Friday, February 26, 2010

Wild and Wooly Night on Peaks Island

We expected a fairly strong storm but we got more than that. With winds gusting to over 60mph right out of the northeast and about five inches of rain, the island definitely headed for cover. The strongest winds occurred right around midnight. We live on the western side of Peaks facing Portland so even though we were in the lee of the storm, I could still feel the house moving with every gust as I was trying to get to sleep. The covers did get pulled a tad higher last night.

After checking the house outside this morning and chasing down whatever had blown from its natural spot, I managed to make it to the backshore to see what the water was telling us. Even though it was about two hours past high tide, it was still churning and giving a clear message that there would be no sailing or fishing today. It was definitely a night that once again lets an islander know they're not in charge. Power's still out on quite a bit of the island, Portland and South Portland with many, many trees down everywhere. We've got offers out to quite a few poeple for hot showers and freezer space if needed. At least for today, the wind is down and there's been quite a bit of sun with fairly mild temps. On to tomorrow and we'll see what kind of weather is in store for us--again. Snow perhaps??

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Ides of February on Peaks Island

Yes, I know, the true Ides doesn't occur until March but islanders have always been out of sync with the rest of modern civilization and damn proud of it. February truly marks the depth of winter. The wood pile's down, the hours increasingly spent looking out the window thinking about the Red Sox or gardening, the tending of bulbs in the kitchen to generate some color other than brown or white and in general, just trying to get through the darkest part of the year.

Yet, islanders tend to generate their own ways of coping. One way is to spend a couple of hours on Friday evening at the Inn on Peaks. It's just one way of marking the end of another work week and being one week closer to warmer, longer and more colorful days. This year's activities have been increased with the addition of a ping pong table and a couple of major Ping Pong Tournaments on the schedule. Nothing like some semi-serious trash talk to pass the time of darkness. Kind of reminds me of almost any episode from "Mash" or "Northern Exposure". The Friday evenings have also been enhanced with some local Improv theatre, Naked Shakespeare theatre, spaghetti dinners and other assorted fund raisers for local organizations working on island issues. The number of activities certainly isn't as large as in July but they certainly offer opportunities to share time with your neighbors. The winter community may be smaller, but it's certainly not dormant!! Here's a few pics from a typical Friday evening.