A summer paradise at my Southwest Harbor home

It’s 10:30 a.m. and I’ve been up since 6:30 a.m. Not exactly. I’m still in bed, looking out my window at the Cranberry Island ferry coming and going, sailboats gliding by, the one old house on Greening Island. Enjoying the most delightful breeze while reading “The Lowland” by Jhumpa Lahiri. Had my coffee and a piece of toast, which isn’t my usual breakfast. But this isn’t an ordinary day.

Maybe I’ll stay in bed all day. I’ve opted out of attending this weekend’s Quietside Festival’s parade. It’s funny, it’s fun and I’d see lots of people I know.

But I’ve decided to stay home.

Since my arrival July 1, I’ve been alternating daily walks at Wonderland and Ship Harbor down the road a piece in Acadia National Park. Brook and Gian went with me last week.

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Maybe I’ll walk around Little Long Pond in Seal Harbor today. Maybe I’ll keep reading. What a treat to be on vacation! There’s something particularly extravagant having days on end to do whatever.

When Brook and Gian were here I retired every evening to my newly named “fainting couch” in the dining room. I could watch my beautiful daughter making dinner, while sipping sauvignon blanc. Later we played Bananagrams (still sipping sauvignon blanc).

Behold my privileged life as a summer person!

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Last night, I attended a benefit for the fabulous Summer Festival of the Arts at the Common Good Cafe, (whose morning popovers are better than the fancy shmancy Jordan Pond House). The cafe is about a mile down the road, across the street from the ocean at the Seawall entrance to Acadia National Park.

So many people I knew were there — old students 20 years later, their kids performing as teenagers, part of the fabulous program where Brook wrote and sang and performed starting as a third grader (Ethan wasn’t as involved. He was too busy mowing lawns as the founder of E-Man’s Odd Jobs).

Old friends from our ongoing women’s group talked about growing older. A friend with a brain tumor greeted me with a big hug and radiant smile (fortunately, she’s in stable condition. She reminds me of Gabby Giffords). The amazing talents of Mount Desert Island young people were still apparent. Is there something in the air? Or is it something totally unique to this island community?

People who remembered me came over to say hello. The young drummer who played in the superb jazzy-blues combo, whom I’ve known for 30 years and is now a father, invited me to stop by his house. There’s such comfort in being here, such a rare sense of belonging. I’ll be back.

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15 Responses to A summer paradise at my Southwest Harbor home

  1. Dan Cobbledick says:

    lovely piece and nice use of photos

  2. juliegraphics says:

    Very nice! I wouldn’t want to leave!

  3. judith cox says:

    How wonderful to be at the point where guilt, responsibility or anything else is forcing you away from this state of mind in this beautiful spot. See you soon I hope. love—

  4. sheilawill says:

    Thanks Judith. You encouraged me! See you soon.

  5. Weslea says:

    It was wonderful to see you surrounded by people who were so enriched by Oz , such a part of SFOA. Thank you sharing my big July.

  6. sheilawill says:

    Wonderful being part of it, Weslea! I didn’t quite realize how big it is. I’m right behind you. See you Sunday.

  7. Sheila Lepley says:

    J E A L O U S. J E A L O U S……Nothing quite like the New England Atlantic. The trees, shrubs and bushes so different from the southwest desert. Enjoy it, be lazy, read, walk, daydream and know that Tucson is living up to its full steamy summer potential. rain all over the place, distant thunder, lightening and always the hope that it will rain right where I live. In fact we have had two huge deluges. Our huge water tanks are filled with rain water. YEA.

  8. sheilawill says:

    I’m sorry to miss the monsoon but oh sooo glad to be here!

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  10. Pamela Jean Cullop says:

    Dear Sheila,
    Can’t tell you how much I enjoyed your post. It’s like the tantalizingly chapter of a book that one is allowed when ordering from Amazon!

  11. Claire says:

    A description of a perfect day in a most amazing place on this wondrous earth. Can’t wait to try out the fainting couch. Love the photos.

  12. sheilawill says:

    Thanks Claire! I know you’ll enjoy being here. Wish I could spend more time with you!

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