Life as I know It

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

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Maine-ly Memories

November 21, 2014 UPDATE: Read about The Lost Kitchen in this NY Times article.

Sunrise in Maine

Dear Friends,

Your once peripatetic friend is grounded. I am sitting up in bed for the second week in a row, but getting stronger every day. Watch where you're stepping when you're out in your gardens at night.
I stepped out of my studio door and ended up with a fractured ankle, torn ligaments, bumps, bruises, a head knot, a sprain, AND my first ride in an ambulance. The worst is behind me, and I am feeling good and ready to get up and run...or maybe not run, but walk again.

Being in a wheelchair has REALLY taught me a lot about the challenges that people must face. Every small bump, change in ground level, or step is a challenge, sometimes a challenge that makes even the easiest chores turn into a grueling physical effort. Hats off to all of you who wrestle with canes, crutches, and wheelchairs. Let's try to make the road smoother for everyone.

Thanks a zillion for well-wishes, calls, food, and for cards and gifts. I am humbled by your many kindnesses and will try to pay them forward to someone in need. You know who you are...Vicki Boster, Lori Hibbard, Susan Branch, Susie Bassetti, Virginia Holihan, Vicki Greene, and so many others. You are in my heart. Oh, and I should mention that my family, and Jeff have been fantastic, just fantastic. I owe them, big time.

Since my last posting I have been in New Hampshire on Lake Sunapee and in our beloved cottage/camp in Maine. I also thoroughly lost myself in the culture of apples. Every tree looked like a gift from heaven, loaded with shiny, green and red fruits, and history, volumes of history.

Please join me for a too long overdue and too long posting. Oh, and I still have to mail out the Stillmeadow Cookbook. Life has been wild. I appreciate your patience.


I have always wanted to visit Boston's famous Swan Boats and also the Robert McCloskey ducklings. Our dear friends Aline and Frank are Bostonians. They shared the adventure with us and introduced us to some of Boston's hidden treasures and neighborhoods.

There they are! I felt like a kid when I saw them!

Patrick was our captain.

Our dear friends Aline and Frank on the shore of Lake Sunapee. Pretty adorable, huh?

Just a small taste of Maine.

On Cottage Point Road in Damariscotta, Maine. A gift to any passerby from Sharon and Jim Aderman. Take a book, read a book, return it, or replace it with another. Their beautiful mini-library. I love it.

Gotta love this! On the road to Freedom, Maine.

One of my favorite little islands and lighthouses on Curtis Island. This is just outside Camden Harbor on the way to Vinalhaven, the beloved island of Margaret Wise Brown., author of Goodnight Moon (and a hundred other books, including The Little Island done in pseudonym Golden MacDonald). 

Illustrator/Caldecott Honor winner/author/ Melissa Sweet sketches as we plow through the waves toward Vinalhaven. During waking hours, the sketchbook is never far from her.

Traffic Jam

Bye bye traffic jam.

Approaching "The Only House" so named because Margaret had never owned another house. (See earlier blog posting that shows her New York City home, which she didn't own). "The Only House" is on the site of an old granite quarry.

Melissa Sweet and me on the deck of "The Only House." True bliss.

Margaret's mossy, lichened apple tree. 

I couldn't stop studying the beauty of the mosses and lichens. Look at the little British soldier lichen in full red uniform. The macrocosm is so amazing if we just take the time to really look.

No other words necessary.


If you're fascinated by Margaret Wise Brown, you should read this old classics and read Awakened by the Moon, which is a biography of her too short, but extremely productive and creative life.

Sitting on Margaret's settee beside her desk. The view is what inspired her to write her The Little Island, which maybe what inspired me to write my The Little Green Island with a Little Red House.

Here is the view of her little island.

An enlarged version of my book The Little Green Island With a Little Red House. Makes it easier for reading to big groups. This book is going into its second printing with DownEast Books, an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield, and should be out soon.

This was so touching to me. They've inscribed the tombstone with her words in The Little Island (video).

