Sunday, October 19, 2008

Leaving Maine With Happy Memories and Tasty Souvenirs


On Friday morning we said goodbye to my grandfather's cabin on Silver Lake and repacked the minivan.  After configuring our bags and boxes like we were playing an advanced game of tetris, we drove over to my parents house for one last set of hugs.
 When I saw little pools of water in my dad's eyes, I wanted to jump from the car and stay. Saying goodbye is never easy for me and this time seemed extra hard because I know that I won't see my parents again until March. This year marks my first Christmas away from my family.  Hung and I have agreed to alternate Christmas holidays between our two families and this year we will be in Houston with the Bui Family.  I love the Bui's dearly but I will miss my family and the Christmas traditions I grew up with.  

Three hours into our trip, we pulled off in Brunswick to have lunch with my cousin Rebecca
 and her husband Josh.  Last February, Josh returned from his third tour in the middle east.  After four years of marriage, Josh and Becca are finally able to settle into a house, buy furniture and enjoy all the simple day-to-day joys of being a married couple.  We had a great time catching up and started brainstorming on ways to see each other again soon.

While in Brunswick we drove over to the coast and picked up several lobsters for dinner at Alexis and Craig's house.  During the last month, lobster prices in Maine have dropped to the very low price of $4 per pound.   The price drop in Maine lobsters in tied to the current financial crisis.  Below is an explanation from the Bangor Daily News:

"The crisis in Maine is tied directly to the collapse of Icelandic banks which were key lenders to processors in Canada, according to Dane Somers, executive director of the Maine Lobster Promotion Council. Without ready credit from those banks, Canadian processors don’t have the cash to purchase lobster from Maine, Somers said. The credit crunch hit Canada early in October, Maine’s peak season for lobster production and value, according to the Maine Lobstermen’s Association.
October is the time when fishermen make the bulk of the money they need to see them through the winter months. 

On average annually, between 45 percent and 50 percent of Maine lobster is sent to processors in Canada. At this time of year, however, 70 percent of the catch usually goes to Canada, but processors there are not buying.

According to the MLA, there are a number of reasons for that. The international credit problem is one. There also are reports that some processors already have inventory on hand and that others are operating at less than full capacity so they don’t create more supply than they can sell.  The MLA also reported that some large restaurant chains, such as Red Lobster and Outback, have seen losses as fewer people eat out regularly. Demand also has softened on cruise ships and at casinos due to the poor economic conditions." 

Please help Maine lobster fishermen:  Eat More Lobster.  

Back on the highway, Hung and I started talking about our feast.  We decided we wanted to bring a lot of lobsters to Craig and Alexis and we better stop for more.  

A quick call to my brother's girlfriend Katie in York, ME and we had the address

for another lobster pound.  In York, we purchased a couple more lobsters and stopped at Katie's to say a quick hello.  The day was even brighter after a receiving a hug from The Coop.

Back on the highway, less than two hours to Craig and Alexis' new house.

-amb





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