“What do you do,” the summer visitor asks, “out here on this rock, if somebody gets sick?”
Matinicus does have a tiny little EMS service. We don’t have an actual ambulance, we cannot offer any sophisticated care, or even a guaranteed trip to the hospital (it’s all about the weather, as usual,) but the patient is not necessarily on his own.
Going away to high school isn’t always all fun and games.
Son Eric called up in November of 2005 from Gould Academy, in the western mountain town of Bethel, Maine. He’d lived all his life on Matinicus Island, and now was a freshman in high school, unsentimentally reveling in his new life as a mountain kid. “I need all my outdoor gear, and I need it right away. I’m joining the Ski Patrol.”
“You’re doing WHAT?”
“Ski Patrol. I know a whole lot about medical emergencies. I’ve been watching you guys (the island EMTs) for years.”
The man did not smile. In fact, he looked entirely startled when hearing where our little island girl was about to begin high school. He looked me squarely in the eye. “You realize she’s going to get an excellent education,” he pronounced in his starchiest tone. I can almost see him standing up on his tippy toes in his docksiders to emphasize that truth. It was all I was worth to resist blurting out: “Oh, and all this time we thought she was running away to join the circus!”
We had strict orders: no rainbow tie-dyed sweatshirt from Reny’s, no black and red plaid wool coat, no Grundens, and never, ever, follow up an introduction to a teacher with the query “Didja gitcher deer yet?”
Ah, Parents’ Weekend at the posh boarding school. Tarzan Visits the Big City. Well, not quite.
An Egyptian relic gets a seizure notice from the U.S. Customs.
This past weekend I partook in a bit of classic Maine, enjoying a few of Maine’s quintessential autumn offerings as well as sampling some delicious food from local restaurants. It was so good, and I’m so grateful to live in a place that allows me to do it, that I decided to share my itinerary. I recommend it to any local or visitor looking for a spectacular culinary escape on the coast. Herewith, my weekend of food:
Four of us were expected at the Island Teacher’s Conference, sponsored by the Island Institute and held in Belfast last week. Teachers, school committee members, and other staff from one-room schools and some of the other island schools would be attending. The networking is fun; the hard part is getting there. Needless to say, the weather forecast did not guarantee conditions “flyable” on the day we needed to cross the bay.
My season has ended. The big steel display rack is down, and there are no more wee dark hours with Hobart the mixer and the BBC on the radio. This time of year, I bake a round for my regular neighbors every couple of weeks, and things are considerably less structured. I love my summer business, but there is no denying that even when living life means being surrounded by cinnamon rolls, doing the bakery thing is absolutely work.
My desk, at the moment, is a large cable reel that once held electric wire. My office chair is a picnic cooler. Around me in my little campsite: balsam fir saplings and the breeze overhead in the pines (I do have to pick pine needles out of the keyboard from time to time). On the other side of a few trees, the sounds of livestock, power tools, laughter, and trucks. I am at the Common Ground Country Fair, in Unity, but few of you will see me.