Sea Glass and Scrap Iron Blog Archive 2008
Lori said the tree had to be cut anyway, back during that recent ice storm; perhaps it was too close to the power lines. It must have been in the way of something. She had been keeping an eye on it for a Christmas tree, even, it appeared, pruning it. A week before Christmas, in the midst of all sorts of other chaos, Lori stuck her head through my kitchen door and said “We've got a tree for the church.”
Some years, tackling the job of securing a suitably large Christmas tree
As I have had word from a few out there in the ether that some readers are looking to be kept abreast of what's going on here on Matinicus, I'll put down a word or two about our island holidays, and hope for the forbearance of those who already know all this. Much of how we celebrate here in December resembles the festivities of generations past, although far fewer people are here through the winter these days. Most of those with adult children are given marching orders for the mainland, as over
I have put off writing this piece for a long time. No matter what I say, it's apt to be wrong. Whenever you read this, be it this week or next year, the timing may well be terrible. Yet to avoid this subject here, where the editors say I write about “nearly all things Matinicus,” doesn't seem right either. There's nothing to be done but to accept that this is a sad story.
A month ago, we lost one of our number to the sea. This very small community is just a bit smaller. Twenty-four
I just squeaked back to the island on Monday afternoon, on the last flight, sunset color in the sky by 4:00PM, and one hell of a mess threatening for the morning. There would be no flying the next day, and no boats either. The days after that were, according to the weathermen, questionable. A lot of people left the island Monday, to assure a Thursday Thanksgiving wherever they were headed. Many were hopeful that they might get a deer as well.
Eric was home from Bethel, and Emily from Exeter,
“Sounds like we are in the best shape of anybody around.”
These were the words of the Matinicus local service technician for TDS Telecom, our telephone company, after consultation with the guys from other TDS service areas…Swan's Island, Isle au Haut, Bass Harbor, Stonington, part of Warren, and presumably some spots farther down east.
“A lot of those places are out of commercial power,” he said, phrasing it just like that; I got a mental image of “fresh
A “neologism” is a new word, perhaps made up by some clever pundit to fill a gap in the dictionary when the world changes, or maybe surfacing from the depths of specialty or subculture into the wider media to become part of the common language. Some are strained attempts to repair past short-sightedness (“sternwoman;”) some are derivatives of long-established terms with legitimate scientific etymology (“locavore;”) some are the humor of the social critic
Year-round life on this island isn't relaxing when the economy's like this, and perhaps the neighbors have a lot to say, but some of us like it here just the same.
I haven't written as often as perhaps I should have lately. I've been tearing around off-island being the parent of two high schoolers (one in Bethel, Maine, one in southern New Hampshire,) and an amateur blacksmith, a Common Ground Country Fair volunteer, an EMT with meetings and training to attend (though the biggest part of
They ask us: “What do you people do, now that summer's over?”
Well, most catch lobsters, of course. Don't be silly. With the price the way it is today, many of the guys would just as soon be selling shoes I guess, but that's a subject for another time (except to mention that when lobsters are cheaper than hot dogs, what people do all winter won't include a lot of Disney World this year.)
Allow me to ramble a bit. We're often asked to field this “What do you do?”
So, as I have already explained, I run a small, no, a tiny…maybe a MICRO-bakery out of my home during the summer months. Each year, it seems, something different is the big seller. This year's random popular items were ginger cookies, French-style bread, and whoopie pies. I made a lot of whoopie pies.
Evidently, the whoopie pie, with straight face and no quotation marks, is well-known only in northern New England and in Pennsylvania. A recipe very much like the one I use appears
A little girl was in here, examining the big shiny steel rack of sweets and breads just inside my kitchen door. “Hey, what're those?” she asks, pointing to something big and chocolate.
Ah, not from around here. “Those are whoopie pies.”
Experience has taught me to wait a moment.
It is so much easier when they are children.