Tuesday, August 27, 2013

History Repeats, Again and Again

A long time ago, young Paul’s family lived on Cape Rosier year round.  Nancy was a very little child, whose parents used to bring her to visit her grandmother, a summer resident on the Cape.  During the long, hot days of summer, when parents played bridge, Paul was hired to babysit Nancy, to entertain her, keep her from falling off the rocks, or drowning in the ocean.

As the years passed, Paul became a man with his own lobstering license.  He got bigger boats and more traps as he became more and more successful.  These days, one can find him of an afternoon, lounging in his lobster shack, spinning tales of days gone by.  He reports that Nancy was a ball of fire, quite a handful and hard to keep tabs on. 

Nancy grew up away from the Cape.  She is the founder and driving force of Susquehana Service Dogs.  Today, she has four children of her own and is reveling in Grandchildren.   From time to time, she manages a short visit here to tramp the hiking trails of Holbrook Sanctuary, pick wild blueberries and visit Blake’s Camp.

How much fun it is to see history coming full circle, 60 years latter.

9 years old Percy, whose family has been living on the Cape since time began—yes, that long—lives just a hop, skip and a jump down the road from Paul’s house.  They are not-too-distantly related.  As young as he is, he is apprenticing to be a lobster fisherman with his Uncle Sparky.  If he logs enough hours, he can apply for his own 10 traps at age 12, more when he’s 15, then 25 and on up as he gets older.  His uncle has over 300 traps and supports his family with the long hours and heavy work as a full-time lobster man.  Up at 4:30 am and on the water by 5, he puts in long days, setting and pulling his traps with Percy at his side.

Noldi is 3 and a half years old, and comes to visit his Grandma in the same log cabin on the Cape that Nancy did so many summers ago.  On odd days when Percy isn’t working with his uncle, he comes to play with Noldi, entertaining him on bikes, kayaking off the beach, building complicated toys and playing in the sandbox.  Those of us watching, think Percy has more in him than fishing.  His ingenious inventions and sweet personality can take him anywhere his imagination can go.  At three years old, Noldi only looks as far into the future as dessert time at dinner.  He is very bright and his parents are building a college fund. 

Click to enlarge these photos so you don't miss the cute details, like the trailing caterpillar toy and  Nelson in the wagon.

I wonder what story history will write for this generation of youngsters on the Cape?  I wonder if in another 60 years, other Maine Lobstermen-to-be will entertain future generations of our family during summers on the Cape?  This is the place where time stands still, and the same stories are played out over and over again, like in a dream.   

Friday, August 23, 2013


Yesterday, Hubby and I did the "dock and dine" thing in Castine, Maine.  If you've been there in the past twenty years or so, you know there is only one venue for lunch...Dennett's Wharf.  So that's where we ended up--the home of the organic lobsters and the naked oysters, the dollar bills sling-shotted into the ceiling and the bronze statues of sea monsters on the bar.  Yup, Tourist Food at its best.

While Hubby chowed down on his fried fish sandwich and I gagged on an over-dressed Caesar Salad, I was distracted by a family of five two tables over from ours.  Mom and Dad were engrossed in lunch-out-on-vacation and the three kids--two girls and a boy--were left to their own amusements.  I found out later, the boy was the middle child, 6 years old.  He was all about the iphone.  Ear buds and music seemed to have his whole attention.  It was the sisters, 8 and 3 years old, that captivated me.

The three year old poppet, was wearing a layered, pink dress, pink and white striped pantaloons, and pink mary-jane shoes--almost too cute.  It was a perfect outfit for her.  She tossed her head of ringlets and giggled as she skipped around the table, very animated.  Her older sister wore a mini skirt, sleeveless top and flip flops with a flower on the strap.  Her hair was cut in a bob.  Together, the two girls played out an imaginary drama involving lots of hand movements, looks over-the-shoulders, bouncing in rhythms of varying tempos, and soft singing as they sat face-to-face, straddling the picnic table bench.

