Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Salt Air

{Little Cranberry Island, Maine}

We left the Scamp on the farm and sped up through New England to our final destination: Little Cranberry Island, Maine. P's extended family still owns the marvelous, ramshackle cedar shingle house his great-great grandfather built there in 1904, and save for wifi and a washing machine, not much has changed. Not much changes on the island, period. Little Cranberry is one of the last year-round fishing community islands in Maine, and it's the hardscrabble island existence that makes it as romantic as it is rough.







P's childhood friends from the island are lobstermen now with their own boats, their own families. They keep Dominique chickens so that when the channel freezes over in January and the island is cut off from the rest of the world, there are still eggs for breakfast. It is a hard place to live. But in the summer the island is vibrant, virile; the fishermen's co-op is humming, the little lanes are abuzz with barefoot children racing ten-speeds, and the backyard vegetable gardens are overgrown jungles of squash and tomatoes. August on the island is, quite simply, magical.








I wandered the island with the dogs, picked armloads of queen anne's lace, devoured my father-in-law's anadama bread straight out of the oven, and finally did some reading. P. and I woke to the gulls calling the lobster boats out into the morning fog, out into the cold, black Atlantic. We went to bed with full, hot bellies after enormous meals of chowder and haddock around the spirited dinner table. It was the end of the Scamp adventure, the closing parenthesis on our Great American Road Trip. We were surrounded by family, and we were very, very grateful and very, very happy.

Next chapter: India.

23 comments:

  1. reading this from delhi...enjoy the fresh air, the space, the quiet and maybe pack some of that in your suitcase to share over here!

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  2. What an utterly beautiful world!

    ps: I really am curious to see what your pictures are going to make of a completely different planet - your great Indian adventure.
    You seem to work magic with your camera wherever you are.

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  3. oh, that is LoVeLy. It reminds me of when we lived in Turkey, in a small town in the mountains.
    Your post is wonderful at relaying the Magic!

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  4. i looove these photos. especially the first with the queen anne's lace. and the notion of a magical oldtimey week in maine. sigh.

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  5. oh lulu i just simply adore this post. i feel like i was on cranberry island with you! i love queen anne's lace ever since you brought some to parkman parky and that bread looks AMAZING! hope things in india are going swell. california misses you. i miss you.

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  6. That sounds like an amazing place. Actually the whole trip sounds like it was the best thing ever. I cannot wait to hear about your Indian adventures...so exciting.

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  7. So perfect. When I get tired of the office, I start daydreaming about living on an island, baking bread, hanging out laundry, huddling under blankets in winter. Being exhausted and also exhilarated.

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  8. oh sigh. so lovely. so perfect. i need a little place like that...mostly empty, with beautiful views and places to walk and fresh eggs when the winter weather beats down.

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  9. Sounds amazing up there in Maine, L. Have you read Stern Men? It's a Mainey tale of hard life and lobstermen. You might have liked while eating warm anadama. But now that you're in India, you must read something spicier.

    God of Small Things. If you haven't read it, you must. I will send it to you in India if you need it. LMK, for realz.

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  10. Oh, Lily. You two are just perfect, you know?

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  11. love that dog photo under the table!!!!

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  12. stunning! oh how beautiful! how i would love to visit. i have always been drawn to places that are quiet in the winter with its great and crashing waves i wonder if one can rent someplace their for the winter time? and the bread recipe is that a family secret?

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  13. So great. I'm excited about the whole thing: your road trip with the scamp (too bad it's ended) your next adventure to india...but I'll miss Biscuit. I'm still a fan.
    Can't wait for next chapter.
    Bobbi

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  14. Can't wait to be taken to India! I follow from far-away Germany and it's so exciting to catch a glimpse of these beautiful american landscapes!
    Thanks a lot and go ahead! :)

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  15. Hi Lily!

    Look at the magical island visit...
    can't wait to see the next installment. thinking of you,
    k

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  16. Oh wow. It sounds like perfection-topped of with fresh bread out of the oven!

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  17. This looks like an amazing place. How lucky that you've got a family house there! I can't wait to see your photos and hear about your adventures in India...

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  18. As a Maine girl who's done her share of island living, I LOVE these photos. That one of the bedroom looks like a Wyeth painting for Pete's sake!

    Can't wait to hear about your next adventures. Safe travels! xoxo Gigi

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  19. wait.


    you mean to tell me you spent time somewhere... magical. no way. ;)

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  20. Beautiful stories! I wonder though, how do you afford this lifestyle?

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  21. Anon- thanks! Appearances can be deceiving...we lived really simply in a rural area with super low rent for the past two years, are *very* strict with our expenses, and put most of our incomes into savings in anticipation for this year of travel. We are blessed to have some friends and family who live in beautiful places that we visited along the way, but we've scrounged and saved and sold in order to take this year off from real life and move to India.

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