Hold On, Betsy!

When a 7-year-old sees a live lobster for the first time, what goes through his or her head?

“That’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen!” Or, “That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!”

I can’t imagine being indifferent about them. Maine lobsters are actually pretty, once they’re cooked, I think. But I’ll have to admit that, in my opinion, all lobsters are freaking ugly, creepy, and not at all appetizing. Unlike wild blueberries, which are beautiful, appetizing and delicious!

Enter Greyson, our 7-year-old grandson. He joined us in Maine to spend two weeks with Bubby and Poppy at Camp Wind Therapy, an event that we hope will become an annual occurrence. We hiked over rocks, got our feet stuck in the mud, paddled the kayak through beautiful bays and learned to speak seal. I even taught him how to spit cherry pits. 

One morning, as the lobster boats were making their rounds, one of them entered our anchorage. I hailed them to come over, asking if they would sell us a few before going back to the plant.

“How many do you want?”

“I think four is good.”

“How about $20? Is that ok?”

“$20 for all four? Um, YES! That would be great!”

And the deal was done. But now what? I’ve never possessed live lobsters before. I don’t know how to store them or how to cook them.

“Put them in a paper bag with a wet paper towel, and leave them in the coldest part of the refrigerator until you’re ready to put them in the pot. They’ll be fine.”

Luckily, I don’t throw anything away. And we just happened to have two large paper shopping bags on board. Ok, now, who’s going to pick them up and put them in the bags? 

Greyson wanted to touch one. “Go ahead. You can touch it.” He gingerly lowered his hand into the bucket and touched one on its back. He pulled his hand away with lightning speed saying, “That scared the life out of me!”

Hmmm, I know, I’ll get the grabber! Worked like a charm. Watch the video, episode 66. Jeff and Greyson managed to put all four lobsters into the bags and into the fridge. Now, it was time for a hike. A lovely gentleman vacationing in a cottage on the hill kayaked over and invited us to tie our dinghy to his dock. “You can jump on the trampoline and fly down the zip line in the back yard while you’re at it. It’s fun!”

And, so we did. We had a long hike. About 5 miles. Greyson had a wonderful time trading his Tootsie Pop for wild blueberries on the side of the trail. As Mother Nature began to bore him, his imagination began to run wild. He named his water bottle George and his hat Betsy. 

“Whatever makes you happy. Just as long as you keep walking, Because I’m not carrying all 65 lbs of you back to the boat.”

Five miles is a lot for a kid. Not so much the amount of physical effort it takes to meander that far. We didn’t exactly hoof it. It was a total stroll, eating blueberries, smelling flowers, and investigating bugs along the way. But, there’s always that point where they’ve had enough. And Greyson reached his with one mile to go.

“I’m not going any further. I just can’t do it”

“Well, then I guess we’ll see you around.”

“Carry me.”

“Um, no.”






We began walking down the hill, leaving our whining grandchild behind. Then it got quiet. We turned to look, and there he was, sitting on the side of the path, snarling at us. 

“Just keep walking. He’ll follow us.”

Then, we began hear footsteps approaching, faster and faster. And those footsteps were accompanied by the phrase, “Hold on Betsy! Hold on for your life!”

Greyson was running down the hill, one hand clutching George and the other hand holding Betsy tight to the top of his head. 

“You can do it Betsy. You’re strong! Hold on!!!”

In the end, Betsy, George, and Greyson all made it back to the dinghy.

Now, let’s figure out how to eat a lobster.