Saturday, December 26, 2009

What to Treasure

I've missed blogging this past week!  I can't wait to read everyone's posts and catch up on what you've been reading, thinking, watching, imagining, creating, and celebrating over the pasts several days.  Early last week we packed all of the belongings that we'd brought to the island plus those trinkets and baubles we've accumulated over the past four months, and we left the island.  It was the saddest I've ever felt leaving a place, and I have left many, many places in my life.  At the same time, we were lucky to have the distraction of the holidays and family and work to push us forward through our days.  Christmas was lovely (hectic, too), and now we're off tomorrow to a conference in Philly for a bit.  We haven't even finished unpacking, but that can wait.

I hope you'll bear with me as I type this one last island post tonight.  I mentioned a couple of posts back that I was a writing a list of what I'll treasure most about my island memories.  Todd has chimed in, too, so here goes:

~The scent of wild roses in the air.
~Watching lobstermen hauling traps outside our front window.
~Riding bikes along the back shore on our road with its well-loved cottages, tenacious wildflowers, brambly roses, sea-weathered rocks, salt marshes, and views of the ocean that stretch for miles.

~Sea smoke like you see in these two photos above.  It only appears when very cold air is moving over warmer water, but when it does, wow.
~Neighbors who wave.  Always.  Whether walking, biking, driving, or riding a big wheel, nearly everyone here waves as you pass by.  If you're walking and they are, too, it is likely that they will stop and chat for a bit, no matter who you are.  It's not a fake, touchy-feely gesture.  It's as necessary to island life as having good storm windows.    
~Kids riding their bikes everywhere on their own.  
~No Starbucks, no McDonalds's, no Wal-Mart--no chains of any kind.
~Leaving the door unlocked.
~Talking with people whose families have lived on the island in the same house for generations.  (Sadly, with the poor economy and the rising property taxes, fewer and fewer of these families can afford to stay here.)
~Eating at home nearly every night.  There are two year-round restaurants on the island, and they are great, but most nights we've eaten at home, and it's been magical to cook with the sun setting and the waves crashing just outside our window. 
~Having Portland restaurants just a ferry ride away for those nights when we do eat off the island.  Portland is foodie heaven.  This is the best food town in the northeast for half the price of Boston and none of the pretense.  Local, organic, original, and beautiful food--that's what you'll find on your plate here.  
~Hannigan's Supermarket.  "If we don't have it, you don't need it."
~Beachcombing.  My mason jars are filled to brimming with sea glass!
~The simple, profound physical certainty of high and low tides.
~The waves.  Their sound, their smell, the constancy of their presence.  
~Riding the ferry--everyone rides it, so it's one of the centers of social life and news on the island.  I never grow tired of this bay and the view of the islands here.  Plus, a girl can get get some good crocheting done on those 15-minute rides.
~Island dogs and cats.
~Island cars--seriously, we saw one that had a piece of driftwood for a rear bumper.
~The blast of the ferry horn carrying over the island--always on time.

~The people we met.  Hands down, this is the friendliest place I've lived.
~Being back in the state where I'm from and in the city where I met my husband.  Nineteen years and several cities and states later, we've come full circle.    


    1. This is so lovely, Gigi. Merry Christmas and welcome home.

    2. Gigi, what is the name of this island? I think your heart and soul belong to this special place. And I would love to see it one day.
      Hope you are heading back there soon.
      xo country girl

    3. Gigi, this is one of my all time favorite posts! I yearn for the peace and the joy such a lived life brings. I wish that one day you could make this place your own. But I do know that wherever you will be, you will be happily absorbing life.

    4. Hi Gigi,
      I want to live in such a place....beautiful post! Take care, Laura

    5. sounds lovely. there is nothing quite like an island. my mother lives on Prince Edward Island (Canada's smallest province!) and it is heaven on earth there. the most beautiful place to see.

    6. So beautiful Gigi. Loving a place for everything that it is and offers and holds the potential to be in our hearts. Little wonder you had a hard time parting!

    7. Maybe it's just because I'm PMSing but I got SO sad (tearful!) at the thought of you guys "leaving the island." (Lost...haha!) Maybe the silver lining in all of this is similar to that last line in that Wordsworth'll always have a reservoir of beautiful memories and images that can bring you pleasure. "For oft when on my couch I lie, in vacant or in pensive mood...they flash upon that inward eye, which is the bliss of solitude. And then my heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils." Welcome home, Todd and Gigi!

