Life as I know It

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

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Farewell to Summer-A Scrapbook of Memories

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,



Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Sharon I will keep Luke in my prayers. Premies do remarkably well with the wonderful care the nurses in the NICU's give them these days.

i enjoyed seeing your last days of vacation in the beautiful state of Maine and seeing Chimney Farm and your niece's pretty wedding.

Have a wonderful and enjoyable book tour1

Vee said...

Well I worried, but couldn't imagine that the one in trouble would be a little fellow named Luke. It is amazing how these wee ones grow and thrive. So good to know that everyone is breathing a sigh of relief. Will keep this little one tucked in my prayers. (Easy to remember since a dear friend has a wee grandson named Luke as well.)

Your schedule sounds crazy! The book looks delightful. Can't wait until it's daughter with the cc will order for me from Amazon.

I'm thinking that October is going to be delight. Not that you'll be here for too long, but long enough to get a taste.

Unknown said...

You are going to be busier than normal, and that is busy. Love the wedding decor. Prayers for continued progress in Luke's thriving. I pray a hedge of protection around him that sickness and disease cannot penetrate. In Jesus name

Linda Boothe said...


It sounds like your little Luke will be in wonderful and very capable hands. I will pray that he will continue to fight and grow stronger each day.

Thank you for sharing all the beautiful photos. It sounds like you had a wonderful vacation.

It is so exciting that your bird book is so close to being released! I can't wait to share it with my girls. It sounds like you will be on such a whirlwind tour that you will barely have time to catch your breath.

I hope you enjoy this little window of time you have here in SLO. Sounds like the birds are happy you are home.

Bonnie K said...

Wow, I thought my summer went fast! You had better rest up. Luke will have you running before you know it. My nephew was about 2lbs when he was born and there is no keeping up with him now. I enjoyed hearing about your vintage books. I read it several times on my porch with a hot cup of coffee. Good luck with your book tour. I bet you will see such interesting things and meet some amazing people. Last of all thank you for the wedding idea. I love it. Thanks for sharing. PS The boat ride reminded me of the ones my dad would take us on when we were kids. Many a storm was outrun by our little boat.

Pat said...

A lovely post to share with us - being on the water on a summer's day is pure joy...

My prayers are with your Luke and the family - our future daughter-in-law was 1 pound at birth - she has grown into such a beautiful young woman - self assured and with tremendous inner strength. From the beginning, these little ones are filled with determination - Luke has this too.
And may I share the Wedding Wish Jar idea? The wedding is next June.

Susan said...

Summer passed all too quickly this year, but as we get older that seems to happen a lot. I'm so happy that your new grand, Luke is okay. Our Kelly was 6 weeks early due to a MVA and weighed only 3lb 13 oz, but she too was a fighter.
Safe travels on your book tour--I'm beginning my third book and know how much it takes. Love, XOXO

hens teeth said...

My dearest Sharon,
a huge congratulations to you and your family on the birth of your Grandson.
I do so enjoy visiting wonderful places with you.
Thank you x

From the Kitchen said...

I've read and enjoyed your entire post with my morning coffee. We have yet to visit Maine but I'm preparing a folder of "seeing and doing" there. I do know San Diego and Old Town quite well. We lived in La Jolla for a number of years.

I hope that your precious Luke will continue to grow strong and healthy, adding another delight to your life.

All good wishes for a successful and fun book tour.


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Dear Sharon ~ May little Luke continue to grow stronger with each new day.

What a lovely summer you had, absolutely peaceful, filled with good times, good food and good friends. I love both of your places.

It sounds like you have a busy time ahead of you.

Love and hugs to you ~ FlowerLady

Where will you be in FL?

La Table De Nana said...

Perfect perfect summer pics:) It all looks gorgeous..
You have a ton of energy!

Julie Marie said...

Hi Sharon... I love your farewell to summer post... it sure went fast, didn't it?... but I love Autumn even more... the lake looks so beautiful and I could certainly live in that little boathouse!... and how nice you have good friends close by to sip coffee with and chat... I read your article about collecting vintage garden books in my issue of Country Gardens and enjoyed it so much! I collect them as well, but my collection is not nearly as extensive as yours... sounds like you have a very busy Autumn scheduled... I hope you enjoy every minute of it... much love, xoxo Julie Marie

Lorrie said...

This is a lovely post, full of the things that are in your heart. I'm so glad your little grandson is growing stronger each day. And I'm glad you had such a wonderful place to enjoy and relax in for the summer. I just love the place names Christmas Cove and Thread of Life.

Best of luck on your book tour. So exciting, but tiring, too.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Have received so many wonderful and personal notes from you. Thanks so much!

Yes, Lorrie, Christmas Cove IS a great name. The cove was discovered on Christmas Day 1614 by Captain John Smith. Glad he didn't discover it on Groundhog Day!

The Thread of Life figures prominently in frightening stories about sinkings and savings at sea. I shudder when we go through them, but they are glorious.

Thanks for your visit!


Annelies said...

Oh so glad to hear Luke is doing better. Our sweet Laurel was in the NICU after her birth too, and I know my heart was in complete turmoil. I pray for YOU to have peace and please more updates on your little one when you can. Blessings.....

Sharon Lovejoy said...


I saw Luke with his eyes open for the first time today. Well, actually I saw a photo of him. Jeff and I both have colds and we can't go into NNICU.

