Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer with the Starfish

Would you like to see a slideshow from my vacation? I knew you would!!

I just finished attending RWA in NYC, and couldn't leave the East Coast without visiting my family in Maine. These photos are from an island I've been coming to since I was little. In fact, my father proposed to my mother on this island. Later, they bought a teeny-weeny little cottage here along with two friends of theirs. And that's how I got to spend chunks of the summer here when I was young and had no responsibilities.

I ran around barefoot all summer on the gravel road (there's only one, which circles the island), fished off the dock, hurled myself into the freezing cold water, and ate blueberry popsicles. It made for a perfectly idyllic summer. My brother lives here year-round, so now I get to watch my niece and nephew enjoy the same kind of dreamy, lost-in-time summers scented with wild roses, raspberry bushes, and diesel fumes.

It's a fishing island, mostly lobster. I've known the lobsterman in this photo since I was nine.

It's also home to "summer families," a tradition handed down from one generation to the next. Families have been coming to this tiny speck in the middle of Casco Bay since the 1800's.

They've waited at the dock for the ferry bringing their friends, family and groceries. The same scene has been repeated over and over again, year after year, and for a few days each summer I'm lucky enough to be a part of it.

I love this place more than I can ever express. If you blindfolded me and flew me around the world, then dropped me on this island, I would know it instantly, just from the smell: sun and seaweed and roses and tar. Some things have changed. When we first came here, the island had only one phone -- the pay phone at the dock. We washed our clothes by hand on a washboard. We heated our water on the stove. We burned our trash on the rocks. And not because I'm that old -- the island was just that backwards.

Now there's Internet and trash collection and "activities" for the kids. Even though I miss the days when my activities consisted of rescuing stranded starfish and making treasure maps in the sand, I still love every minute I get to spend here. I know I'm biased, but I truly believe this must be one of the most beautiful places on earth. Here are a couple more photos to prove my case!

Thanks for indulging me and watching my slideshow!


daydrmzzz said...

Looks amazing Juniper I am very jealous now. Have a great visit with your brother and enjoy your summer.

Milinda said...

Gorgeous! I'm envious and curious. Was this island the inspiration behind Doll?

Maria said...

Great vacation pictures Juniper! Truly looks like an idyllic location

Meg Benjamin said...

Ah Juniper, it puts your Alaska experiences in context!

Juniper Bell said...

Thanks Dawn! I'm actually leaving today. :-( But that means I'll see my sweetie soon. ;-)

Milinda - Yes, you're right!! The island in Doll is a version of this island -- with some differences. Good catch, girl!

Thanks Maria! It is very idyllic. If you can ignore the mosquitoes, LOL.

Meg! Maine is kind of like a tamer version of Alaska. Both are beautiful, but Alaska is much more wild and primitive. I love both though!

Kelly Jamieson said...

Oh I am so jealous! It looks amazing Juniper and of course I can't help think about what an AMAZING setting that is for books!