Life as I know It

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

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Rhythm of the Tides

A display at Sweet Pea Gardens and Gallery in Surry, Maine.

"The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it ecomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself." 
Henry Miller

It takes about a week here on our little island before I begin to slow down. I gently ease into the quiet and peace, and realize that the changing tides have swept into my subconscious. I awake in the star flecked darkness and know immediately that the tide has changed and is coming in, going out, or sitting still at slack, where even the sound of a leaping fish is magnified.

Last week, Jeff and I celebrated our 28th anniversary. We took walks, sat out on our porch and watched the sea, and shared dinner at the famed Primo Restaurant in Rockland, Maine. At Primo, they grow their own greens, many veggies, berries, and so much more.

The girls here hope that Primo is thinking of them as egg providers.

"We're here for the eggs, right?" Overheard at the henhouse at Primo.

I had to leave our little cottage and travel downeast to give a talk to the wonderful Castine Garden Club. On the way, we stopped to share lunch with friend and photographer Lynn Karlin and her mom (my adopted mom) Florence.

Lynn's fabulous organic lunch.

Lynn's new calendar. You need it!

In Castine, our hostess Letha Wood, a new friend with a huge passion for the earth, her sweet husband Roger, and her best friend Joan met us for dinner at the Pentagoet Inn, which is where Jeff and I stayed over night. The Pentagoet is an historic inn that serves superb meals. I loved staying there. In the morning, we sat outdoors and enjoyed the beauty of the Pentagoet's bountiful windowboxes and charming gardens.

Oakum Bay, Castine, Maine. View over the rooftops.

Loved this birdhouse mounted over a doorway at the Pentagoet Inn.

My blogging friend Lili of Fearless Nesting and her sweet husband Henri came to my lecture, and we got the chance to visit with them for a few hours afterwards. We were fortunate to be able to visit the elegant home of one of my favorite authors, Katharine "Kitty" Butler Hathaway, who wrote The Little Locksmith in 1942. A highlight for me was seeing her beloved front door with the fanlight she describes in the book.

 Also, the owners of this historic gem let us walk into The Thimble, the tiny cottage where she wrote her book and was visited by such notable authors as Henry Beston (The Outermost House), Elizabeth Coatsworth (one of the first winners of the Newbery), and many others.

View of "The Thimble," which is Katharine's little writing house. Adorable, no?

Our visit to Susan Keating's Sweet Pea Gardens and Gallery in Surry, Maine, was a highlight too. I've been hearing about Sweet Pea from my friend Lynn Karlin who has a "Pedestal Series" show hanging there. Susan has an unerring hand when it comes to decorating and arranging flowers. Take a peek at her creations.

Sue's incredibly well designed window box.

Inside you'll meet Sue. Oh, and would I ever love to have this Monson Slate works antique sink. They scored when they found this at the old salvage store in Portland, Maine. Good work!

I love Sue's "table," which is an old oil drum she found. 

Sue's tapestries of succulents are breathtaking. Wow.

We spent the late afternoon with dear friends at their family camp on the Eggemoggin Reach (which is Robert McCloskey country, ala Blueberries for Sal).

Looking out at the Eggemoggin Reach.

We didn't get home until nearly midnight, but it felt so good to walk through the front door, throw open the windows, and smell the scent of the sea. Home.

All joys,


P.S. Please visit my latest Lowe's blog posting and leave one of your valued comments.

P.S.S. GIVE-AWAY!!!! Hey there Grimy Hands Girls' Club members. Leave a comment on this posting and be eligible for my give-away of Lighthouse Seeds by Pamela Love. This is a charming children's book about bringing soil and seeds to a craggy Maine island. Sorry, Grimy Hands members only. Comments must be dated August 17 or earlier.


jaz@octoberfarm said...

how beautiful it all is! i love the thimble cottage! i sure could landscape the heck out of that place. i love soapstone and custom ordered a soapstone laundry tub for my basement from vermont. i also bought some of their soapstone pots for cooking. it's still hot here!

Here I Am Carrie said...

As always enjoyed the places you visited, now you can settle in again and enjoy your wonderful place there in Maine.

Leanne said...

Oh I just need a thimble cottage! It looks a darling! Totally enjoyed your blog post as the norm.
Love Leanne

Cristy said...

I loved all the connections to different authors. (Blueberries for Sal is a favorite with my kids.) Thanks for sharing, and thanks for offering the children's book. I hope I win. :)

Carol said...

Thimble Cottage is adorable! Who wouldn't want to have one of their own? I really love the succulent arrangements! I really really must create some of those for my garden. It would be great to win the book! Thanks so much for the wonderful read and the chance to win!!!!

Vee said...

You open the door to a part of Maine I do not know well and oh how I love it. Thank you!

acorn hollow said...

thank you so much for your visit to my blog so I could find you. I was born and raised in Maine. While only in New Hampshire we do not get back often enough. Thank you for the wonderful trip

Charlotte Wilson said...

