Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Raw Faith Returns

Our first glimpse of Raw Faith materializing through thick fog was an eerie and thrilling moment. She arrived on June 2nd and left after several days, but now she is back and appears to have settled in our bay. The early excitement of small crafts curiously circling around her has abated and after two weeks of inactivity, the two men on board have begun to paint the old weathered hull black. I think I liked her better when she looked like an old pirate ship! If you missed my earlier post about Raw Faith, you can read more here.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Aspects of Cottage Life ~ and a bowl of cherries!

"Dong!" Flies as big as bats slam into the screen. I know there is a dead mouse somewhere. The fog and humidity are so so thick that swollen drawers won't open. The sponge smells funny so I toss it in the microwave, but set the timer too long. I long for wide open windows and a brisk breeze blowing scents of pine and rugosa through the cottage. My grandmother used to say it is the best way to clean.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Grazing on Route 1 ~ Maine!

Simpson's Seafood in Wiscasset, Maine

Sears Vegetable Stand in Waldoboro, Maine. Wonderful produce, dairy, preserves, organic meat and pies...and you'll probably get to meet Janet Spears too! After a busy summer season, you can then join one of Janet's worldwide tours!

The strawberries are for JCB....without the slagroom!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Crow ~ Random Memory #16 ~ Iran

Random Memory #16 ~ Iran

We have flown from New York to Tehran's Mehr Abad Airport. It has been a long and difficult trip for the children who are completely unprepared for the scene about to greet them. They are so little, what could I tell them? There is complete chaos when we enter the arrival hall. Whole families are present to welcome returning relatives and they surge toward us as I try to grasp the children's hands and our various pieces of carry-on bags. Hundreds of black veiled women seize John so they can touch his white blond hair. He is smothered with kisses and his cheeks are burning from pinches that are none too gentle. No one gives my lovely blue eyed, dark haired daughter a second glance.

John screams, "Mommy, make them stop, make them stop, make them stop!"

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Beeline ~ and other shenanigans

We recently had a solid twenty-four hours of rain which was wonderful for our thirsty garden and well. Absorbed in a cozy reading day, we were startled to suddenly see bright sunshine pouring through the cottage windows. It took just seconds to grab my camera and make a beeline outdoors to photograph a jubilant macro world.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Farewell to Buttercup Days

Brunswick, Maine

Scenes from Aldermere Farm, Rockport, Maine.

Even as the days grow longer, June is often a damp and foggy month. Rain or shine, our state lights up its roadsides and meadows with the welcome sight of masses of buttercups. The summer solstice is today and from now on we will begin to lose precious minutes of daylight while we say farewell to the buttercups' cheerful glow as they make way for daisies, black eyed susan and finally, the rippling sea of goldenrod.

I think this rendition of Build Me Up Buttercup is rather sweet!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

I am blessed to have four wonderful men in my life; my father, my husband, a brother and a son...all fathers. They all possess the kind of humor that has smoothed over the ruts in the road of my long relationship with them. Some thoughts in no particular order...

One is quick to anger, but forgives instantly. Another has endless patience. Two have given their hearts to children they did not father, but in doing so, became fathers. They all work hard. They have all traveled and understand the world's complexity. None of of them feel threatened by intelligent and successful women. Two of them ran companies, one started his own business and two of them pursue careers doing the kind of things they were passionate about as children. Another found his life's work outside his career and will leave an incredible legacy to the family. One is genuinely a morning person and cheerfully greets the day in good humor...the others by necessity. Two are engineers, two are writers. All four have good organizational skills, although their styles are radically different. Two of them love expensive cars and two could care less as long as the car is safe and runs reliably. One has some fashion sense and all four look great. Two love to fish and two are just happy to be in a fast boat. Two live for literature and the other two are 'rtfm-ers' and read airport books. Two were college athletes and two found offbeat sports and were good at them. Three of them love dogs. Two are gifted at punning and the other two aren't bad. All four are good cooks. Only one actually enjoys working in the garden. Two have weathered a life threatening illness of a spouse and have remained steadfast and loving. All four have smiles that melt my heart.

You know who you are and I love you. Happy Father's Day.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tea and Oranges ~ Random Memory #15 ~ Iran

Orange tree in Key West, Florida. Antique processing.

Random Memory #15 ~ Iran

It has taken weeks of appointments and interviews and, at last, JCB and John have finally started school. John has a place in an Iranian preschool called Mehr Madar (Mother Love) and JCB is attending Ashraf Pahlavi, named after the Shah's sister, Princess Ashraf. Hardly a role model for my daughter, but the school is highly regarded. JCB's day is divided with English in the morning and afternoon lessons in Farsi. I love her notebooks full of sums and the Persian alphabet. I still have those books with pages of the first practice sentence every Iranian child learns to write. "Baba ab dad," Daddy gave water. She is a good student and has settled in beautifully.

John is the only English speaker at Mehr Madar. My hope is that he will 'soak' up Farsi as the very young so often do with a second language. I know he will feel isolated in the beginning....still it is a better alternative to the tedious hours at the hotel. The teachers are very kind and the walled garden is delightful with its profusion of trees and roses. There are swings and see saws and Tehran's sunny dry climate is perfect for outdoor activity. John seems to accept this new and foreign environment, at least he never complains about going to school.

Many months later, when we have been in our house for some time, I think it is very odd that I have never heard John speak a word of Farsi. Goli and Amir are almost always present and the language is spoken constantly...I have even begun to dream in Farsi! Goli looks puzzled when I tell her about John's reluctance to converse when we are all together and how I wonder if he has learned any words at all. After hearing me out, Goli thinks my concerns are hilarious saying "It's because you are his mother! He comes downstairs every day asking for tea and oranges. He sounds like any Iranian child!"

