Sea Glass and Scrap Iron Blog Archive 2010
A former island teacher who has fallen in love with Matinicus (as people occasionally do) returned for a visit last week and was amazed at how much there was to...attend. The little community was buzzing with the goofy summer socializing we enjoy — perhaps a sophisticated tete-a-tete hanging around the grill at the Farmer’s Market (sorry, no farmers this year, but wicked good sausages).
If you go to the hospital with an earache, and wait, and wait some more, and then somebody comes in with an ax in the back of his head and he is invited to skip ahead of you in line, are you rightfully indignant?
I hope not.
You could say, “Hey, I was here first. I’ve been waiting for quite some time. I deserve to have my discomfort taken seriously. Who the hell does that fellow think he is?”
The storms last winter howled and smashed and tore and the old spruce trees easily gave way. We live surrounded by Picea Mariana, the black spruce, identified by that well-known silvicultural scientist Edna St. Vincent Millay (who mentioned these specific shoreline trees in her poetry). The Internet says otherwise, but I was told by a forester once that these trees don’t usually make 100 years. A black spruce does not become a venerable and ancient tree.
I love that television program where the two ex-stuntmen and their cluster of nerdy science geek assistants eagerly blow stuff up in the name of research.
Around here we call that “solid waste management.”
No, in all seriousness, I tip my hat to the “Mythbusters” team. They have the workshop that dreams are made of, walls filled with shelves covered with bins-full of parts and supplies and components and materials (starting to sound like our bedroom), and the bomb squad guys are always just a phone call away (hey, just like here!).
Despite the thick fog and the 58-degree temperature, I know it is summer because I am tripping over gallons of molasses and multiple 25-pound cartons of chocolate chips. I’m trying to figure out how to “put away” 1,300 pounds of flour in 50-pound bags, not to mention the 500 pounds of white and brown and powdered sugar. There is no way. It’ll all have to stay piled up in the middle of the floor.
You’ll have to forgive just a little bit of minor tech-talk for this story.
It looks like I’ve got some assigned reading this summer.
With my own book about the simple and the complicated life of Matinicus due out in less than a month, I’ve had a few interesting comments regarding the other current books which tell the stories of the coast of Maine.
“Oh, is your book like That Lobster Book?”
“Is living there really like on Bennett’s Island?”
“You must know Linda Greenlaw.”
I’d better get busy.
The school teacher left me a message last week something along the lines of: “Of course you know that Friday, June 4, is National Doughnut Day. If you should happen to be celebrating that particular holiday, count me in.”
That’s pretty typical of the sort of messages I get around here.
If you should happen to walk the road to the west side of the island, and keep an eye toward the bushes before you get as far as the microwave telephone tower, you might see the zebra. It’s actually fairly difficult to miss.
Last Monday was a lovely day on Matinicus. I had finally rounded up some Kennebec seed potatoes to plant, which took some doing because everybody’s starting their gardens early this year and my usual sources were sold out. I was delighted with the news that on this fine spring day the garage guys in Rockland could meet my jeep on the mainland side when the ferry arrived later, meaning I would not have to ride in with it today. I determined to consider that a gift of precious “spare time” — a Matinicus ferry trip basically shoots the whole day.