For my birthday, Jeff treated me to a dinner at The Lost Kitchen in Freedom, Maine. The restaurant is in this old mill, which has been completely renovated. You enter it by walking over a pond and stream. It is magical. Pure heaven. Everything. Pure heaven. The food, my friends, the setting, the entire experience. You must (if you're in Maine) treat yourself to this expeience, but reservations are a necessity. I think my friend Lynn Karlin made the reservations about five weeks in advance.

In the dining room.

On our table.

Back at our camp, to get reacquainted with Audrey, I pile black sunflower seeds on my foot. It is literally the first step.

Sweet Audrey. My favorite chipmunk.

I'll leave you with a heart full of gratitude for family and friends. 

I originally wanted to write a big posting about apples and apple trees, but that will have to wait till next time.

Oh, and I guess I should mention the release party for my new book.

It is on Sunday, November the 9th at 2 p.m. at the Steynberg Gallery,  1531 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo, California. All net proceeds from book sales will benefit the gardens of the historic Dallidet Adobe and Gardens in San Luis Obispo. Come join us!

With love across the miles,


p.s. Leave a comment on this post or the previous one to be eligible to win the drawing for these gorgeous Josie Iselin books.

NOTE: ONLY if you leave a comment as "Anonymous," begin your comment with "Sharon" to dodge our spam filter and be sure to list your name at the end of your comment.


Julie Marie said...

Oh dear Cousin Sharon... I am so sorry about your injuries!... this is uncanny... I too am "grounded" for two to three weeks with tendinitis in my knee and hip... I posted about it yesterday... total rest for me too!... so, I was so excited to see a new post from you, but saddened that you are hurting... sending healing prayers and lots of love... I had emailed you several weeks ago, and when you didn't answer, I thought you must be busy... so sorry I did not know you were hurt... your photos are just stunning!... I am SO happy to see little Audrey again with you!... what a reunion that must have been for both of you!... excited for your new book too!... now, I need to go back and read your whole post again, so much news... and I want to linger over each and every photo... love you sweet lady... xoxo Me

Anonymous said...

Sharon, I can so relate to your heart being in Maine. My heart always leaves a bit of itself in Pismo Beach when we leave our little trailer by the ocean to come home. How blessed we are to be able to make these precious memories in our special places! That said.....these lovely books fit right in with what I love so much. Happy for you that healing is taking place. Helen

torchy said...

Sharon, "Little Libraries" dot the streets here in Loveland, Colorado. What a delight to see your photo of one in Maine! Heal quickly ….

Sue said...

Thanks for sharing the gorgeous photos of our travels in Maine.
Wishing you a speedy recovery. I look forward to a post from San Luis Obispo when you travel west for your book release party.
Glad to see these little free libraries showing up across the country. I always keep an eye out for books to add to the one we installed in our front yard on the way to the nearby state park here in Wisconsin.

Gert said...

Sharon, I'm so sorry to hear that are bedridden! That is so painful. My prayers for healing are with you. (This is a wonderful post! Great photos!)

I would love to win your giveaways!


Anonymous said...

Sharon, You bring tears to my eyes when I read your posts about Maine or when I view your videos. I lived in Maine for three magical years while attending grad school and then working for a year before deciding to return to the west coast. I miss it terribly and cherish every word you write while there. I am so sorry that your time there is experiencing a little detour, but sometimes the something that makes us slow down and appreciate what we have is most welcome and enlightening. Get well soon! Cathi Lamoreux

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

Oh, Sharon. I'm so sorry to hear about your injuries, but here's hoping that your recovery will continue apace.

SO many lovely photos and memories in this post, but whoa, that sunrise photo? I'm not sure I've ever seen a sunrise quite that vivid and vibrant. Really stunning.

Vee said...

Sharon, I am so sorry to read about your fall. A ride in the ambulance is all way too exciting. Glad to know that you are mending and feeling enough better to be in touch. Your photos of Maine are spectacular and I appreciated the lessons on things I had not known. Take good care...I know that Jeff has everything under control.

Sonia said...

I've never been to Maine but your photographs make me want to visit! On the bucket list for sure. We tend to go to the West Coast when we get a chance to escape our landlocked home. Hope your ankle is on the way to being healed! Your little chipmunk visitors are so adorable!
Miss Bloomers

Nellie said...

