Life as I know It

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San Luis Obispo, California, and South Bristol, Maine, United States
Author ~ Illustrator ~ Lecturer

Monday, April 26, 2010

Beach Walks and Firelight

Our first day of peace in Maine
I walked my favorite little crescent of beach where I always find mermaid’s tears and heart rocks. The bell buoy clanged, gulls looped across the sky, and a pair of osprey, who were adding twigs to their huge nest, whistled their piercing call. Heaven.

Tonight we were finally able to build our first fire in our new stone fireplace. Last summer was one of complete chaos–wall torn out, joists and sill exposed–to repair some damage that had occurred in the past 80 years. We needed to replace our old fireplace and after 3 months of hard work by a great stonemason, it was finished, BUT, he told us we couldn’t use it until it had properly cured. So we were without one of the most basic and comforting joys of living in an old cottage–evening fires that warmed not only our living room, but also our souls. Jeff caught me fire-dreaming as the first flames in our new fireplace flickered then caught. 

Last night, by the silvered light of a waxing spring moon, we hiked down toward Christmas Cove. The sounds of spring peepers chorused around us, and as we turned to make our way back to Little Harbor, a halo of lavender and pink surrounded the fattening moon. The end of a perfect day.
I’ve received dozens and dozens of wonderful letters and e-mails from you and your children in the past two weeks. I am so sorry not to be able to answer each one promptly (and that goes for the blogger comments too), but we don’t get reception here on the island until we hook up to our internet service in late June.
We will be here only four days before flying to Chicago for another Lands’ End event in Oak Brook, so we’re just trying to do assignments, get the cottage in order, and maybe plant seeds in a few of our windowboxes.
Please visit and leave me a comment and KNOW that I will answer when we return to California. Your words are priceless.
From Maine,
P.S. Check out my new blog posting with 7 other passionate gardeners from around America on Lowe’s Garden Grow Along blog.


Ariella said...

love the heart rocks, and the fire seems so soothing!

Marcie said...

It's all beautiful. What a relaxing post to read!

I can't seem to pass by a heart shaped stone without picking it up and saving it... for what I don't know, but I can't resist!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

What a beautiful fire place! I think You are right when saying that it is the most basic and comforting joy in a cottage. I don´t have a fire place like that but I have my fire heated stove in the kitchen that I use daily through the cold part of the year. It´s the best thing I have here :-)

I don´t think I´ve ever seen so many heart shaped rocks in all my life :-) The only thing I miss since moving from the big city is the ocean. The sounds, smells and walking along it. But it´s just an hours drive to get to the ocean so I´ll survive :-)
Have a great day now!

Unknown said...

Ahhh....cottage life once again! You'll be rejuvenated for sure after a few days of rest and fire dreaming in Maine! Best to you as you get back out on the road! Keep us posted!

Dandelion Wishes,

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

Dear Sharon, Well, when you get back to California, you can pass along your Zombie Chicken award that I bestowed upon you! I know this award will be your proudest moment! xx Nancy

Krystal said...

Joy joy joy!

I love the heart rocks. I seek those out, too, but along Lake Superior and Lake Michigan!

We honeymooned in Maine (October 2001) and Hubby and I have ached to go back there ever since. We started in Millinocket and a little hiking in Baxter State Park, then went over to Bar Harbor and Acadia for a few days, then followed the coast at will, visiting Boothbay Harbor, Kennebunkport, Freeport and finally Portland before heading home. It is a beautiful state. It was mid to end of October, too, so it was very quiet and non-touristy.

marcia said...

Ohh it's just what you needed...a bit of Maine before getting on the road again.

I love the hearts rocks..I am a collector too!

Congrats on the fireplace and finally being able to use it! Looks glorious!
Keep in touch.

happy day

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

What a comforting post "for me"
I do not believe I have seen a heart shaped rock. Just never noticed - but will start looking.
The fire place is wonderful.
Blessings sent to you this early evening from Tennessee.
Oh, I miss the ocean. The sound, smells and the fresh fish.

