Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Today starting off dreary and rainy.

But it brightened a bit as the morning wore on.
I had an interview in Jonesport and as I pulled into town, with the ocean to my left, fog enveloped me. The sea was a bit angry after days of storms and the scene was so incredibly beautiful: fog shrouded islands offshore, black rocks being struck by waves, white foam crashing on the beach.

I walked on the town pier for a while - arriving a bit too early for my story - and as I stood looking into the reach, at all the lobster boats, the scallop draggers and the pile of small dinghies on the dock, the sun weakly pushed its way through.
Suddenly, all at once, as if someone had snapped their fingers in a mystical magic trick, the fog vanished and the sun poured down.

The gray water turned a gorgeous blue/green. Men hanging around the pier suddenly began talking a little louder and laughing more often. Gulls wheeled and a family of ducks flew by.

It was if everything breathed a great collective sigh of relief.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


My best friend is going through the hardest time of her life.
Someone she loves deeply is dying of cancer. There will be treatments, attempts to put off the inevitable, but in the end, she will likely lose this dear person.

I brought her bread and chocolate this weekend and spent the day giving her hugs and support. What else is there to do? You can look in her face, her eyes and see the pain she is feeling.

There is no way I can make this journey easy for her - no way I can salve her pain or ease her worry. I just want her to know she is not alone and that there are arms to hold her and hearts to love her during this horrific of times.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sunshine and horses and nice young ladies....

I worked on a story in Cherryfield this morning - and I met a wonderful woman who loves horses and children; In the barn at the stables she operates, she was surrounded by women of various ages, all grooming their Appaloosas, getting into high boots and helmets. The horses whinnied, stomped the barn floor and swished their tails. The girls giggled, passed stories back and forth, and finally walked the horses to the arena.
Around and around they went. Back and forth. Walking the horses at a canter; having them sidestep. Not a grumble. Not a complaint. Just smiles.

There is something right in the world when a young girl is riding a horse. She is tall. She pulls her shoulders back. She is confident. She is powerful. She is in control.

I wish the girls could hold that self-awareness, that confidence, always, on and OFF the horse.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring arrived in Washington County!

And what doesn't say spring more than a little lady with a bright bow, a lovely tutu and high tops. It doesn't get any better than this......unlessssssssss
we are talking about our "Celebrate the First Day of Spring while Kicking Winter Goodbye Right in the A..." party here at Sweet Pea Cabin and the rest of the hill on Saturday night. We had friends in for a bonfire and treats - unbelievable food. It was pot luck and I told everyone to bring their best appetizers. Well, they certainly did! We had pulled pork sliders, meatballs, hot wings, cheese fondue, at least three different kinds of MAJOR dips (cold and hot), antipasto, roasted veggies with a superb peanut sauce, a sandwich and wrap platter, the best oatmeal/raisin/walnut cookies we have ever eaten, and red velvet cupcakes.

Matt and Faye had a bonfire in their yard and we kept all the food in my kitchen so guests didn't disturb the sleeping Miss Kiley. It was a very eclectic group of guests - from a college president to teachers to artists to Coast Guard wives to retired deputy sheriffs to a fisherman to professional photographers .... very diverse. This made for fun conversation!

It was so wonderful to have a house full of friends again, even though these are NEW friends and some of them I hope will become better friends. We laughed and talked - a lot! The hole in my heart that I always seem to walk around with because I miss my OLD friends was filled a little bit. I truly felt at HOME and a part of the community. I can remember going to the grocery store a few months ago and coming home in tears because I didn't know anyone. Now, just a short time later, I can pack the house and that is a wonderful feeling.

I recognize that these new friends can NEVER replace or even match the 25-year friendships from central Maine. But that is okay, because they don't have to. These are my Down East friends: different, vibrant, intelligent and unique. It will take years for me to get to know some of these folks well but isn't that going to be a fun process? Learning about a new person - their experiences and activities that make them who they are. Like the woman I met cashiering at the grocery store who I discovered is working on her masters in special education. See what I mean? Surprises and little joys! This is all part of this new journey.

And after the wonderful time I had last night, this journey seems to be going really well!!!

Happy Spring to you all - may the sun be shining on you wherever you may be. May you peek outside and find crocus or daffodils or tulips or robins. May the length of the day inspire you to go for one more walk. And when the cool nights help you snuggle under your covers and dream, I hope your dreams make you smile in the moonlight.....

Friday, March 12, 2010

My ship has finally come in....!!!

Now isn't she beautiful - all decked out in shamrock green.....I can imagine sitting on her deck, watching a Downeast sunrise, sipping my black tea.......ahhhhhh.