Sharon, what wonderful pictures you have shared, taking us along with you on your trip! I am so very sorry to hear about your accident! Not a good way to enjoy the season in Maine! Take care of yourself!


Blondie's Journal said...

Sharon...I thought of you the other day and was going to send an email. I'm so sorry about your accident. That was horrendous! I know you are on the mend by now, but how like you, dear, to think of those that have to spend every day in wheelchairs. Love to you and good wishes in healing quickly. I know it's a long road.

I am healing from surgery on my right hand for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Very odd to learn to live with one hand for a few weeks. And as I get better, I have the other hand to be operated on. No, I'm not a brave soldier or brave in any way, I complain A LOT!! But I'll get through. As you will I'm sure.

Loved your are always busy as a bee! Take time for yourself. Going to the West Coast soon?

Jane xxxx

Anonymous said...

Sharon, So sorry to hear about your accident. Hope that you are on the mend..and what better place to heal than in Maine. Our summer and fall this year have been wonderful! I love your pictures of our state and your little video warmed my heart & soul when I heard the Chickadees!I enjoyed learning about Margaret Wise Brown..will look for the books you suggested. Take care..Cindy in Maine

Terra said...

Sharon, what a terrible tumble that must have been, and an ambulance ride too. Glad you are back to enjoying life and I like the little island and the "only house" in Maine, the old copies of her books, and hearing what you are up to.

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

Sharon I am so glad you are on the mend and feeling stronger. Having had what was called minor surgery this spring it took months to recover, even walk normally again and with much gratitude that I could.

What a gift to live there on your island and what a gift you have given us with your pictures, words and books. Thanks for the giveaway.

Rustic Pumpkin said...

Oh, I do hope you are recovering well by now ~ I know all too well the misery of having to sit still, rest, and allow others to help ~ but it has to be done!