I really enjoyed this post! I feel like I was there with you! congratulations on your 28th anniversary. May you have many more good years together.
And thank you for visiting Butterbean Row.

♥charlotte said...

Oh how this post makes me miss the east coast! I just love the charm instilled into every part of it. I lived on Block Island with my sister for a couple years. I just loved being out there.

Anonymous said...

beautiful post ,, I love the photos and its just a magical place,,

AnaGF said...

Hi Sharon,
I'm not a candidate to the book, although it looks lovely, because my children can't read in English yet, but I had to come here and say CONGRATULATIONS for your 28th anniversary!

Casa Mariposa said...

I would love to go back to Maine! I took my kids on a 2 wk meander through New England several years ago and really loved Maine, especially Belfast. I didn't get to see nearly as much of the state as I wanted. Your day looks like it was wonderful!! Congrats on 28 years! :o)

Terra said...

You are showing me so much beauty in Maine. Please enter me for that pretty book.

Unknown said...

Thanks for your visit, it allowed me to find your blog! How wonderful! I love the thimble house and the fan light with the gorgeous beautiful! Sounds like you are having a wonderful time.


Michelle said...

Gorgeous photos of the area. I love The Thimble and wish I had one here on the farmette.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hey there favorite Farmchick,

I am pretty attached to The Thimble too. Keep going back to the photo and wanting to build one for myself. Maybe, just maybe, if we move back to the country I will be able to do it.

Thanks for stopping by...hope all is well with you.


Susan said...

I know how you feel being home; no matter where I wander, it's my true north! Enjoy you much needed rest and relaxation. Love you dear friend, XOXO

Bonnie K said...

you always give such lovely tours. I love the birdhouse above the door, the thimble cottage (I just wrote about my thimbleberries so I'm in a thimble mood), and that view of Eggemoggin Reach is so peaceful. I'm glad you have slowed down. My grandmother always read us Blueberries for Sal. It was one of my favorite books, as I'm a berry picker from way back.

Bonnie K said...

I forgot to wish you a happy anniversary! That is why I blog. On tv all negative. On blogs all about the positive. Cheers to you and Jeff for 28 years.

Lydia said...

In another live you must have been a tour guide. You show us the best places at their best angles. Will get to your Lowe's site in the morning. I've been writing history lately- not the fastest genre to write- but I do manage to sneak in words about horticulture or refreshment):-

Pat said...

I don't often consider succulents when planning my garden. But your friend's artistic arrangements have sure changed my thinking! The textures and soft colorations are so soothing to the eye.

Love the amethyst glow of the bottles in the fanlight.
A lovely posting, Sharon - soft and gentle - like your tides.

P.S. - enjoying the harvest of basil from your seed packet! Delicous!

Dawn said...

Happy 28th Anniversary! Wishing you and Jeff many, many more years of shared love, laughter, and team work!
Names like Eggemoggin are one of the reasons why I am so in love with New England. Eggemoggin? Come on. So charming!
The succulents are gorgeous. The fanlight with the lavender colored bottles. The Thimble. *SIGH*
SO happy that you are sharing Maine with us!!
Lots of love,

Leslie said...

A lovely post, full of so many treasures. Since we have recently returned from a vacation at our local (gulf coast) beach, I can certainly relate to your love of waking to the changing tides!

And now I think I'll have to read "The Little Locksmith." I've long been an admirer of Rosemary Sutcliff's books (another child stricken with a debilitating disease who grew up to live courageously and creatively) and Katharine Hathaway's story sounds inspiring.

(Love "Blueberries for Sal," too :)

jerilanders said...

"The Thimble", what a perfect name for the tiny cottage.
That bird house above the door is perfect!
I have always wanted to see Maine, it is one of the few states in which I have never been. One day, I just may show up at your lecture.

TexWisGirl said...

what a beautiful place! love that natural arbor made of tree limbs. :)

thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! really appreciate it! lovely world you live in!

nana pam said...

My granddaughter Maddie loves Blueberries For Sal and Robert McCloskey books in general as did my 2 grown daughters. I agree, the view from Eggemoggin Reach looks truly awe inspiring. Yopu are so lucky Sharon to live in 2 of the most beautiful spots on earth!

Unknown said...

I've always wanted to visit Maine -- I buy a Kim Jacobs calendar every year featuring cottage life and kitties in Maine. Thank you for bringing us along on your outing!

(the giveaway book looks very charming)

black eyed susans kitchen said...

So happy to meet you Sharon Lovejoy!! I am so glad that you stopped by my blog...I believe I have found a kindred spirit in you. Thank you for the kind words about my I am off to read more of this beautiful blog.
♥, Susan

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

Thanks for sharing your 28th anniversary with us, Sharon! Congrats to you and Jeff! I so enjoy seeing and enjoying Maine through your eyes! xxoo Nancy

Brenda Pruitt said...

Congrats on the anniversary! And here I am divorced a third time... It shall be my last foray into marriage. Obviously is not my forte.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

That restaurant looks amazing...but those chickens do look a big nervous! heehee! ♥

Lili said...