I was a bit early for a meeting in Eastport this week so I took to wandering through a boat graveyard. There was something so mystical, almost other-worldly about these neglected, forgotten vessels. The was a majesty in their rust, their peeling paint, their empty decks. Who rode the waves on these boats? What did they carry - was it lobster or other seafood? Or maybe it was other cargo, people on vacation trying to get from here to there. My imagination wandered as I passed boat after boat. Empty and forgotten. Like this one - now who would feel confident sailing on a boat named "Iffy?"

Look at her wooden rudder, her tiny metal propeller...surrounded by rust and rot. Where did Iffy go? North? South? East? and where is her captain and crew....

The peeling paint and rust was sometimes as hypnotizing as the sea itself, creating patterns and swirls and whorls of beauty.

Rust buckets - what cargo did this monster hold? Tons of herring to ship to the sardine factories for canning?

The wind shreds an old tarp, once laid over this cabin to protect it from weather....

There is such beauty in this shredding paint, this peeling wood, the ravages of time.

The graveyard was quiet as the sun prepared to set. A gull would scream and then the silence would settle again, borne on a soft wind. They have served their captains well. Their crews have stormed the seas and made it safely back to port.

Rest in peace, my beauties. Rest in peace.

Friday, March 5, 2010

ah sun, oh beautiful sun

There is a stranger in my home this morning. It began as a slight glow on the horizon, strengthened as its fingers slipped through the evergreens outside my window and finally poured into the studio.

The sun has returned.

Despite the wind and snow cover, the birds are busy being merry at the feeders - chickadees, juncos, sparrows and four soft gray mourning doves this morning. Mr. and Mrs. Squirrel, who have been exhibiting a lot of hanky-panky this past week, appear to be sleeping in. Even the little bit of snow on the feeders' roofs seems to glisten as it reflects the light.

I think I actually heard the houseplants on my desk sigh.....

This gift of sun is like food or water - it refreshes me, settles me, puts an instant smile on my face. As I search myself for a feeling, I recognize hope. Winter sucks me dry, stealing my spirit and taking away all hope of better days, longer days, more sun. I feel claustrophobic, trapped by icy roads or my fear of them.

So today I am almost giddy. The sun on my face is salve for my soul. I'm traveling to Pleasant Point, the reservation at Sipyak, for an annual Polar Bear Dip (No, I am not dipping!!) and then to a shellfish meeting and ending the night at the Cobscook Community Learning Center for a music and pizza night.

For now, though. I'll sit here with my steaming coffee, sipping in the brilliant shine of the sun. Ah sun, beautiful sun.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What is going on?

It is now 3:23 a.m. and I am unable to sleep.

Sleeplessness is nothing I have ever struggled with - I'm the kinda gal who is sound asleep five minutes after I snuggle in bed. Occasionally I'll wake really early and be ready for the day, but I have no idea what is going on tonight or, I guess I should really say, this morning.

I tossed and turned for about two hours. Then I got up and walked around. Looked out the windows. Took the flashlight and checked to see if the skunk was in or out of his vacation home under my house. Watched infomercials for stuff I had no idea they even made (or that I needed so badly!) Went into the studio and primed two canvases. Sent a few emails. Studied the two new nautical charts of the Down East coastline.

Still I'm awake. WIDE awake.
So I think I'll plant some cucumber seeds and if I'm still not sleepy, I'm cleaning the refrigerator.

Anyone have any tips for a very sleepless night/morning?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

furniture revealed...

Emma has already claimed her favorite spot on the back of the couch - I need your feedback on this room. I'm getting the floor sanded and refinished. Do you think I should stay light? or go dark?

Here's the loveseat and the odd chair. Both are soooooooo comfy!

This sort of shows the whole room - t.v. is off camera to the left, and the furniture company is still searching for the missing yellow ottoman for the odd chair.

My weekend of painting went to hell but in a spectacular way! My son Russ drove up to Maine from New Jersey to buy a car that his Maine brother found for him. So of course I dropped everything and drove down to meet him. It was so good to see everyone and watch as Russell met his new nephew Karlin for the first time. We all went out to dinner and had a wonderful visit. Then I drove back to Machias Sunday morning and began cooking for Matt, Faye and Kiley's return from their six-day trip to Disney World. Kiley hasn't stopped talking about Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy.. she was in heaven. They also went to Universal where Kiley met one of her favorites - Curious George! The weather was chilly but they had a ball.

Nothing but work, work, work ahead this meetings, missing elderly man, high speed chases and arrests, fire at a boatyard...seems like it is all bad news.....good thing I can forget it all by napping on my new furniture!