Monday, July 21, 2014

We spent the weekend

up at the little cabin, in what I have come to refer to as “the country.”

Until last year it was simply - home.  Much has changed. 

We are in an 11x 34 foot hewn log “trailer”

instead of our beautiful log cabin.

Our dogs are guests, and no longer run free at will, but on lead
or in careful co-ordination with our caretaker’s dogs to avoid possible dogfights.  

The range here is apartment sized and heats unevenly,
compared to the beautiful double fuel convection range we relinquished with the cabin.

But with all we have given up, we have gained more. When we come up here for a few days we come up without TV, and often without internet. Most importantly, we come up without worry. 

We do little, because there is little to do. The cabin can be cleaned of spiderly intruders dustbunnies and anything tracked in from last time in less than an hour. We bring food that is either already prepared or needs little cooking. When it's the right time of year, which it was this weekend, we pick berries.

We read a great deal, we walk.

look closely at the bee balm for thousands of butterflies.
ancient apple tree that still holds a full complement of small, tart green and pink apples

If we are fortunate, we listen to the rain on a tin roof. After a year in town we appreciate the silence in a way we haven’t for a long time.

Because of our most excellent caretakers, we do not worry if there is enough water. We admire the large gardens instead of weeding them.
We watch new projects take shape without our sweat equity.
We drive up without worrying if the road is being maintained.

We do not worry. We sleep well. And we write.

We write.

Friday, July 11, 2014

I just got back

 from my week’s "vacation" on that island suspiciously similar to Bayberry Island, otherwise known as Cuttyhunk .  

So much crammed into five days on the island and two days of travel.  Time spent with older relatives and newer ones.  The newer relatives tended to have less hair and wear less clothing.  

Here is Will doing a brilliant imitation of his uncle Matthew at a similar age, and his great grandpa Jay in his later years. 

Notice the complete lack of butt and the chicken legs.  This seems to be a trait which has been passed down generations even when there was no genetic link.  

This also holds true for Will’s twin
sister Kenley, who has somehow managed to capture my mother’s dramatic genes out of thin air.

This was a week of family, on and off the island.  And it was a week of juxtaposition - of past, present, and future.

I began to write when I first lived on Cuttyhunk.  And here I am over thirty years later, and I’m doing a book signing as a fundraiser for the same Cuttyhunk library that saved my life those first quiet and lonely springs on the island.
My character Jessie  Silva and I both read our way through that library.

On this last trip I was witness to the Fourth of July golf cart parade, held this year on the fifth due to hurricane Arthur, who graced us with his presence on the fourth.  

I was around for the first Fourth of July golf cart parade.

And leaving the island after my whirlwind trip, those of us on the ferry were fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of the Charles Morgan, last of the wooden whaleboats, restored and docked temporarily in New Bedford harbor.

I had no idea where this blog was going when I began it; but where it has gone is full circle.  From my father’s skinny legs
to my toddler grand nephew’s chicken thighs, seeing  my mother’s dramatic flair mirrored in my grand niece’s face. 
Three decades of a Fourth of July parade, watched this year from the lawn of the library that saved my sanity so many lonely winters and springs, that same library where I was setting up for a book signing of my own book, a book about a girl who lives on an island.  The island so suspiciously similar to Cuttyhunk, with an old-fashioned library almost exactly like the one whose lawn I sat on for the signing.


This is the second book I’ve written about this island, and there will be more.  It’s an island rich in history and full of potential for the future.  It is generations of drama, of continuity and of change. 

Leaving Cuttyhunk this past week I realize I may have had to add physical land mass to Bayberry in order to fit all my character Jessie’s adventures in, but even at its original size,
it’s an island far too full of life to fit into just one book.