Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Knitting, Eating Lobster and Watching Sunsets...Am I in heaven?

My two weeks on vacation are always the perfect antidote for the pressure and stress of the rest of the year. Knitting has been an ongoing source of relaxation for me so pairing it with the easy lifestyle of my getaway makes it an even more wonderful pasttime. I brought a number of projects in progress as well as yarn and patterns to begin new ones. But, as usual, the joy was in the journey rather than the race to complete my items. I reveled in the experience of knitting in new and unusual spots...

McClellan Park

Grindstone Neck in Winter Harbor

And, of course, outside the cottage overlooking the lake

(Note to self: NEVER let anyone take pictures of me from this angle again! Legs that resemble giant sequoia trees are never flattering.)

My waterside knitting was primarily devoted to a pair of socketta socks for myself:

and a pair of fixation footies for Meredith:

(I'm still working on these two weeks later which should give you some idea of why my delicious stretches of uninterrupted knitting on vacation were so precious.)

I also completed Meredith's "constant companion" bag for school but will unveil that beauty in a separate post.

My family has a wonderful tradition on the second Thursday of the vacation (two days before we head home). We leave the cottage around noon and head for the Gouldsboro Peninsula, a remote, rural Washington County area rimmed with scenic lobstering villages and summer colonies. We stop at a small restaurant named Chase's to pick up a picnic lunch of fried haddock sandwiches, chowder and Meredith's favorite: fried clams. Then we head for Grindstone Neck, a small stone beach at the end of a collection of summer "cottages" large enough to fit our entire house in their living room. Seagulls hover above us waiting for a moment of inattention and their chance to snag some of our food. Isla stands guard as if to say to them, "Not on my watch, you cheeky scavengers!"

After lunch, Brendan, Meredith and Isla go off exploring the rocky crevices and tidal pools:

and then we take a few family pictures for use in our Christmas letter:

After a couple of hours, we pack up and reluctantly leave this beautiful spot. As we drive past the massive summer homes, we each pick out our favorites and note any changes from last summer.

Our next stop is to visit our friend Bob in Winter Harbor, just up the road to pick up some lobsters. For many years, Bob worked at the lobster dock in Corea, one of the small Gouldsboro peninsula villages, unloading the lobster boats, tallying the daily catch, and assisting the boat owners with refueling and re-baiting for the next day. Over the past thirty years, we had spent many hours standing dockside watching the process and enjoying the good-natured banter of the men, their thick downeast Maine accents lilting and foreign sounding.

Bob is retired now but, as is the case with most people of the region, still keeping his hand in, selling lobster, crabs and camp firewood bundles from his home. He is probably in his 70's but looks younger and maintains a twinkle in his eye, despite an ongoing battle with cancer. He greets us with hugs and handshakes and sells us three large hard-shelled lobsters at a ridiculously low price, his way of affirming our friendship. He is particularly interested in hearing about Meredith's work at school and invokes her to "study hahd, young lady" in a mock stern voice. Amidst goodbye hugs, we all silently wonder if Bob will be here next year and say a little prayer that he can prevail against the cancer. He is such an amazing person, so representative of the ruggedness, good humor and genuine warmth of this beautiful area. God Bless You, Bob! Keep fighting!

Now we head home to cook up our lobsters. We have learned from experience not to clutter the table with anything beyond the lobsters and some cups of melted butter... no potatoes, corn, or even a salad. Just the luscious lobsters followed by a trip to Jordan's ice cream stand in Ellsworth for dessert.

No gourmet dinner in any five star restaurant compares to eating those lobsters on the porch...

and then watching one of our last vacation sunsets until our next vacation...

Goodbye, Georges Pond! We'll be back soon, I promise!



What a gorgeous tradition! and such a lovely family. Traditions are such an important part in the growth of a family - wait until the grandbabies are eating lobsters on the porch watching the sunset. Thankyou for letting Lyndsay and I be part of that wonderful experience. Sue

HomeJewel said...

Just found you from the knitting webring. Oh boy, the pictures on this post take me back to our tour of duty in Maine when my dh was in the Navy. We LOVED Maine and cried many tears when we left our beloved friends behind in Topsham (same friend who taught me how to knit).

Oh, great blog name - lol.