-rings for a few days, but you already knew about her D-Ring experience if you checked out the Deal of the Week. She was hoping you guys would buy up all the rings before she sorted/counted/bagged them, and you've made quite a dent, but it's not looking good for the Hayster. There's still time, as that DOTW will be left posted for another go-round this coming week (with a pretty decent deal on sole bends added also). She'd appreciate it, I can guarantee you, if you'd contribute to the cause. I've been sending That Kid into dusty old crates, shipping containers, warehouses, and boarded-up factory buildings since she was old enough to lug a minimum of 10 pounds and maintain it at gut level through a minimum of 5 flights of creaky old wooden stairs. She was about 10, as I recall. Help her out, if you need D-rings.
If you're one of the lucky 1.8 million visitors who will visit Maine this summer, assuming it ever arrives, I hope you get some better weather. If it stays the same, just do like the locals. Stay inside, put another log on the fire, and drink like you were back in the Navy again.
Over and out-
The new hats are in!
BV hat, velcro closure $12 each, postage included for all USA addresses