I have so enjoyed this visit, your little taste of Maine ~ but oh! what an appetising little taste indeed. Such a beautiful state to visit. Thank you so very much for sharing it with us. I hope you walked your horse along the covered bridge!

~~~waving~~~ Debs in Wales

Rebecca said...

Sidelined twice this year - once by a fall (hip replacement) and currently knee replacement, I sympathize with you and pray that you're soon up to your regular speed :)

Don't know where to begin expressing my joy in this post! The tray of heart-shaped rocks? The introduction to a new author (for me) Margaret Wise Brown? The Only House? The beauty of Maine? The little library?

No matter. It's ALL so inspiring...

jp@A Green Ridge said...

Injuries such as your can take longer to heal "at our age." Please continue to heal by listening to your body when it speaks! ...:)JP

Mim said...

I grew up in NYC and when about 8 years old was sent to camp in New England. I've been hooked since then on summers in New England, there is nothing like them.

I love your pictures and history - wonderful post, but sorry about your injuries. I've also spend this summer healing from a tumble and it's humbling. Hope you are well soon.

La Table De Nana said...

So sorry about your mishap!
How true that once something happens to become so much more observant of all others going through a difficult time with health or facing challenges..There are a lot of unsung heroes out there..young and old alike.
Take care..
The rest of your post is idyllic..
The Only a treasure..your
I would love to make a little library:)
How sweet!

Unknown said...

Sharon... you have such a lovely life traipsing to various locations. I have always wanted to visit New England, but have not yet. Maine is so, so lovely ~!~ I enjoy you sharing your travels to such lovely locals. I collect heart rocks too. Thank you ~!~ CynthiaMcKenzieMoses

Jim Longs Garden said...

I only know Maine through your eyes, your camera and paint brush and I think that may be the best way to enjoy the state. I've never been to Maine, if I live long enough, I will get there some day. Thank you for all of the postings you've done, letting us see what you see. It must be a lovely state.

Lorrie said...

I'm glad you are on the mend after your fall. Time to sit and think, perhaps?
Your video of Maine is beautiful and your voice at the beginning echoes the joy in your heart at being there.
Lovely scenes of your life in Maine.

Anonymous said...

Sharon, so concerned for your injury, but thankful you sound like you are on the mend. I think there might be a good story there. :)
Your trip to Boston and Maine are wonderful views from your artistic eyes.I am always so amazed by your beautiful wisdom.
Get well soon!
Thank you,
Jane in Nevada

Sharon Lovejoy said...

NONONONONO! Jim Long, the best way to experience Maine is to travel Maine. Some of the islands, up and down the peninsulas, the old towns, it is all marvelous and beloved.

You deserve to experience it.

Love, love,


Lori ann said...

dear sharon,

oh no! i can't believe it, how scary that must have been, having a fall in the dark. please take care, getting back to things slowly.

i loved all your photos (and video), i thought of you so much, i went to maine last month! it was for work so a very quick trip, but we drove up from Connecticut, so saw a lot that way. the photoshoot we went for took us to some spectacular shorelines also, it's all beautiful there. now i can't wait to return, exploring the places you've mentioned and more!

thank you for offering the books, love them! i wish we could come up for the book signing on the 9th, my daughters baby shower is that day, so i have to miss!
take good care,
sending love up the coast (and across the country)

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Oh, dear Sharon, I'm so sorry about your fall and subsequent fractures and injuries! Be very careful as you recover and begin to get more mobile. It is not uncommon to fall again, so take it slow and easy. I know this as it happened to me. It's always so peaceful visiting with you. You always give me something to take away. Take care of yourself. ♥

Sharon Lovejoy said...

You are SO RIGHT Martha Ellen, I am trying to master the fine art of crutches. YIKES. I am a big klutz.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I am happy that you enjoyed your visit.

All joys,

Carol Michel said...

Sharon, best wishes for a speedy recovery. I've learned to love visits to the ocean, so different from my beloved Midwest. You now make me want to head to Maine for a walk along the beach!

peaches said...

Hi Sharon, I love your posts! I love all things to do with the ocean. I am a 24/7 caregiver so I take a break every day and try to get to Spooners Cove to gather shells and glass..I love to crochet the glass and shells into jewelry..I also love to do macrame with them.. Have a wonderful day..!

Tina said...

Love the beach glass.i used to collect along Lake Michigan when I was a kid.was

Tina said...

Love the beach glass.i used to collect along Lake Michigan when I was a kid.was

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi Peaches,

Just walking along the oceanside is a calming and peaceful experience. Right? You don't even need to find anything to make the experience meaningful. Many times I return home empty-handed, but full-hearted.

Being a caretaker 24/7 is an overwhelming challenge. Keep your peace and nurture yourself.

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

Sharon, I have not been reading blogs much - so much going on and still is.
So sorry about your fall and can relate to it since I have done that a number of times.
Please take care
Heal quickly
and try and slow down some :)

Anonymous said...

Sharon, I liked your feelings about the struggles of inaccessibility for our friends who are not as abled as of my best friends has been in a chair for many years from a car accident. He is one of the most highly evolved and spiritual people that I know and Love. Thank you for your caring. hugs always, M. Eaton

rush said...

I just found your blog. It was through another that showcased your lovely kitchen in your California house. What a beauty! I have so much exploring to do here! Best wishes as you recuperate from your injuries. Oh! Enter me in the drawing for the books, if it isn't too late. I have 8 grandchildren ranging in ages from 23 down to 1, so I know someone would enjoy reading these (or being read to)!

kj said...

i am looking looking to see if i left a comment. how could i not have? of all times when you are temporarily slowed: i hope by now your healing has progressed. that is so hard to lose mobility. i imagine you've had plenty of time to think and reach for ideas….

your new book! I am so excited for you. i am excited to wrap it as a holiday gift.

and maine. NEXT-YEAR-FOR-SURE. xoxoxo


Sharon Lovejoy said...

KJ dear,

We were there for such a short time, but as you can see we tried to wring out every drop of joy and experience. I didn't even buy a stockpile of groceries, just ate simply and with friends and out. Usually I am making cobblers, roasting etc., but no time this time and YES, to next year.


Jason Roberts said...

Spectacular shorelines, little islands and lighthouses. Beautiful!