Dear Sun Spots: I am a University of Southern Maine student doing a research project on Lithuanian culture and history, as well as the Lithuanian migration to and settlement in Maine. I am especially interested in the Lithu Hall on Lisbon Street in Lewiston. Anybody willing to share memories, memorabilia, documents, pictures, etc., should contact me via e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 333-0845. Thanks. – Katie, Lewiston.

Answer: In addition to responses from readers, if you have not discovered the St. Anthony Franciscan Monastery in Kennebunk you are in for a treat. Call 967-2011. It is located at 28 Beach Ave., Kennebunk.

This serene, peaceful and rich Mecca (Sun Spots is a frequent visitor) is for anyone seeking a quiet moment with self. Stroll the meandering paths through the woodlands, stop at the St. Francis of Assisi shrine to listen to the fountain, the birds, a world away from the traffic on Dock Square and elsewhere. Or, take a break to breathe in the calm at one of the many benches strategically placed around the grounds and overlooking the water. Oh, and stop at The Port Bakery & Café by Hurricane, 181 Port Road, in Kennebunk’s Lower Village for a fresh-baked muffin and coffee (one of Sun Spots’ traditions when visiting).

The estate the monastery is on was purchased by Lithuanian Franciscans in 1947. In 1952, the house was embellished with the Shrine of St. Anthony. In 1953, the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, an imposing and unique shrine, was constructed on the estate grounds, and it was followed in 1959 by the graceful Chapel of the Stations of the Cross. Both of these shrines, monuments of Lithuanian architectural art, were designed by Jonas Mulokas, winner of the First Prize of the American Architects Association. For the Chapel of the Stations of the Cross, individual stations and two angels were sculptured by Vytautas Kasuba, who was decorated with the Gold Medal for art at the 1937 Paris World’s Fair. To get there, follow directions for Kennebunk Beach.

Dear Sun Spots: While traveling in North Carolina in mid-April, I noticed fields of wild flowers that were orange colored. I have never noticed them in Maine. Would anyone know what they were? – No Name, No Town.

Answer: In addition to responses from readers, Sun Spots checked out the North Carolina’s Department of Transportation Web site at www.ncdot.org to try to find an answer for you. It appears that the North Carolina Department of Transportation Wildflower Program began in 1985 to focus on highway beautification. Wildflower beds were installed and maintained across the state by roadside environmental personnel in each of the 14 highway divisions. You will find a listing on the site of the wildflower program, and if you click on it, you will be able to see what plants are in bloom and in what areas of the state. Should you recall the highway you were on, or area, there is a contact number where you can learn more about the plantings. In the meantime, a wildflower booklet is included on the Web site with both botanical and common flower and plant names. It lists photographs, descriptions and planting information. If you check out www.ncdot.org/doh/operations/dp_chief_eng/roadside/wildflowerbook/Common/, you will be able to click on each flower variety and see if it’s the one you recall seeing along the highways.

In the meantime, Sun Spots also checked the Maine Department of Transportation and notes on their Web site that the state has a wildflower program establishing annual and perennial wildflowers in areas that are difficult or unsafe to mow. Blue lupine, crown vetch, and black-eyed Susan are main ingredients in the wildflower mix.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be posted at www.sunjournal.com in the Advice section under Opinion on the left-hand corner of your computer screen. In addition, you can e-mail your inquiries to [email protected]


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