Sunday, August 26, 2007

How Sweet It Is!!

The last few days, the heat and humidity of summer returned. What returned as well were the daytrippers with their bikes---many, many bikes.

Going into town on the 3:45 pm Saturday, it was surprising but oh so nice to look back up Welch Street and see not a car, not a single one waiting to get on the ferry. Looks like most of the excess capacity has drained off until next Memorial Day.

Of course, it was fun to watch a young girl with her two dogs trying for one last time on the beach before heading back to school. Enjoy the scenes of a calming island.

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Trip Uptown

Jill and I went uptown recently for dinner. It was late afternoon and the boat was only half full with not too many cars making the journey back to the mainland. I think peace and sanity are beginning to return to Peaks. Not a moment too soon.

You know it's almost Labor Day when you begin to see neighbors you've missed for the last ten weeks; almost like the bears of spring emerging from their hidden dens. Nothing like seeing old friends to realize we're regaining our island. The weather was beautiful, the cool stiff breeze right out of the northwest with a breath of early Fall on it and the sky a deep, crystal clear blue. Priceless! Enjoy some shots of the trip.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Tides Going Out Folks!!!!

Sean and Josh, this one's for you; just close your eyes and remember days gone by. On Saturday, the great outpouring of humanity from Peaks Island began in earnest. What a great and glorious annual event this is. I do believe by the end of the day the island had risen out of the sea by at least two inches. The best word I can think of that we year round islanders would apply to this day is simply "Relief" and a very large "Woooo Hoooo!!"

Tons of people hanging around eating, talking, sipping coffee, laughing and just plain waiting for the next car ferry to transport themselves and all their summer gear back to their winter homes. When I walked down to pick up my mail around 10:30 a.m., the line of cars was up Welch Street, around the corner, past the post office, past Hannigan's Market and all the way back to Plante's gas station; good grief. If you had gone into Hannigan's to do some shopping, your car was quickly engulfed by the line of waiting cars and you were flat out of luck for an hour or so. Oh well, the price of getting our island back; a small price to pay I say.

Frankly, I had expected this wonderous event to occur next weekend but with schools beginning earlier and the necessary shopping still needing to be done, the timing was just about right. I'm sure at the end of the day, the Who Let Out the Dogs Hot Dog Stand, Lisa's Coffee Shop, Hannigan's and the Corner Store had one of their best days of the season.

Enjoy the pictures of the great annual exodus; boy, I sure did!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Quiet Sunday Evening

Sometime, it just pays to sit and watch the sun go down. Tonight was that night.

The Daze of August

Moving towards late August on Peaks Island is always an adventure. Our visitors are doing their utter best to complete everything they set out to do back when school first let out and in the process running the rest of us over. All the islanders I've met in the past few days are about at the ends of their respective ropes; elbows out, jaws tightened and smiles lessened. Of course, in the midst of a crowded boat a familiar face is always worth a conversation; some things never change on the island.

Yet, now is the time flat out boredom finally sets in; the new is now old, the people you were so glad to see in July are now becoming tiresome and even the book reading is slowing down. What do we do in these times of boredom----pile, unpile and pile again rock upon rock in our own field of dreams of cairns. Each August, new statutes of stone go up, fall over, get rebuilt in new configurations and never fail to capture my attention.

Here's a few pictures of what I saw late this week on a beautiful evening. Nothing like some quiet time spent on the backshore to calm one's savage soul. Summer's in the waning process so might as well enjoy each of the remaining precious moments as best we can. The last picture is for you Sean from the front yard of course.

Monday, August 13, 2007

More Matunuck!

Sorry, but I just can't seem to let go the wonderful time we spent last week at Matunuck Beach in Rhode Island. The time spent with no television, phones, mail, e-mail, news or any of today's modern so-called conveniences was absolutely delicious. Just time spent reading, thinking, walking, talking and too much eating was just what this tired soul needed.

The small closely sited camps are havens for many people to do every weekend what we did for a few days. They do tend, after time, to take on the characteristics of their owners. Each camp tends to be individually decorated with flotsam and jetsam picked up off the beach during lengthy walks along the surf's edges. Of course, each camp has numerous chairs, umbrellas and shoes piled up on the porches. Enjoy the additional pictures of a wonderful, relaxing few days at Matunuck.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Vacation of Memories

Jill and I just returned from a memorable week hitting every single state in New England. We began on the weekend with special friends from my UConn days in New Hampshire right on the Connecticut River, Vermont border in a beautiful old farm house. Lots and lots of wonderful conversations and memories.

On Sunday we departed, headed south, and wound up in Matunuck on the southern coast of Rhode Island. Now, Matunuck is a very special place to all the Tiffanys. It is an old potato/corn field turned into a campground in the late 1940's. It began as a place people put up tents and lived right on the beach. Eventually, small camps were built replacing the tents. My dad built his camp in 1949 which was about 12'x 12'---truly not spacious but good enough and all the summers of my youth were spent in this magical place. In 1955, Hurricane Carol came blowing through and deposited our little camp about a half mile inland in a thousand pieces. In 1956, our dad built a new camp spacious in comparison to the first one---at least 15'x 15'! That camp still stands though it's changed color, had a shower and slider added but overall still pretty much looks the same.

These camps are absolutely on top of one another. Sneeze and your neighbor will add the "god bless you" and you really have to be careful shaking your dust mop out since you might break a window of your neighbor. You do not own the land and you pay a yearly amount for garbage pickup, maintenance of the community johns and rental of the land. In my youth, the cost was about $75 a season and today it's $2,400. Compared to the cost of a vacation for four, it's still not a bad deal to live right on the beach.
In recent years, erosion due to increasing water levels has become a very serious problem for the entire area just as it has on Peaks Island. In the winter of 2005, the beach's store was nearly lost. It was totally moved back across the street last year and is expected to reopen next season. Down the beach sit four beautiful early 1900's large summer houses. Each has been moved back and attempts are being made to build dunes in front of the houses to act as berns. Even in the campgrounds, all the old sand dunes were lost in this year's Patriot's Day Nor'easter so the water is inching closer and closer.

We spent our days there reading, snoozing, walking the beach, keeping out the daily news except for the traffic reports out of New York (now, that was a huge smile) and generally eating our way through the area. I did manage to capture some pictures which hopefully will convey the nature of this very special place. Our heartfelt thanks to a special friend who let us borrow her camp for a few days. Thank you Carol, the memories were wonderful.