I enjoy the ride back home to Tenants Harbor on Route 131 because of what I see. I have a running fantasy about the views, and look for any change that makes me happy, sad, or wistful.

Here is a list of places I check out as I drive south.

The Knox Museum. Someday I am going to look old Henry up and get a better idea why he is a historical figure. I am embarrassed not to know much, but I chalk it up to my lack of liberal arts education (i.e., goofing off in school).

Lyman-Morse Boatyard on the right lies at the distant head of the St. George River, and I wonder how my employee friends are doing. I think of them and their headaches when I look at the huge, beautiful boats they need to hoist out of the water for winter storage.

The Finnish Church and Heritage House represent the once-upon-a-time proliferation of small churches in Maine, supported by a small population needing spiritual guidance. I keep thinking I need to visit their Heritage House someday. I wonder if they have a secret sauna in there.

I am looking for the cows at the farm on the left after the Finnish Church. Are they on the flats across the street, or up above on the left behind the farmhouse? I am always searching after I saw several cute calves sticking close to their mothers, just like most of us did at their age.

The Maritime Farms General Store parking lot is on the right, filled with contractor trucks but not one Prius or Bugatti. Luxury car owners are missing out, though, since the deli inside looks excellent. Someday I’ll describe how I, a doofus, almost used their diesel fuel pump. Almost the opposite of when I DID pump 100 gallons of gasoline in my boat’s diesel fuel tanks at a local marina.

What’s with the brand-new Saltwater Fields Wedding and Event Barn on the right? It doesn’t seem to have much activity at the moment, but, wow, what a setting for patrons and seagulls. Is that a BBQ cooker on the outside?

Harbor Road Vets is a little further on the left, and I sometimes shiver when I think about their services and costs. But I remember how wonderful they were when we had to put down Annie, our dachshund. Their lighting a candle in the waiting room informing others of such a delicate moment moved us. And five minutes before they closed one day, I called them after our small dog just ate a chunk of Lindt’s Intense Orange Chocolate (he’s picky). They stayed open for us, put a hose down poor Peanut’s gullet, and did a little vacuuming. We left with a dazed dog, brown streaks across the long hairs of his white muzzle.
But I digress.

I enjoy driving through the little village of St. George where Route 73 intersects 131. Lovely homes, with one that has been for sale for some time; the current owners must wonder what the heck is wrong that buyers shy away from the locale. I have to admit, though, I struggle to stay near the 35-mph speed limit and I’ve often hedged.

In the village is a boat builder (I keep reminding myself to stop sometime and get advice about repairing my home-built skiff) and the Humble Farmer, which I am at a loss to describe.

I look for the next farm on the left, watching the herd of cows chomping on their pile of hay. I wonder if they mind the mud they slop around on after it rains.

The next field down the hill and to the right I call Daisy’s Field. It borders Cutler Cove on the St. George River and is a photogenic sight. But it’s Daisy, the lone cow grazing there who lives in Tenants Harbor during the fall and winter, and on Daisy’s Field during spring and summer. My wife and I met her once on our walk in Tenants Harbor, and when we called hello, she danced her way over to us. A happier bovine I’ve never met.

I’m just about in Tenants Harbor now. I used to watch with wonder the old lobster farm on Haskell Point — now long gone — and a new modern-looking building going up slow but sure. There are rumors about what it will be, but I’m not sure which one to believe.

Then there is the seasonal Happy Clam restaurant on the left, the only German and Seafood mixed menu place I know of. Fried clams with bratwurst, please, miss.

And now the Tenants Harbor General Store, which has saved my culinary butt many times, like when I looked for bouillon cubes needed in a recipe, and lo-and-behold, they had a small jar of them.

Ah. I’m home, and everything on Route 131 is as it should be.

But beware, I am keeping watch.

Spalpeen says “Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, my friends.”

Mike Skinner is a writer who lives in Tenants Harbor. Skinner was a medic in the U.S. Army, a hospital executive, and a college educator. He is the author of “My Life as a Non-Valedictorian,” available through Maine Authors Publishing, local bookstores, and Amazon and Kindle.