July 26, 2012
About half way through our month of travel and visiting, I took some time to write down some of the things that had made a strong impression or that I had especially enjoyed. I couldn't believe how much we had done and what a magical time it was. I’ve captured a lot of it in photographs, but I also wanted to share some of the images in my mind of our time on the East Coast.
We attended and wedding reception on a long wooden fishing pier, round tables covered in yellow and white cloth, fluttering in the gentle breeze. The beach stretched lazily on either side, golden sand meeting endless blue ocean; umbrellas, sunbathers, and swimmers strewn across the expanse of sand and water making a scattering of color like confetti for the celebration.
I spent part a day in Manhattan where my sister and I escaped from the sweaty pavement with a walk along the high line. We meandered along the elevated park weaving between tourists, tall buildings, and bright sun, admiring the vegetation, views, and noticing which apartments had the best decks. I convinced her that popsicles can be good and she ate most of the red plum and sour cherry one that we bought along the way. Later, at a little place in her Brooklyn neighborhood we shared a beet and ricotta salad, tiramisu and what might have been the best ever dark chocolate torte with hazelnut mousse.
My feet became accustomed to the rough terrain and soft grass as I went barefoot as much as possible. A few of the mornings at my dad’s house I was woken by three crowing roosters which gave me a chance to see the stars just before they set. I baked pies and cookies, played badminton, got to go sailing on the Frances. On the fourth of July I introduced my dad to the richness of a homemade custard based ice cream. We continued our annual tradition of making ice cream the old fashioned way: cranking it by hand surrounded by ice and rock salt.
During our trip I tried to swim as much as possible since it is one my favorite ways to spend hot summer days. I swam upstream in the river, dove in the lake, and floated in the ocean. One sticky evening just after sunset I went down to the dock while Ray swam. I wasn’t planning to go in, but I couldn’t resist the pink and gold water that would feel so clean and cool. I quickly took off my clothes and slipped into the water. It was one of those brief but perfect summer moments which should have lasted longer, but I didn’t want the neighbors to see me.
Our nieces and nephew loved attacking and climbing on Ray but I got to go on adventures with them to explore the beach and take the ferry for an afternoon on Peaks Island. After he armed the kids with squirt guns, Uncle Ray was in constant demand when they were in the water, where they spent most mornings and afternoons. We swam out to the dock with Rowan and Simone and watched them jump fearlessly into the sparkling water over and over again. Our week at the lake was filled with the blues, greens, and grays of the constantly changing views of mountains and sky. I paddled and pedaled and spent hours reading. The only scheduled events were gathering for dinner with the whole family, watching the sunset, and games and chocolate to finish off the evening.
I spent a morning at my friend Heidi’s sheep farm, helping to move sheep and fill water buckets. I never knew they could be so loud or so varied in their baas. It was kind of a whirlwind, seeing as much of friends and family as possible. I caught up with my friend Jamie as we went on a walk that led us through a very old cemetery. I am always amazed to see the headstones from soldiers who fought in the war of 1812 and the Civil War. Another evening Ray and I met friends and ate Mexican food outside on colorful picnic tables. We updated each other on our lives and when the sky was dark we all pedaled our bikes to the east end to see the fireworks. We discovered a perfect, uncrowded place to watch them where we could also see the moon rise, a huge red orb.
I am so grateful to have had this month to enjoy all the goodness of summer and to spend time with family and friends who mean so much to me.