Two toy boats at Damariscotta Lake
Ok friends, prepare yourselves, this is my summer scrapbook of memories and is probably the longest posting I've ever done. You asked for it, and here it is...
The bridge between the Mill Pond and Damariscotta Lake.
The bridge is the favorite diving area of all the kids. (I'm too chicken)
One boy set a new record. He made 43 dives in one hour.
"Our," and I use that term loosely, beach. Ginny and I swam out and shared the lake with two loons and lots of dragonflies and skimmers. The dragonflies kept landing on our heads. We felt so lucky!
Simple summer pleasures
Off the rocks.
Kayakers make regular morning appearances off the ledges in front of our cottage.
A walk at low tide. Wouldn't that boat house be a great studio?
And we celebrated Christmas in August at our one room S Road School in South Bristol...
...complete with an old-fashioned Christmas tree.
We ate all our meals (except one) on our tiny screened porch.
Most mornings I called our dear friend Ginny and invited her over to share blueberries, peaches, coffee, and cinnamon-raisin toast. Having Gin only a mile away is wonderful.
Our pal Julie Prescott (able captain) takes us out for a great boat ride on The Olive, the oldest boat in Christmas Cove. We ran ahead of an incoming storm.
Christmas Cove from The Olive.
Looking out to the Thread of Life.
Outer Heron Island.
Ginny and Jeff relax as The Olive makes her way up the Damariscotta River.
Julie (Captain Prescott) delivers us back to Christmas Cove just before the storm hits.
Bye Julie, bye Olive. Our last boat trip of the summer.
A fabulous iron and beach rock gate we discovered on a back road.
A close-up of how the rocks are cradled in the iron.
A literary gathering at the famous "Chimney Farm," the home of the beloved writer Elizabeth Coatsworth (one of the first recipients of the Newbery Medal), and her husband, famed author of The Outermost House. The Outermost House is about a naturalist's year on Cape Cod. It is a must read for lovers of nature.
You can see that Gary (a fabulous poet and the caretaker of the farm) is preparing early for the coming winter.
The door surround of the farmhouse has a magnificent carving done by Hatch, an old figurehead carver from Damariscotta. Note the fox head, which was Elizabeth's favorite animal, and the serpent licking at its chin. This figural surround is probably a hundred years old.
"Chimney Farm" is now one of Maine's literary landmarks.
Henry and Elizabeth are buried on the farm. He has the large monument, and Elizabeth is watched over by one of her beloved foxes.
An old home in Wiscasset with a huge chocolate mold of a bunny mounted on it. I love this!
The last day in my teensy studio. I don't like to leave it!
Moonrise over Pemaquid. Our last night on the porch.
Talk about time warp. Onto the plane and jump into the wedding set-up at the historic Casa de Estudillo (Ramona's home) in Old Town San Diego. My niece Jordan has exquisite taste and paid attention to even the tiniest of details. The attendees all had place cards that were slipped into wine corks. Mine was on a Cambria cork!
One of my favorite things at the wedding was the "wish jar." The label hanging from the mouth of the Mason jar invites family and friends to share traditions, wisdom, and thoughts about what makes a good marriage. We wrote our comments and dropped them into the jar. Jordan and Chris will save these and read them at their five year anniversary.
The tags for the wishes.
And finally, home, with a body clock that is still on New England time. Up way before sunrise, tea water beginning to simmer, the mockingbird picking holes into my ripening figs, the Scrub jay tapping on the French door and asking, "Where are my peanuts?!" Slipping right back into the routine.
We will be here for the next month, but on October 6, we'll begin my book tour at Family Day in Redlands, California, at the A.K. Smiley Public Library, where they'll give 200 copies of my new My First Bird Book & Bird Feeder to the first 200 attendees. Then onto a plane bound for New England. On October 11th, I'll be speaking and showing a power point program to the Bristol Garden Club in Damariscotta, on the 14th I'll be at the Boston Public Library for a children's program. Then Odyssey Bookstore in South Hadley, Massachusetts for an evening program. Then on to Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida...and who knows where else? I think my publisher (Workman) is sending us to fifteen or twenty cities to do television, radio, and bookstore appearances.
This is a looooooooong posting for me, but I have been away and wrapped up in so many things. I did not want to mention this until I felt he was somewhat safe, but my grandson Luke was born prematurely and was airlifted to Stanford Medical Center. Luke is tiny, just over two pounds, but he is a fighter and is growing stronger every day. I have a head full of new gray hairs now because of our Luke, but we are feeling blessed and thankful for his progress. Yesterday, an ambulance and four nurses accompanied him back to our local hospital's NNICU.
I want to thank Lori Hibbard, my Indiana pal, for the LOVELY book on Gene Stratton Porter. I adore Gene's work and especially loved Freckles, The Keeper of the Bees, and so many other works. I visited Gene's two homes in Indiana and loved them. Thanks, Lori, I hope you received the e-mail I sent.
I also send a heartfelt thank you to Marci Anderson for her lovely letter, and to Karen Chamberlain for her letter too. And to all of you who have written e-mails and sent support and love, thanks will never be enough. Especially a BIG thank you to Susan Branch, Rachel Lucas, Dawn Rigoni, Nancy Heraud, Virginia Holihan, Marilyn Brewer, Lynn Karlin, and so many more who believe in me and mean the world to me.
Be sure to pick up a copy of the Fall 2012 Country Gardens magazine (a Meredith Publishing Special Interest Publication). Editor James Baggett, art director/designer Nick Crow, and photographer Ed Grolich did a fabulous job. I was fortunate to be able to write a very personal piece about collecting vintage garden books. They've featured some of my favorites from my collection. Watch out, that book collecting bug will bite you, and it is infectious.
Sending love to you and hoping to meet you when we travel through your area,