Summer in Maine has its way of capturing us. It captures us through work; the days are longer, the sun is warmer, it encourages us to accomplish as much as we can in this short, sweet season. There is so much to be done. Gardens to tend, lawns to mow, projects to complete. We find ourselves sopping up every little ounce of this far too short of a season as fast as we can before the days grow shorter and cooler. I’ve always believed true Mainers to have four jobs; one for every season. The problem usually is that we jam pack all four jobs into one season: summer.
And then we are captured by the pleasures of Maine summer: swimming as much as possible before the waters turn icy and frigid again; harvesting fruits before they have fallen to the ground and have gone by within a blink of an eye; eating outside as much as possible to absorb the last of the warm evening sun and embrace the August night breezes that keep the mosquitos away. The crickets chirp louder, the moon rises fuller. These are the days and nights we dream of on cold, February eves. Quintessential Maine summer moments. We look back and always think how terribly short this season was, wondering why it can’t last longer and thinking about all of the extra time we need to accomplish all that we had hoped for, and never got to, this summer.
I think about all of the blog posts I “should have gotten to”, but didn’t, and the strawberry preserves I had high hopes for making before the fields were picked bare. The false promise I made to dry bunches upon bunches of lavender, window boxes I hoped to have planted and the camping trip to Swans Island that I never found time for. It’s easy to think about all that we didn’t do, see or make. Frustrated, irritated, robbed of time, in need of more of this season we love so much. But take a moment to remember…all that you did do, all that you did see, and all that you did make…
This summer I…
Used a skill saw for the first time.
Bought my first hammer and drill driver.
Built 8 tables from reclaimed boards from a neighbors barn. I’ve still got the splinters to prove it.
Gutted a 1965 Airstream with a sledgehammer and my bare hands. Turned it into a kitchen. Hosted a slew of pop up suppers.
Hitched up and trailered the 24 ft camper solo (well, the dog was with me).
Stopped at every flea market I crossed. Got a birdcage, vintage Limoges and a retro juicer, to name a few. Discovered my unknown talent of dickering.
Foraged for wild peas, mustard greens, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, sea heather, flowers and more. Got poison ivy twice.
Took up yoga. Finally.
Cooked with rose hips for the first time ever. Not the last time.
Made a mission to find the best burger in Maine. Hands down winner, Owls Head General Store.
Discovered Rolfing; European integrated (intense!) massage & stretching. Life changing. Swear I stand 2 inches taller.
Made homemade skin cleansers and teas for practically pennies.
Got a wicked sun tan. Years overdue.
Became a regular at John’s Ice Cream stand. Addicted to cookies and cream.
Dried zillions of calendula blossoms. Still wondering what to do with them.
Rediscovered vinyl. Life’s better with the crackle of Billie Holiday in the background. I’m in love.
Adopted a dog. Still question who rescued who.
Ate popovers slathered in butter to my hearts content overlooking Jordan Pond at Acadia National Park.
Learned the art of building a fire. And how to pick a perfect “night time log”…after many frigid early summer mornings in my cabin.
Took the ferry to Vinalhaven just to eat ice cream and lay on the beach. Twice.
Walked the Asticou azalea gardens. Took lots of deep breaths.
Swam in the ocean on a hot day. First time in years. Never felt so relaxed.
Fell in love with the Brooksville area. Made new friend and visited new farms and markets on the Blue Hill peninsula.
Walked a lot, hiked a bit. Did a cartwheel once.
Had a picnic in a greenhouse in the pouring rain.
Walked the Rockland breakwater for the first time after all of these years.
Tandem kayaked with my son, Jaim, over the Penobscot Bay.
Cooked barefoot under an apple orchard, by candlelight.
Ate more than my fair share of s’mores.
Stopped to take in the smells of the salty ocean breezes, fresh cut fields of hay, and of course…the roses.
A busy summer indeed. Full of sights seen, projects completed, lessons learned and memories made. As we ready ourselves to say goodbye to one season and greet the next, I am content and fulfilled. Feeling beyond lucky to call this little corner of the world home. Summer, we will miss you, but I’m now looking forward to the changing of seasons…the smell woodsmoke, the taste of the first ripe apple and the turning of the leaves. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to that damn strawberry jam next year.
All the Best,