Erin | Bygone Living said...

Wow... the description of your beautiful home and its surrounding sounds like a dream ♥

Claudia said...

It sounds like heaven, Sharon. The view is absolutely beautiful!


Lori ann said...

Oh how wonderful, I loved your descriptions and your new fireplace. That would have been me too, sitting in admiration.
Enjoy every bit Sharon, and thank you for posting!


Terra said...

You are inspiring me to walk along the beach and look for a heart rock. I walk along the bay several times each week, but not down on the sand, so that will be a welcome new purpose.

Zuzana said...

That is a beautiful fireplace, there is nothing like a roaring fire on a cool spring evening.;)

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I love your heart rocks and how wonderful to sit by a fire. Your fireplace looks wonderful. I love your cottage life. Thanks for being an inspiration to so many.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady

Storybook Woods said...

How funny I collect heart rocks too. Being surounded by water on all four sides of me, it is easy to find a beach. Your stone fireplace is stunning, enjoy. It is soo beautiful there. One day I hope to see the East coast xoxoxo Clarice

Julie said...

Just seeing your award (congrats)on Lemon V. L. blog I remembered that I want to do the Sunflower House. Must start looking for a place! Love the door in the tree.

Noelle Johnson said...

What a beautiful place to enjoy the simple things of life, like your first fire in your fireplace. I hope you enjoy your time in Maine.

nocton4 said...

I am thrilled to have found your blog, your book Roots, Shoots .. is a firm fav of ours.
My blog post today is inspired by your sunflower houses, we have started our own for the summer here in the UK, I'd love you to take a look
your blog is stunning, I'm loving reading through it
all love and care

Linda Tunnell said...

so happy for you to be back at the cottage .....and for me...I love seeing your pictures. your peace (when it comes) brings me peace and I need that right now. As sweet as it is, having two grandchildren in the house fulltime doesn't allow for the peace I crave.

Super Karen said...

Hello There, What are mermaid tears? Thanks, Karen

Sharon Lovejoy said...

For all of you who have written asking "what are mermaid tears." Here is the link. A recent post shows the Mermaid's tears in a bowl. They're more beautiful than diamonds and my favorite jewelry is made from tears found on our local islands.

I am sitting in a dark car, in the middle of a rainstorm, on a dirt road, in front of a house with a hot spot so that I can receive and write e-mails. I am sure that if the people look out their window they will suspect stalkers.

Love your comments and words of friendship,


OOPS, Jeff just changed the Garden Grow Along link to the correct one. Sorry for the confusion.

Debra Howard said...

Enjoying your blog, your website and your books. I am so thankful to Susan Branch's facebook page for showing me your amazing books. What a beautiful fireplace. I can just imagine sitting near it and perusing seed catalogs or reading a good book. I so look forward to seeing more of your home and garden and reading more of your wonderful musings.
Debbie Howard

Sue Catmint said...

Hi Sharon, thank you for sharing your place of peace and stillness. Chicago will be quite a contrast! cheers, catmint

Dawn said...

Oh Sharon, I am missing you and thinking of you daily!
Thank you for sharing peaceful Maine with us. I love it SO MUCH even though I've never been there.
I'm hugging you tight right now...
xo Dawn

Anonymous said...

Good morning Sharon, I found your lovely blog through a friend of a friend. Your books look like they will be wonderful reads. I love the image of the beach you posted here. It's quite beautiful. Your fire place is lovely. The stone is beautiful.

Linda Tunnell said...

thanks Sharon, I'm recommitted again, and can go on. I love that book and your right I need to read it again! Your very wishes.

nocton4 said...

So you just made my day, no my entire year with you lovely comment on my blog, thanks so much, so kind and will keep you updated with our sunflower house.
Sunshine here in the UK today, hope it lasts for the May weekend, happy days to you

Alyssa said...

