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Blogging By the Sea
Friday, July 13 2012

I warned you it wasn’t all that grand, even though it’s definitely located in a beautiful place. But yesterday afternoon, I was wondering if it was worth all the work getting here. There had been a week of preparations to leave my home in St Augustine, shutting off mail and newspaper delivery, suspending satellite TV service, cleaning, bringing outdoor furniture inside where it couldn’t do damage if a windy storm blew in, emptying the fridge and the trash, packing my clothes and my car and making certain I had all the stuff I might need with me. Then came two very long days of driving. Ten hours the first day and thirteen the second day. That would usually have been twelve, but a construction tie-up in Pennsylvania kept me in bumper to bumper traffic for over an hour. I had a short but delightful visit at my son’s house, then pushed on to the lake in New Hampshire.

I had two side trips to make; one to Verizon to arrange for my slow but reliable internet connection for the summer and one to pick up replacement heartworm meds that I forgot to bring from home to get Duffy through the summer. Then it was on to the storage unit to pick up my tent and bedding with a stop at the grocery store to stock up at least a few basics in the way of food. Since the cottage is actually on an island, arriving here didn’t mean pulling into the driveway and unlocking the door. It meant unlocking the rowboat, unloading the car and then making three trips across the span of water separating the landing on shore from the dock on the island. It meant spending another whole day erecting my tent and schlepping all my gear from the boat to the tent and setting up my summer digs. So, in the midst of all this work, feeling hot, tired and very grumpy, I wondered if more than a week’s effort was really worth it. I seriously entertained the idea that I was getting too old for this sh@#!

But last night I fell asleep on my extremely comfy double-sized sleeping accommodations consisting of an air-bed topped with an nice thick futon mattress, in a tent with huge windows to let in the cool night air, to the sound of gently lapping water along the island’s shore. And I woke this morning, refreshed and surrounded by all the glory of a beautiful sunny day at the lake. So, now it does feel worth all the effort it took to get here. I still feel old and out of shape, and I really need to do something about that, but my attitude has adjusted itself. Life is definitely very good!

Posted by: Skye AT 11:19 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, July 08 2012

MacDuff has been a very nervous shadow hugging my side as I pack for our annual trip to New England. No way is he planning to be left behind. Every time I haul another box, tote or suitcase out to the car, he sits inside the door worrying. He's a good traveler, though, and all the angst will be worth it when we get to our summer home at the lake in New Hampshire. It sounds grandiose to call it a summer place on an island, and I don't like to give anyone the wrong impression. It is an island and we do own all approximately 1 acre of it, but that's where the fancy leaves off and reality begins. My Dad built a small "temporary" cabin on it back in the 1950s. He had every intention of building a bigger one eventually --- but then he got his first tax bill. New Hampshire has no sales or income tax so it soaks it's landowners. That was the end of any plans to build bigger and we are still the proud owners of a 14'x14' cabin with a small kitchen ell and an 8' porch along the front. Building codes have changed over the years and we'd never get a permit to build bigger now. There's no where on the entire island far enough from the water to meet current day setback requirements. There is electricity, but no running water so we have a hand pump and an outhouse. We treat the cabin like a clubhouse and kitchen while we sleep in tents and have a big dining canopy and two long tables so we can all sit down to dinner at the same time. Access is by rowboat unless my step-son comes up with his nice big power boat, but it's fairly close to shore and the crossing is brief.

But as far as Duff is concerned, the best part of the place is that it is surrounded by water and he can go swimming 24/7. There are ducks to chase and boats to bark at and he loves it. What more could a pooch ask for?  It's also a great place to write. Quite, peaceful and beautiful. So, my plan is to get back to writing and get another book started while I'm there. In between visiting with all my kids and grandkids, that is. And picking fresh blueberries that grow wild on the island, and watching spectacular sunsets, and swimming any time I like, or reading in the hammock at the edge of the lake. Have a wonderful summer, everyone!
Posted by: Skye AT 12:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, July 04 2012

I showed up at Taberna del Gallo for work as usual on Sunday - no reason I shouldn't just because it was my birthday after all - and was completely surprised by a party in my honor. I'm a little slow on the uptake - or maybe I can be excused by the interest several patrons showed in my recently released debut novel, but the fact that two couples I call friends just happened to be hanging out in the tavern didn't tip me off. Neither did the fact that both the men who work the tavern were on duty when usually it's just the one on a Sunday afternoon. Even when I spotted Jenny, who manages the place, I hurried after her to tell her something and it was only then that I discovered a party all laid out on the patio. It's amazing how single-mindedly blind I can be at times. There were all the usual accoutrements of a birthday party; good food, cake and ice cream, gifts and photos of course. One of my favorite musicians was there to play and my favorite pirate stopped by to wish me a happy day as well. What a lovely way to mark the passing of years (even when one might wish to slow them down.)  I didn't get much work done, but no one seemed to mind. It turned out to be one of my best birthdays ever, but then, the folk who were there are the best ever. Thanks to Jenny, who I suspect organized it all, to Josh who picked out the perfect cake and always makes my Sundays fun, to Joel for the music, to Bill, Hazel, Bob, Ned, Greg and Reenie for setting aside part of your busy weekend to be there and to everyone else who stopped by to wish me a Happy Birthday. I love you all.
Posted by: Skye AT 11:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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    Skye Taylor
    St Augustine, Florida

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