Saturday, August 21, 2010
The fog made it impossible for Connie and her friends to come for their planned overnight on Thursday, but in the morning it had cleared to a stellar clear cloudless day and they were able to get Drew to take them out early. I’m glad because there were twelve lobster hanging out in one of Jackson’s boxes tied to a buoy in the cove and I had to cook them. The little boy who spent the night on his sailboat with his parents marveled at the tram as we fired up the diesel donkey engine and sent the cart up the hill with Connie’s cooler and day packs.
Five guys arrived before they did yesterday who were sailing on to Monhegan and came up at eight for a look around. They didn’t think they’d find anyone but I was just on the porch reading and ready for them. They loved the view from the top of the lighthouse and we very impressed by the peacefulness all around. There were some other visitors in the morning but for such a glorious day, once we sat down to lobster, potato salad, fried squash and corn at the picnic table, it was the first time France and I could remember that we were able to enjoy lunch start to finish with friends, without one of us having to break away to greet visitors and give a tour. We had a wonderful meal and enjoying the company of new friends filled out the day until they had to leave at four.
We continue trying to wrap up little projects that have been on the back burner all summer. France keeps at the walls in the museum and gift shop trying to rid the brick of white paint. I’ve finally stenciled the greeting on the huge white board under the tram, now that it’s been decided what it should say. It took most of the afternoon on foggy Thursday, after which I realized I could easily have taken the sign down and carried it up to the Whistle House and had a nice flat surface to work on on the workbench. Instead I dragged a chair out of the Donkey House and made due craning my neck with tiny little stencils. Yesterday I found a small brush and two of the colors I need to get a start filling in the pencil lines. Here’s what it will say:
Owned by the Friends of Seguin Island
a nonprofit organization
supported primarily by your donations
Please carry off the island what you bring on
keep your dog leashed
I did finish the door knobs in the guest quarters but not the guts of the doors. I couldn’t find those parts. I made curtains for the doors in the living room, which had been removed, so that anyone sleeping on the futon could have some privacy. France cleaned all 284 pieces of the lens and the inside of the windows, which surround it. She also refastened the rungs and tar paper on the ramps of the tram where they were loose or missing. And I’ll probably find time to clear the vegetation out from under the front porch which in my opinion is why we have so many mosquitoes coming up through the floor there. What I won’t get to is stripping the picnic table and repainting it and building one of those bird condos for Purple Martins my dad was famous for putting up all over the country in every house he lived in from Iowa to New York to Tennessee. They come in the spring and of course I won’t be here then but I would like to have left my contribution to a few less mosquitoes and bugs on the island.
One of Oliver’s chicks has a broken wing. Connie’s friend John said there’s nothing you can do about it; it’s just a fact of nature and the bird will be recycled as it should be. It’s hard to see it hobble around the yard though and peck for bugs. Oliver is sometimes with it but less and less. France spent some time with it yesterday afternoon trying to get it to drink and eat which could prolong its suffering and only comfort her. After sunset, when I was coming in, Oliver stood on the rock near the picnic table and I stopped to stand with him for a while. We looked at each other for a long time. I made my little gull noises that he usually responds to but he was silent. I’m not sure how much he understands about his wounded offspring. Probably more than I can imagine.
And this morning there was another dead bird on the mat on the porch of the kitchen, the same spot we found the Petrel a couple of months ago. I don’t know what they’re hitting to die and land there. There are no windows, unless they’ve bounced off the glass at the top of the tower.
We’re glad for the groceries Connie brought: simple things like milk and bread and eggs. Not shopping on Wednesday stretched supplies and got me thinking how difficult it must have been for the families who lived here who had to be almost entirely self sustaining. We’re a far cry from that.