Was in Maine last weekend and was collecting HEART ROCKS! How funny?! Two great minds think alike ;) wink, wink!! I have my collection that I brought home. Will collect all summer, all types of Maine rocks and mermaid tears to add to my collections! My parents are opening there Maine place this weekend! YAY!! Sea Dreams from Massachusetts to Maine. ;)Alyssa

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Such a joy to finally get a signal so that I can sit a moment with my computer.

I am working in Chicago right now and spent the day with a group of wonderful and creative fourth graders. They inspire me.

Tomorrow I'll be working in the Lands' End store in Oak Brook, Illinois helping children plant seeds, decorate pots, and learn about the miracle of worms.

Thanks a zillion for your good thoughts.



Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

My goodness, I thought you were permanently in Maine but not so. You do some serious traveling. How wonderful for you.
When we were in Maine last, Howards brother could not get reception on the island. When I got there my phone worked great so I think it may be what service you have. This time when we come back I will be able to check my email on my cell phone. It never ceases to amaze me how times have changed.
Our island is off the coast near Bucks Harbor. What a lovely state. My husband was raised there but settled in California. His family is all we come back each year. I always look forward to the peace and quiet we find..
:) as you can see I've calmed down a wee!

Nan said...

Oh, I just love your fireplace! And what a nice walk you had. Beautiful country. It must be hard to leave it.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

hi sharon....did you get to see the new little teddy yet?

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

On my new post I have a photo of the adorable little bird house I bought at Heart's Ease. It is very old now..but I love it! It has been renailed, reglued but never, never repainted.
Take good care.
It's interesting that I am going to Maine soon and you are going to California. One of the questions I wanted ask you was if you still owned that amazing cottage that was featured in the magazine?

Jan said...

How wonderful to have a seaside cottage in Maine. I graduated in 1975 from Cape Elizabeth HS, as did my husband in '73 from Rockland HS. We go to Maine every summer. His family has a 'camp' on Sebec Lake above Dover Foxcroft. I have my 35th HS reunion in July in Cape Elizabeth;-) I hope you enjoy your time there, but it doesn't sound like you will be there long, with all of your traveling. I hope you'll get to spend a big chunk of time there over the summer, though. Happy Gardening;-)

Anonymous said...

Love the photo of Christmas Cove. Makes me want to visit your's one that I have not wiggled my toes in yet.

The Blue Ridge Gal

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Sitting by that pretty fireplace sounds so relaxing after a day of walking on the beach. I hadn't heard of mermaid tears before, but now I'm interested to go read about them.

Marcie said...

Just stopping by to say that I hope all is well "on the road." I know where ever you are, you are "scattering joy" which is the most amazing thing to do for a living! :)

Courtney at SL's No Ennui said...

You're so busy in such wonderful ways! Looking forward to when you can post again :)

Susan Freeman said...

Hi Sharon! I just came over from Mona's blog. I am so happy to have found you. I loved reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society too. While I was reading about your hike to Christmas Cove, I was reminded of another author who is a favorite of mine, May Sarton. I am very fond of her journal, The House by the Sea. I hope that you will stop in to visit Bentley and me at our little cottage.

Susan and Bentley

Anonymous said...

We must be on the same wavelength Sharon. I just went to my blog to check a reference and saw that you had just visited my blog. :)

Your new refurbed fireplace looks warm and cozy and I LOVE your yellow wicker rocker.

Best wishes on your continued travels.

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Dear Sharon,

I was captivated by your stone heart collection, as I only recently have begun collecting stones shaped as hearts after finding my first one along the California coast.

For me they have certain significance as I have had open heart surgery four years ago.

I did wish to find out what you called mermaid's tears and what they are and though I did see a link to a previous post in the comments here, I am still mystified.

Wishing you all the very best,

Vee said...

Oh I just loved seeing you in your Maine element. :D Hope that you are able to return soon!