Monday, July 25, 2011
A summer's afternoon at the Fishermen's Co-op in Pemaquid, Maine. Colorful lobster traps and a pile of buoys are stacked high.This is a working waterfront, the kind I love best.
There is a small building nearby with tables and benches. The view beyond is serene, boats are moored in the bay and the far shore is dotted with cottages.
Live lobsters slowly glide in the tank, it is a gentle waltz that is mesmerizing to watch.
We order the shore dinner and it is exactly the way it should be, without embellishment. I'm rather picky about this...there should be lobster, steamers, corn, cole slaw and melted butter. Period. We supplied chilled wine, beer, glasses, love and laughter.
...and gazed out at the lengthening shadows beyond, sun still warm on our shoulders. Perfection in Maine.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
The record breaking heat reached Maine yesterday. We are not used to temperatures soaring skyward to the 100s and few houses have air conditioning. It is a rare day when I dust the seldom used fan and it worked hard to move the thick sluggish air through the cottage. Eventually I took the plunge into cold, deep salt water...salt water that freezes in winter.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
It was late in the day in the garden. With my camera in hand, I shot again and again as the sun was slowly sinking and a light flare illuminated the iris. The color was intense and the petals looked like stained glass. I never see iris without thinking of Tonny, my father's oldest brother, my uncle. It was his favorite flower.
There is an old suitcase in the corner of my study with bits and pieces of correspondence collected from my grandmother's house in Austin, Texas. Inside are many letters from Tonny written while he was in Europe...the ink faded, paper as brittle as autumn leaves.
Some people are simply born at the wrong time and it happened that Tonny's sojourn in Europe was cut short by the war. He returned home and settled into the house on Hartford road with my grandmother. After all, in a country on the brink of WW II, who had time for a young and talented musician from Texas? Years later, I understand how it is possible to have two lives, the one before and the one after. Tonny rarely spoke of his "bohemian life" (as the family called it) and spent the rest of his life quietly composing his music, teaching piano, caring for his mother and (in his fashion) looking after the old house.
Random Memory #27 ~ Texas
When I visit, the days have a slow heavy rhythm. Cats wander through the overgrown garden. Tonny takes the old black car and returns with kalaches, sticky sweet pastry which we eat while he drinks endless cups of strong black coffee. Smoke from his unfiltered Mexican cigarettes curls into the humidity. My grandmother sits and talks, it's what she does best. I love it as she is generous with her memories, especially at night when I crawl into her bed and listen to her stories. It's almost as if she is speaking of another family; there are those who are gone and the others bear little resemblance to the people I think I know. She never tells me to go to bed, but when I do, it is to Udie's old room. Late at night I hear Tonny at the piano and fall asleep to Chopin, Liszt and his own compositions. At night, the old house reverberates with passion and emotion.
Monday, July 11, 2011
It was early in the season, a gray chilly Maine day, that called for a steaming bowl of fish chowder at the Dolphin Restaurant in Harpswell, Maine. JCB noticed the handbag and car keys hanging on the coat rack first. It's true, we never lock our houses or cars until summer when the folks from "away" arrive. When you cross the state line there is a sign that says "Maine, the way life should be." It really is.
Scenes from the Dolphin Marina, still serene in late June.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
A Maine coast 4th of July....thick fog in the morning, perhaps rain...will we have the boat parade? Excited children with piles of decorations, tape, string and scissors are all waiting in case of a miraculous weather change. At last the sun burns through and many hands are eager to get to work on the boats. Word is passed from cottage to cottage and at the (new!) appointed time, all the boats are lined up and ready to go.
After a bar-b-que and sparklers at home, we all go to watch the spectacle of the fireworks with our neighbors.
...until the dark walk home as the fog rolls in once again.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Three views of Mission San Francisco de Solano, established 1823, Sonoma, California.
The Blue Wing Inn has a long and colorful history. It is the oldest, best preserved adobe building in Sonoma.
Brightly painted houses, an American flag and an orange tree provide pops of color.
Tangled growth in front of a weathered bungalow frame a view of the ranch beyond the old fence.
A glimpse of a sunny courtyard and fountain.
Friday, July 1, 2011
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