Return of a 2010 Caretaker

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Coming back to Maine is like coming home in many ways.  I have mixed feelings about going back to Seguin but mostly it will be grand because I won’t be in charge and I’ll be able to enjoy it as a visitor.  But I’m sure it will be hard because I’ll be thinking of the days last year during the summer when so much happened:  the many rewards of simply being there, the visitors who came, the friends who visited, the storms and the sunsets and the food.

I’ve neglected this blog unfortunately.  It seemed easy to write while on Seguin because I’d wake up with the sun and have two or three hours just to write.  Now that I’m back, I once again woke with the sun and found that I wanted to write again, to add to the blog I started last summer.

It took most of the day to drive up yesterday.  Ethan’s place is a real bachelor’s pad.  It’s a big enough house that there are other residents and being on the water affords the wonderful sounds of the surf and the night sky you can’t experience in the city.  I never thought about how much a house defines who we are.  This one has a big heart even though it’s a little rough around the edges.

Fourth of July was the most all-American adventure I’ve had in a long while.  We attended the parade at Five Islands in Georgetown and it’s small time apple pie all the way, but New England style.  The best float was a huge lobster trap built of two by fours and filled with small children dressed as red lobsters.

I’ve been back only two days and have already consumed four lobsters.  It’s been so much fun to explore all the local attractions we’d heard so much about last year but never had time for.  It’s been great to reconnect with friends too and have the pleasure of going to dinner and exploring the river.

We’d always heard about Bates-Morse Mountain reserve in Phippsburg and the long walk through the woods to a spectacular beach, but we never had time to explore it while living on Seguin and tending the lighthouse.  I took the trip early one morning and after breakfast at Percy’s, parked the car and began the trek.  Not two minutes later I was attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes and in the time it took to take off my backpack and find the bug spray, had four bites.  If I hadn’t brought it with me, I would have turned back.  It’s about a two-mile hike on a road that’s basically up hill and down.  Once you reach the end, the road opens out onto one of the most spectacular beaches I’ve ever seen and a beautiful view of Seguin off in the distance.

I arrived at low tide and was surprised to find children at play in the small pools of water dotting the sand.  Maybe they were living in the homes on the road and hadn’t hiked in like I did.  Basically though you have a lot of beach to yourself and the river that runs into the sea separating you from the beach at Popham State Park is delightful to play in.  I finally fell asleep in the sun and woke just as the waves were coming up to my toes.  The tide had come in and erased most of the beautiful beach.  It was time to pack up and head back through the woods.  I wish I’d hiked up to the summit of Morse Mountain; the views from there of the coastline must be spectacular.  I was too hot and hungry though.  I have to save some things for next year.

September 4, 2011

Unfortunately I never posted my return chapter.  I did visit Seguin twice in July and saw Nathan and Amy and found it to be the same stage where the same play was being produced but with a different cast.  It was fascinating to me that what happened each year didn’t really change that much, but was simply told and experienced in a different way.

Nate and Amy are from the area and had many friends come to visit.  The house was filled with music and impromptu partying was the norm.  They seemed anxious to promote the island but happy when they were left alone to their own devices.  And they were looking forward to their wedding over Labor Day.

What now fills me with joy and anticipation is going back for a short stint this month.  Past caretakers have been invited back to take a week between Labor Day and Columbus Day and I’m happy to report that I’ll be there from the 22nd to the 27th.  I will have just finished a long job I’ve been on since January and will cherish seeing that to a close and once again finding myself in paradise.  I promise more photos and details.

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