Thanks for your words,


Meadowsweet Cottage said...

Knowing that Luke is a fighter means that the prognosis is good! Our Erik was a fighter and is the healthiest kid you could imagine. And Stanford, the docs and nurses rock--he was in capable and caring hands.

May you have a future of sweetness with that little guy!


Lili said...

My goodness I didn't realize you were already here in Maine and then gone again only to return briefly in Oct! I'll be keeping your Luke in my prayers, so glad he has arrived! Oh and your activities in Maine were so much fun to see/read...why is it you never hear about any modern day figurehead carvers...such a lost art! Take care my dear and I hope you get a chance every once in a while to catch your breath. So exciting about your book and tour! Love to you both! xoxo ~Lili

Jim Long said...

Goof heavent dear friend, that is one heckof a lot of traveling. Hope you get some rest between,, and make buncles and buncles of $$$. Or at least Workman will. Thank you for the wonderful views of Maine, a state I've always wanted to visit and I only know it through your posting. I always love seeing your area through your eyes and words. Thank you and travel well!

The Painted Garden said...

Hi Sharon,

I will put Luke on my healing prayer list.
Oh goodness -thank you for sharing your stay in Maine and your travels with us - the lake looks like such a fun place for everyone to frolic and play - Chimney Farm is charming and I loved seeing the Fox watching over Elizabeth.

The new article in Country Living is wonderful - I saved both of the Country Living magazines with my "special magazines" that I can't bare to throw away.

Blessings and Best Wishes on your lengthy book tour and may God keep you and your family safe and watch over baby Luke.
Blessings, Erin

AnaGF said...

Dear Sharon,
I am glad to know that Luke is growing stronger, I am sure he will be fine, babies are so much stronger than we think! My thoughts are with you.
I wish you the best for the new book tour too.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I pray for baby Luke, that he grow strong and show no adverse affects of his early appearance!

Thank you for the photos, they are lovely. Yes to GSP, I may have mentioned to you that one of my husband's best friends lives close to the GSP property. We visited a few years ago.

I especially love Girl of the Limberlost. I grew up with swamplands (now wetlands) around which were both feared and treated with respect. Now there are very few left.

I bought a copy of Country Gardens JUST for the article about your book collection. :)

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

Sharon, I read but most of the time do not post - you have so many comments.
Summer was wonderful for you. Love the pictures and all you share.
Take care in this new season.

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

Dearest Sharon, Glad tiny Luke is getting better. The wish jar is so perfect. Why doesn't that become a wedding tradition? Maybe you want to keep it a family tradition! So easy! Seems like snap and you are back in CA! Wish you all success with your book tour. Wish we could meet at Kathleen's again! She just celebrated another birthday! Sending your positive thoughts and lemon verbena joy, Love you and the phone man, xxoo Nancy

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

P.S. I have one of the books that you have in your collection about Summer in the Garden. We were meant to meet and bond!

Pam G. said...

so nice to hear from you again Sharon. I am sending prayers for your dear little grandson. I will for sure pick up the country gardens magazine.

Betty said...

Lovely post Sharon. I love the Gene Stratton Porter books too. The first one I read was "The Harvester" when I was in my teens.
So glad to read that little Luke is going well now and I can imagine how worrying it must have been for you all. May he continue to grow and thrive.
Best wishes on the launch of your new book.

Lori ann said...

i love this post sharon, your life is so facsinating and rich and blessed. new england through your eyes is such a treat. sending love and healing thoughts to baby luke. and best wishes for your new book, i can't wait for it!
take good care!

love, lori

Anonymous said...

Never thought blogging could be soo fun and interesting. Man you know how to do it brother.


Hi Sharon, I love the photo-scrap book. Your life is so busy! I'm glad little Luke is doing better. My niece had a premature baby a year ago and it's amazing what doctors can do now. Keep us posted. Safe travels. Sending hugs.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hey anonymous, thanks for the comment, but I am definitely a sister, not a brother.

Grace Peterson, I celebrated my birthday by touching Luke's tiny little head! My small hand just cups around it perfectly. He is two pounds and ten ounces now.

Thanks for your sweet words.

All joys,


Nellie said...

What a wonderful post! I felt that I was right along with you! Somehow I missed this when you first wrote it. Once again, I mention that I am sending my prayers along for Luke.
Hugs to you!

Comfrey Cottages said...

Awww congratulations on your new grandson. Welcome to the world Luke! Sending you supportive and growing energy and prayers wee one xxxx
I am still in love with The Harvester... what a man! :^) love and hugs to you dear:)

sue said...

Sharon, may your travels this fall go like clockwork; hope you have time to do some book shopping (do you go to the phone book first thing, like I've done when visiting a new place? Yarn? check. Beads? check. Books? check. Chocolatiers? check. Although these days it's more like Google).

Your new grandson sounds like he's tenacious and not about to slow down. What joy he is bringing to so many. Blessings to you and family!

Kay G. said...

Dear Sharon,
My nephew was born prematurely and it was a very scary time. He is 26 years old and is the tallest in our family at 6'4"!!
He is very good looking and I have always called him ELVIS!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi dear Kay,

Thanks for the words of encouragement. Funny, but I had a dream that Luke was 6'4" and he draped his big arm over my old and rickety shoulders. I think I'll choose a name other than Elvis, but I will have to decide what name...

Sending love,