As I watched, my mind turned to my sister and I.  We are about the same age ratio as the two in the restaurant.  I thought of the two as they get older.  When they are in high school, college, young marrieds, and old ladies.  The whole interlude made me miss my sister and revel in the love we have had for each other over the years and continue to enjoy as we get older.  What a special gift.

Sisterhood is not something everyone gets to appreciate.  I have been blessed with a wonderful sister.  Heather, I love you.  God bless and keep you.  (We also share a favourite brother.)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Rebuilding History

Family history says, the one-room log cabin was built in the 1920's.  It has been added onto over the years, and the seaward wall has had repairs in more recent times as well.  For the past several summers, we have assessed the wood-rot and gaping holes in the chinking, hoping against hope that it would last one more  year.  The winter of 2012-13 was the last season the Poor Old Girl could take.  When we arrived in May this spring, it was beyond obvious that a major rebuild was in order.

Here is the BEFORE picture.
Woody and David will notice the peony I had been babying along, lo these many years, was unceremoniously uprooted and tossed into the dump pile!!!!  Sometimes words fail me....

 First, the sagging, non-opening window had to go...

Now, they were committed.  There was some hoing and humming, and then resolving to push on.
Look how great a RAIN-umbrella our SUN-umbrella is!

On the inside, there had to be supports to hold up the roof while things were underway.  The plastic sheeting did as poor a job as usual, keeping the dust and debris out of the living space.

As it was pelting down rain during these early stages, Grand #3 and I headed off to the kitchen.
He's a great fan of my blueberry scones.

The next time we checked, things had gotten seriously messy.

By lunch time, the rain had lifted and progress was evident.

Once the window was secured, it was time to call it a day.  Eueka!  A new, non-sagging wall and a window that opens on both ends!!!

Day two dawned bright and clear.  The shingles went on, row upon row, without a hitch.  I had some photos of the joining of the two halves, but my inadequacies in the techno-department lost them irrevocably.  You'll just have to take my word for it, they did a marvellous job.

As with most jobs, one thing leads to another.  Day three is painting day.  The rain held off long enough to get a good start on the project.

While all the men were doing the Man-Thing, those of us of another persuasion, gave the Adirondack Chairs their annual sanding and re-varathaning.

A busy week here on the Cape.  The  Bald Eagle sits in his tree top, off to the west, making his high-pitched comments.  I think he approves of the goings on.  Rebuilding history is always a good thing.

PS.  Our friend, the extra help on this project, says he may be wanted in three states and publishing his photo may not be a good thing.  If you happen to have recognized him, pretend you didn't, okay?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Big, Beautiful Blueberries

We had a full day, playing in the sun and getting FAT!

 Our friends, Polly and Don, opened their Blue Berry Fields to the crowds for the Brooksville Library Benefit.  See Grand #3 in the orange hat???  He sat and picked and ate, and picked and ate, and picked and ate for a good long time.

The harvest is plentiful this year.  They say it's because of all the rain.  I guess there is a silver/blue lining in those clouds after all.

John, the octogenarian, was auctioneer for the donated desserts.  One cobbler went for $100.00!!!  My humble "Especially Dark" Chocolate Cake garnered $30.00 for the Library coffers.

This is what we took home.  Ooooooh so good!

After naps, it was beach time.

Some of us even got in the water...the COLD MAINE OCEAN!

When we eat our veggies, we get dessert.

This little man has discovered gourmet heaven.

He is now a connoisseur.

Nothing like digging in with two hands!

"Look at my blue tongue, Grandma Roe!"

For the past two nights, we've had dramatic thunder and lightning storms right at supper time.
Short and sweet.

The days are flying by.  It's bitter-sweet to realize that we are now well into August. Only another five weeks until we'll have to close up for the season. 

You can tell I've been engulfed with life--no time to write or post anything.  I'm having too much fun to document it all.  I hope this glimpse of life on the Cape brings a smile to your heart, as it does mine.