Tuesday, September 26, 2017

My work is loving the world...Mary Oliver

Postscript to last Post on Friendship.  During that same two week period, I had another unexpected call from a long time friend from Upward Bound days.  Seemed like a lot of abundance in a short time. 
One other thing to mention is the special gift of lobsters we had while Janet and Harriet were here.  So many generous, special things happened during our time with them.  I am so blessed that they would come to see us from Pennsylvania. This is a tradition we have had for many years. I hope it continues!


Being retired seems like a great change, and a chance to play and avoid the responsibilities that used to fill the middle years of life. It was a saving moment when I remembered a poem that our friend Ingrid shared with us when acquainting us with Mary Oliver, the poet. For me, this new definition of my work fills me with gratitude and joy.  I will share this poem with you and hope we can all love the world and all the beings it holds. All lives matter.

 by Mary Oliver 

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird -
Equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
Keep my mind on what matters, 
Which is my work,

Which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

Which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart 
and these body's-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam, 
Telling them all, over and over, how it is 
That we live forever.

Here are some pictures from my recent "work" days. 😍

At Liberty Point. What a beautiful array of colours.

Early turning leaves.

The white wild rose is lasting longer than the pink.

The fall version of Fireweed. It is the same color as my mother's hair. 💕

This dragonfly stayed on the bench and share a lunchtime with us.

Fall asters
Mountain Ash berries

A wise creature prepares for winter. It is cutting down birch to store the tops under the surface 

Of its pond.

Rose hips 

A collection of mushroom pictures after the rain the day before.

A beautiful bow made of clouds.

My work is loving the world and sending it joy and gratitude! I send the same Spirit to you!


There is a Girl Scout song I learned many years ago that becomes more precious to me the older I get. It is simple and true and goes like this: "Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver but the other gold." ( If you were in scouting you can probably even hear the tune!) My life/our life is enriched by the many people who we are grateful to call friends...some new and some old!  If I were to make a list of all the names of our friends, it would be a long list of blessings! Your name would appear there!

Let me tell you what the last two weeks have brought me in the way of "friend" gifts.  Two emails came from friends that we hadn't heard from for quite a while...one from a dear friend from our Baxter days, and one from another sweet friend from our Big Pine Key years in Florida.  Then, a real surprise was a "friend request" on Facebook from an Irish girl that we had spent wonderful time together hiking in Nepal (about 25 years ago.). It made me feel rich in my heart, and grateful to be connected with these wonderful people in my memory.

On September 12, two other gifts arrived on Campobello Island. As you know, this has been our summer camping home.  Our dear friends, Janet and Harriet came to spend a week with us in Canada.  Harriet's husband Nick decided not to come and to let the "hens" have their party!  We just couldn't wait for their visit.  They rented a cabin on the water and the week began!

Lovely views from their porch.

Even in the fog.

We enjoyed some of the special offerings of the island like a trip through Franklin D. Roosevelts and family summer home.

And a very special interpretive program called "Tea with Eleanor" held at another of the big houses built by the wealthy around the turn of the last century.  (This is not to be missed if visiting the island)

We also visited the Eagle Hill Bog and enjoyed seeing, reading and hiking on the boardwalk.

Of course, we visited the Head Harbor Lighthouse. Janet hiked over to check it out! She is just above the ladder.

One other big experience we hoped to have was a whale watching trip.  This took several days to materialize because the fog came in and didn't leave for three days.  Finally, the captain said "we are going out". So hear we go! The blue one on the end of the wharf was ours!


We saw a lot of Harbor porpoises feeding on schools of herring, and lots of seals.

The captain took us to all the hotspots he knew but NO whales.  We did see lots of sea birds like this (sketch of a)Razorbill, and many Gray and Harbor seals like the ones above hauled out on the rocks.

He tried and tried and it seemed like we were about to head back when we spotted a Finback whale spouting about three hundred yards away.  We saw it make about three to five surfaces with spouting, but I missed the picture so had to settle for a quick sketch.  It was really a magnificent sight and a grand finale to our trip.

We did learn that the Finback is the second largest mammal on earth, next to the Blue whale.

In between the activities we shared and the meals we enjoyed, we had those very special moments that only happen between dear friends.  We connect yet again in that very special way.  We have been friends for over fifty years, and they have shared all my adult milestones. And they have been OUR friends for over thirty years!

The respect, the care, the shared history all come together for that moment and it reverberates through the years.  "Yes, this person matters to me and I matter to her".  It has an eternal ring to it.  "Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver but the other gold". 
                                                      We cherish every one!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Where Did Summer Go

It seems like everyone has been asking the same question. Where has summer gone? When we returned to New England we had the plan to camp on Campobello Island part of each month and to visit our children, grandchildren, family and friends in between camping trip. We have been able to keep to our plan but it seems like it has gone by in a flash!  

It is now early September and we can report several important "moments" of our summer.

Torrey has started college! She is now a first-year student at University of Maine and loves her classes, and being on the campus. She is living in Bangor with her mom, but has her own vehicle to get back and forth to class.  We are so proud of her. We can remember each "first day of school" and being with her when the school bus would arrive to pick her up. Mom and Dad and Meme and Nannie would all wave, and wipe out the tears as we watched her take another step in life! We are still waving, and cheering her on. And of course wiping a few tears from our eyes!

We also had many medical appointments to deal with issues like bone density, breast health, thyroid function, blood levels, and a pain issue that has reoccurred for Latona.  Several years ago she developed Trigeminal Neuralgia, but with meds it finally went away.  This winter in reappeared and our doctor has been helping us. The medication has been effective but it has not completely disappeared so we will see a neurologist in the next month before heading south.

At the end of August, we had a family reunion with Latona's brother and wife and their children at their camp on Ward Pond. It was a wonderful time and everyone brought food to share.  We finally got some nice family pictures. We missed her sister and husband, but we're so glad to be with the rest of the family.

Corey, Holly and Elsie (almost two)

Kyle, Addison, Connor and Jen

And Roy, Julie with Latona and I

Our visits with Carrie and the family have been fun too.  We shared a camping time in a New Hampshire State Park with her and the girls and had a wonderful time.  Our special visitor was a Barred Owl who hung around our campsite.

Sari slept in her hammock and Lyla kept the fire going!

Over the her birthday weekend, she found two baby goats to add to the cats, dog and chickens.

They are named Bambi and Sammy,  I wonder who loves the animals more - mommy or the girls!

Our friends Joan and Lucille had to have their dog Toby put to sleep. We all miss him. They still have their cal Callie and all the deer the hang out with them.

Of course, we can still report a wonderful time at Campobello as well, during our two week camping trip!

Seining in Herring Cove harvesting herring.

Along the edge, note the peeps. All part of the migrantion that is building. This group included Ruddy Turnstones, Semipalmated Sandpipers and Plovers, Killdeer and Sanderlings.

Two half-grown Racoons we saw up a tree.  Can you see number two?

Gray Seal - a very large seal. Huge head.

Red Squirrel getting ready for winter. Adding more insulation to the nest.

Black Scoters Pair

A beautiful inlet on a very foggy hike.

Our friend Susan. A special person who works at Herring Cove Provincial Parc. 

Pictures of berries that we enjoyed ...  blueberries, red raspberries and blackberries all on this hiking day!

We continue to be blessed in our life with all the riches we receive. We still find the heart everywhere we go.
And I am blessed to always have the joy of my heart with me wherever we go!