Friday, July 17, 2009

Salmon, fog and extremely good company....

Went to Lubec today - driving in fog the whole way - to interview two amazing photographers - a husband and wife - who have collaborated on a new book about Venice. They live on Cobscook Bay in a beautiful house with weathered shingles and amazing gardens all around - not manicured city gardens. Winding paths, little benches, a bowl for water, birdhouses. Nearby was a lovely guest house for when visitors come. Two cats waited by the door: one the color of vanilla ice cream and the other a soft grey with lime green eyes. We had pate and wafer thin slices of smoked salmon and goat cheese and hearty bread and homemade potato salad and good red wine followed by lemon-soaked pound cake and tea.

They were beyond charming. His work has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and hers hangs in museums.
So, as we lingered at the lunch table, we talked about Venice and newspapers and John Glenn and raising sons and what a joy granddaughters are....I toured their home so they could show off their photographs of a church tent revival and wardens tagging a hibernating bear and a beached whale on a foggy beach and I almost swooned with envy because they have a real, honest to goddess DIVING SUIT hanging over their bed.

They call him Richard.

And then we began talking about their book and Venice.
What does that have to do with Maine? I asked them.
Everything, they said. Look out the window. The beauty, the fog, the history. It's all the same, they said .... well, I was thinking, not quite.
Look at today's picture, a picture I made nearby the photographer's beautiful coastal home.
What you see here is aa typical Down East yard: fog shrouded garage, lobster pots everywhere and a boat. A very large boat. On dry land.
No canals. No men in little striped shirts singing gondola songs wearing tiny little hats.
Not here, no - here we have hearty fishers in high rubber boots with yellow waterproof overalls and flannel shirts. With deeply tanned and lined faces and hair bleached blonde by the sun and salt of the sea. With arms the size of logs and deep laughs and boats in their front yard and colored ropes coiled by the back steps and piles and piles of brightly painted buoys by the driveway.

And this is the mystery for me, what I can't figure out in the month that I've been here: Why are all the boats in the front yards and not in the water?


Lili said...

That's sad about the boats...I can only conclude it has to do with the state of our economy right now. Nice Downeast have fun assignments and did I ever mention how much I enjoy your the cat that's the color of vanilla ice cream.

Gladys said...

Maybe they just ate and you know had to wait...

I so envy your job.

Homestay Mama said...

Very interesting post, Queenie. My grandfather immigrated from Nova Scotia long ago, but I still go back to visit extended family living there. Your description of foggy days, shingled cottages, lobster pots and boats in the front yard remind me of my Nova Scotia heritage. From Lubec one can look across the Bay of Fundy to the area where my great-grandfather trolled for fish in the late 1800's. The vine-covered foundation is all that's left of the original house on the homestead on North Mountain between Bridgetown and Hampton.