We still can't get over us sharing the same anniversary as you two! What a lovely lovely time we had with you both. Wow, that sure is a beautiful place on Eggemoggin Reach and I am so in love with Sweet Pea Gardens! Hoping you have a long stretch to enjoy your lovely home by the sea before you get to running around so much again! xoxo ~Lili

Happy@Home said...

Hi Sharon,
Thank you for your recent visit to my blog. I appreciate your kind comments and am so happy to have been led here.
I have only been to Maine once and have always felt like I would love to go back. Today I almost felt like I did :). So many lovely places and things you have shared.
I also realized that a book (Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars) that I was recently looking at was written by you. Oh my gosh ~ how exciting!! I had seen it in a little shop here in NC and thought it was adorable.
Happy Anniversary to you and your husband. May you have many more happy years together.

rebecca said...

I enjoyed this post so very much. Your anniversary trek sounds delightful. Thanks for introducing me to The Thimble and Kitty's fanlight. So many, many lovelies here :)

Larkrise garden girl said...

Hi Sharon,Maine comes alive for us all when we read your post. I so would love to win a book about a lighthouse and gardening!My new grandbaby has to learn what a delight it is to garden! The only Light house I have seen is at Point Loma in San Diego.When I read your post I think you must pinch yourself and think What a Blessed Life, Hugs Cheri

sarah-jane down the lane said...

Wow Sharon you are such a dynamo, cramming your days with brilliant places and people! I love to come with you. I especially loved the coloured glass behind the fanlight at "Kitty's" house. Happy Anniversary to you and Hubby,

Sarah x

Zuzana said...

Visiting your page is always an experience that satisfies my visual senses, dear Sharon.
I love your photography which at all time instigates the feel of comfort, natural beauty and the joy of simple pleasures.
Congratulations on your 28th anniversary.;)
And thank you so much for your lovely comment on my recent post, it warmed my heart.

Gail Dixon said...

That thimble cottage is amazing! What a great place. I was born in Kittery, ME when my father was stationed in the air force...way back when! I've always wanted to visit Maine.

Love your writing style. Very nice blog.

rebecca sweet said...

What a sweet little shop, Sharon! When I visit Maine (which I WILL visit - maybe next year??) that'll be on my list for sure! Happy, happy anniversary, too! Here's raising a glass in your honor (well, maybe not a glass...but a cup of coffee....) :)

Leontien said...

oh wow those tomatoes look red! and the barrel as a table is just fantastic!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Carol said...

Happy Anniversary Sharon! How lovely it must be to be by the sea in your own home. Happy Days. I love "The Thimble." Perfect!

Lori ann said...

dear sharon,
i read and reread this post, taking in all the wonders you share with envious eyes!

how wonderful to spend your anniversary in this place you love so much.

love the thimble and the organic lunch, love sweet pea gardens, oh i love it all! enjoy these days dear sharon and jeff, happy happy 28th anniversary!

love, lori

Sharon Lovejoy said...

For all of you out there who are interested in sharing wonderful photography of the metamorphosis of a Monarch with your youngsters...please check out the blog Flower Hill Farm. Carol Duke is a magnificent photographer who has captured the essence and beauty of the wildlife on her farm for decades.

You deserve this beauty!



Unknown said...

Hello there Sharon! Happy Anniversary to you and Jeff. Our twentieth is coming up in a couple of weeks! Loved this posting...Loved the tour and " Thimble Cottage " so darling...
Would love to win your give away!
Thanks for the opportunity... I was out taking pix of the morning glories near out cottage this am!
sending love... and Happy Sea Breezes to you!
Deb and Boz

LindyLouMac said...

Well living on an island for part of the year sounds like you are having your own adventure already. Maran hens our favourite! Thankyou for your recent comment on News From Italy I do hope you will call by often and share our little piece of Italy with me. I am your latest follower.

Robin Larkspur said...

As always you share such charming places and events with us. The succulent plantings are amazing. Even though you had to leave your little cottage, you and Jeff seemed to have had a fun-filled trip with friends, flowers and food! Loved the photos. I would love the Lighthouse seeds book, and I am proud to say I am one of your Grimy Girls!!

Chris said...

What a beautiful blog Sharon. The photographs are exquisite. Thanks for sharing, and congrats on your 28 years, may there be many, many more.

Sue and Alicia said...

Always enjoy reading about your travels, Sharon, and particularly resonate with your heartfelt joy of returning home to the sea, the tides, and gardens. Thanks, as always, for the inspirations. P.S., our gourd teepee continues to thrive this summer, beautiful gourds hanging all over it now.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Dear Sue and Alicia,

So HAPPY that your gourd tepee is thriving. I love thinking of the two of you creating magic in your gardens. YOU, and committed nature and garden lovers like you, are the reason why I keep writing.

Thanks a heart full for staying in touch,


Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I've never read The Little Locksmith, but I bought the ebook and will do so on my iPad. The overview reminded me a bit of Helen Keller. Thank you.~~Dee