First Dinner Guests

Thursday, June 17, 2010

There’s fog again today and it’s 53 degrees.  I’m planning to replace the belt in the sit down mower.  Dave brought a new one on Tuesday night.  He called to say that he had the filters for the water and the belt and could come by after work.  We invited him for dinner and he brought his lovely wife Linda.  They were our first dinner guests.

But think about it.  We’re on an island.  They had to drive to their boat, get out on the water, radio me on the frequency we monitor (78) to let me know they had just cleared the harbor and would be in our cove in 15 minutes.  I climbed down to the cove and dragged the dingy off the rocks (with the tides fluctuating as much as ten feet, you can’t just tie it up at the shore line) and rowed out to the buoy where Dave and Linda tied up their boat.  There’s a padlock on the buoy we use so no one else uses our dingy.  You don’t want to get stuck without it.  But the lock has lived underwater too long and is badly rusted making it really hard to open.  I’ll have to sprits it with WD40 next time we use it.

Safely ashore, I insisted they use the path to walk up to the house since I’d just mowed it and was proud of how it looked.  I spent most of Wednesday whacking weeds on the part of this path that’s too steep or too rocky to use the push mower on.  Then I tackled the Cobblestone Beach trail.  When I told Cyndy yesterday that I’d finished it she asked if the nests were gone.  I said there were ones off the trail but didn’t notice any others.  She hadn’t done it because there were nests in the trail.  Oops!  Not any more.  I don’t think I hit any.

Anyway it took a while to clear and when I’d finished, I was sweaty and could barely lift my left arm.  It was such a beautiful day I decided to take another skinny dip in the cove.  It really felt good and seemed warmer than it was the last time we went in.  I sat on the rocks that were warm from the sun when I came out of the water and relished the tranquility.  The Eider ducks paddle about in formation and the osprey, terns, purple martins and swallows fly about.  France watched, horrified, as a great black-backed gull attacked one of the Eider chicks last night.  And walking up the tram to monitor the progress of our stuff chugging up the hill, one of the Herring gulls let me come very close to it as it perched on the rail.  It didn’t want to say hello or be petted; it was guarding a nest probably just down below.  It probably wanted to peck my eyes out.  But it flew off and let me pass.  I can’t imagine what they make of the wooden wagon inching up the hill on the tram.

Once to the house, Dave and Linda and France and I went down to the basement to watch him install the new filters.  Supposedly the system of four filters will allow us to drink the brown water and not have to carry 48 pound blue plastic cubes from the mainland.  Sure, the tram takes it up the hill but you have to load it into and out of the boat, carry them across the rocks and up the stairs off the beach.  I’ve done one in each hand (that’s almost 100 pounds total) and wondered just how secure the stitches would hold on my hernia, not to mention my knees.  I can feel I’m getting stronger, painfully so, and I’ve lost about seven pounds.

So far the water looks pretty cloudy but I’ll continue to monitor it and Fred left us a testing kit to bring to the mainland next Wednesday to find out just how safe it is.  Meanwhile, I’ll stick to what we fill up at Cyndy’s with her garden hose for drinking.

Then the four of us went down to the Whistle House with the belt for the big mower.  Of course, the manual was just where Dave had said it was when I spoke with him by phone but I was looking elsewhere and hadn’t found it.  He pretty much showed me what I need to do; it’s my assignment for today.  The grass is getting out of control again.  You can practically watch it grow.

Finally we sat down to dinner.  We had chili going in the slow cooker all afternoon and France had made a nice salad.  There were homemade chocolate chip cookies and vanilla ice cream for desert.  France and I enjoyed hearing some of Dave and Linda’s island stories and tales of past caretakers.  Their daughter was caretaker with Cyndy in 2007 when France discovered Seguin and their son was the one who built the composting outhouse in the cove for a merit Eagle Scout badge.  Nice folks and I conned them into taking down and folding the new flag.  Dave knew exactly what to do.  Linda hadn’t anticipated the detour, hoping to get to the outhouse in the cove sooner than later but was very good-natured about it.  I hope to splice the clip into my video.

We’re beginning to get to know a lot of the locals on our Wednesdays shopping for provisions on the mainland.  Many have stories about Seguin and most say they’d like to come back out this summer.  Our first stop yesterday was at Percy’s where David and Tracy open at seven and serve up a hearty breakfast.  As we left, I noticed some small watercolors on the wall and commented to France that there was another Percy we hadn’t heard about whose name was on the paintings..  The one we knew is Jackson who has lobster traps all around Seguin.  I’m told that I can call him in the evening to put in an order and that he’ll come into the cove where I can meet him to claim the catch and hand him a check.  That’s a relationship I hope to cultivate.

As I commented to France about the watercolor of a boat on the shore a voice from behind announced that I could have it signed by the artist if I wanted because he was sitting right there.  We introduced ourselves.  I’m glad I hadn’t made some snide comment about the art.  It’s a very small town.  We met a woman named Jane as we paid David on the way out, whom I later ran into at Shaw’s market in Bath.  Of course I called her Linda.  I hope she wasn’t offended.  Every week we think we need less and less shopping because we’re stocking up but every week we seem to spend more and more.

We’re looking forward to our first overnight guests this weekend.  Jamie and Sol are visiting from New York by way of Vermont.  I hope Sunday is a clear day.  Hot and humid is the forecast but I’ll have to wait and see how that translates in Maine.

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