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pixel Envy and Some Humble Camera phone Shots

When choosing equipment, it is very easy to get caught up in camera reviews and consequently swept away in the ever higher pixel arms race. I'm not saying those pixels don't help, they do! But I am also very attached to some of my early 2 pixel camera phone photos.

Boat shoes on a Maine rock
Boat shoes on a Maine rock. Mere point, Brunswick, Maine.

Smilla's buddy
Shiner Bock

Gone. Blue Hill, Maine
An abandoned house in Blue Hill, Maine that has since been renovated. While it is a good thing the old house has been refurbished, it has lost its photographic appeal.

Ellsworth Christmas parade
A personal favorite taken after the Ellsworth, Maine Christmas parade. Part of a snowman costume worn by one of the Union Trust Company employees.

Ellsworth Christmas parade
The Ellsworth, Maine Christmas parade. I love this shot, it looks like it could have been taken a 100 years ago!

Sunday, June 13, 2010 the cottage

Afternoon shadows, adirondack chairs and a book by the water's edge.

Smoke from the grill...a glass of wine on the boathouse steps.

Sometimes people ask what we do here....sometimes we do nothing at all.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hashish ~ Random Memory #14 ~ Bahrain

Spring Green Lawn, taken May 21, 2009 in Brunswick, Maine.

Random Memory #14 ~ Bahrain

Uprooted from Iran after the revolution, we have, once again, spent months in hotel rooms. We are in Bahrain and have gone through the process of finding a house and making decisions on schools for the children. It's wonderful to be settled in our new home, our shipment has arrived and now, Abdullah the gardener is having a spirited discussion with Peter. It goes something like this:

Abdullah: I am going to plant hashish everywhere! All over the garden!

Peter: Flowers are fine, but please, no hashish!

Abdullah: Why no hashish? Everybody have hashish!

Peter: I don't want hashish, can you plant something else?

Abdullah: But everybody have hashish. The green.

Peter: You mean grass?

Abdullah (beaming): Yes, yes, the grass. The hashish!

So Abdullah planted the hashish and was our gardener for the four years we lived in Bahrain. It was never a beautiful garden by any stretch of the imagination, but Abdullah worked hard in the oppressive heat and humidity and he was always cheerful and reliable. He desperately wanted us to have tomatoes and perhaps, we harvested two or three shriveled and undersized specimens from the spindly plants. Oddly enough, the supporting sticks sprouted in the nutrient rich sand and flourished.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

At home...

I don't usually mind days in Maine when the weather closes in and surrounds us with damp and fog. Retreating indoors forces me to open my eyes to the spaces I inhabit. Sometimes I think I really should reorganize my closet, pantry or the junk drawer(s). Is it really a sign of a lack of self esteem if you use wire hangers from the cleaners in your closet? Usually I just grab my camera and look for the light. It's never where I left it.

Monday, June 7, 2010


We wait many months in Maine for our "ideal" summer to arrive...those sunny days on the water, picnics on weathered tables with a bouquet of wild flowers in an old glass jar and damp towels hanging on porch railings. In the meantime, we have something in between...the emerald green of June. The color is so rich and saturated, it's as if it is not of this world. Now, the early signs of spring are long gone and steady rain and mist soak the earth. If you could hear green, I think the sound would be a low rumble of pleasure.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Raw Faith

Photo taken Feb. 21, 2009. The ghostly Raw Faith languishes in Rockland Harbor waiting to be deemed seaworthy. She was cobbled together with old parts and dreams and designed to be sailed by families with disabled children.

Imagine my surprise when I looked out our window and saw the Raw Faith sailing out of the fog into our bay! As I watched her slow progress, I hoped they had a chart on board because the water is very shallow. I couldn't help but wonder if another rescue was in their future.

A day later, Raw Faith was still anchored in the bay. She hadn't run aground, but fog, thick as gray felt had moved in to obliterate all points of reference. Since the weather was so dreary, we decided to retreat to thicker walls at home so I don't know how long she stayed.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Grab Shots ~ On the Road

Route 1, south of Belfast, Maine. I added the vignetting and called this photo "Destination Wedding!"

Bucksport, Maine

"Lobster Man" out and about in Portland, Maine!

On the road ( ok, actually in the drive-thru at Dunkin' Donuts!) in Searsport, Maine.

Brunswick, Maine

Searsport, Maine

The Crosley in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Garage mural in Orono, Maine.

The traffic is already building up on route 1 and on some of the back roads too. There's plenty to see while you travel to your destination! Maine is a state with an abundance of visual roadside entertainment....for a place where "you cahn't get theah from heah." I had a terrible time winnowing down my collection of grab shots, here are just a few.

....and yes, someone else was at the wheel! Drive safely and please watch out for our wildlife!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fog bank

All of the images were shot in the space of thirty minutes.

Tendrils of fog drifting toward the beach.

Sisters and Williams Islands can be seen beyond the dock.

Williams Island has disappeared.

One of the most beautiful sights on the Maine coast is a fog bank rolling in. Often the sun is shining brightly on land while familiar points in the bay disappear. The above photos were taken in May when few boats are in the water; later in the summer there will be all manner of crafts tied to their moorings. Cottagers instinctively keep a visual count and we know when our neighbors are out in their boats. The weather station keeps us informed of thunderstorms in the area, but a fog bank can catch you by surprise. When it happens, you lose all sense of direction and hitting underwater ledge can leave a gaping hole in the hull...or worse. So we count, watch and are always in awe of the fog with all its beauty and danger.

Older posts you might enjoy....