If you hear a crunching sound, it’s just my computer being dropped from a small airplane onto a ledge somewhere. I’ll get to why in a minute.
Four hundred feet of ice, one toboggan, and four petrified women in costume: a firsthand account of the U.S. National Toboggan Championships.
On Matinicus Island, making lobster chowder is generally a man’s work.
There aren’t many of us around.
An intrepid sort with a tight hat who doesn’t mind a bit of the Alberta Clipper in the face can walk north the mile and a half down the ridge of the island until he emerges from the trees into the airstrip parking area. He will pass about thirty structures, roughly six of which are occupied. Another five or six will have somebody in residence from time to time, a lobsterman on no particular schedule. On Matinicus Island this time of year, most of the homes sit empty.
Our summer visitor friends rhapsodize about island life, about peace and quiet, and about self-sufficiency as if it were their latest hobby. Many good folks have lake camps up long narrow roads, and dream of the day when they might decide to quit the grind and see the whole year through watching the loons. Others relish the small-town lifestyle, with church suppers and men working together to find a community Christmas tree, school plays, Ladies Aid societies, and rarely a stranger in sight.
The schoolkids walked up to my house to pick up the instructions for the dreidel game. They had in mind to download this simple Chanukah game’s directions but something was wrong in the ether and the school finds it has no Internet today. All manner of technical people assured our teacher that the problem was not within their particular bailiwick, so the assumption was made that it was evil spirits, and it would fall to somebody at Maine Laptop Initiative to effect the exorcism.
Heather, our island schoolteacher, assured me that I ought to tell the rest of the story.
There’s no time like the holidays to crack open a bottle and get creative. Holiday cocktails can be a great way to make use of those comforting seasonal flavors — from pomegranate and cinnamon to nutmeg and vanilla.
Tom Laslavic, the mixologist at Natalie’s at the Camden Harbour Inn, says holiday cocktails are about “creating something that’s light, inviting, warming, and adds to the holiday sprit.”
As I write it is the day before Thanksgiving. Here on Matinicus, several of us have absolutely no idea where we’ll be eating tomorrow. Like everything else around here, it’ll depend on the weather.
Daughter Emily just called me from the supermarket in Rockland. “Shut in thick,” I reported, “and doesn’t look too promising.”
It is such a lovely day to go to the dump.