    8. Oh, you make me long for a six month island sabbatical. We've talked about doing just that on the Isle of Skye. Trouble is, I cannot leave Edward and Apple for six whole months! I shudder at the very thought!

      But maybe there's an island in the states?

    9. Welcome home! I've really enjoyed seeing the island through your eyes during your stay, and now I feel a bit like I'm leaving as well.

      I won't be online much this coming week, so I will bid you an early Happy New Year.

    10. Oh, what a dream! And what stunning photos.

      Sending warmest wishes to you for a wonderful year to come.

      C x

    11. Oh that was like a love letter...I love your Island and it's people.

      It's the simplicity that does it for me, unfussy straightforward. Not spoilt.

      I'm so sad for those who have to leave their family homes due to money factors. That must be heartbreaking.

      That first picture is just beautiful, I love it.

      My fondest and best wishes for your week my darling Gigi.
      xoxo DJ

    12. what a great post! its easy to tell how much you loved it there.... i can feel it in every word, sunrise to sunset.
      i never lock my door!
      happy new year

    13. what beautiful memories and photographs. i know your heart sings when it's there.

    14. Beautiful post!
      Hope you had a great Christmas! Wishing you all the best for 2010!x

    15. oh gigi, such a lovely posting... as always... beautiful thoughts and images... you are so gifted..

      what a wonderful experience you have had... can't wait to see what is next in your lives...

      xxo, kim
      p.s. i would love to go scouting for old houses with you! that would be amazing! ;)

    16. Such amazing photos! Now I want to read more about it!

    17. The sun rising over the water is my favourite too. xx

    18. Oh, have just lived a wonderful adventure that most of us only dream about. Your words and memories of the island are so inspirational to everyone and reminds us all to find the wonderful in every moment of every day. I can't wait to see what the new year holds for you, so that you will share your beautiful words with us again and again. Happy New Year, my lovely talented friend! xxoo

    19. Dear Gigi,
      My Chrismas have been very nice but quite hectic, with lots of time spent togheter with my family and friends in the south of Norway. Now I am back in Oslo again, and I find more time to read my favorite blogs (like yours)again.

      You have such a great gift for writing and when I read your last post I got tears in my eyes. Both because it is so beautifully written, and also because I feel I have seen the island through your eyes and now I am leaving it together with you.

      The Island life you describe is so lovely, and I am sure you will treasure it in your heart forever. I also think that many of your readers (including me) would love to experience "Your Island" one day - preferable togheter with you.

      I am very greatful for having discovered your blog and gotten to know you a little through it. I look very much forward to follow you in 2010!

      All my best wishes for you and Tod for the new year!

      Warm hug from MiaNostalgia
      - on the other side of the ocean

    20. OH what a list. Makes me want to move there right now. It sounds magical. I love the ocean. Thank you for counting your blessings for is making me think of all the things I love about where I live.

    21. Oh Gigi,
      Your island life sounded idyllic. I'm sure that you will go back one day, won't you ? But, for now you will look forward to a new and different life which, I'm sure, will be just as fun and rewarding and, I know that you will find beauty, friendly people and, many of the things on your list.The things that you will miss you will find again.
      Look forward and I wish you much happiness in 2010, wherever you may be. XXXX

    22. Gigi~ I miss just knowing that you were here. We should have met in person-regrets. Island life is poetic and you capture it. Happy New Year dear~

    23. You are so right about Portland as foodie heaven. Best little city in America, for my money.

    24. Dear GiGi,
      Hope you are adjusting to your new move. Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful
      fun fill New year!!


    25. Talk about wonderful lists. Oh, Gigi. This one had me sighing and dreaming. And so happy for you, my friend, that you had this gorgeous time. Since you haven't really said, I don't know how much of the non-blog writing you accomplished that you had intended, but I'll tell you one thing. You sure became a first rate photographer.

    26. You had such a wonderful experience there. Memories that you will hold on to for a lifetime. And who knows what awaits you now!!??
      Here's to a new year of possibility.


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