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Archive for August, 2012

Image  Fresh air, salty breezes, great exercise.. a time to reflect on days gone by, explore the tidal pools and find what the last tide has left for us.  Beachcombing–I just love it!

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Some of my favorites Gifts from the Sea

There pretty near isn’t a day that passes that I don’t roam our local beaches.  Another season is coming to a close, and for me personally I’m thrilled!!  Don’t misunderstand me, I thoroughly love the warmer months, but in our neck of the woods, it happens to be a high tourist area. Droves of visitors come each summer to visit our lovely coastline.  Who can blame them?  But the off-season has always been my favorite.  Things slow down greatly, and walking along the beach in solitude is one of the many joys in my life.

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I can’t recall when I became a beachcomber, but then again cannot recall a time in my life when I wasn’t.  And over these many years I’ve collected pieces of this and that that were meaningful to me at the time in addition to many seashells, sand dollars, crabs, sea urchins, colorful worn pieces of sea glass and driftwood along the way.  Wherever I travelled–if it were near the ocean, you could pretty much always find me there looking for treasures to bring home.  And through the years I’ve been known to haul home some pretty odd items. 🙂  While traveling in the Outer Banks of the Bahamas I spotted some giant starfish in the waters as I walked…well, I wasn’t coming back to the states without one, and then neglected to scoop out all the inners before I wrapped it in an old beach towel and tossed into my carry-on bag.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget the expression on the kind customs office’s face when he opened up my bag~! What a smell!

While we were in Italy a few  summers ago  celebrating our anniversary and I found lots of sea glass and  clay pieces along the Positano coastline, including a fabulous piece of Majoca pottery tile tumbled smooth that had fallen off the duomo rooftop and into the ocean who knows when and washed ashore.. What a treasure!

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ImagePositano duomo

And then on a trip to Florida’s west coast as I strolled along the beach after a bad storm, I was extremely lucky enough to find a rare junonia shell.  Others on the beach actually offered to buy this gem from me and this was before I knew the history of this marvelous shell.   No way Jose! And I’ve treasured it for all these years.

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But in addition to my to my cherished shells I must admit–I just love sea glass, there is something so simple yet so special about it.  I’ve collected it ever since I can remember. Old mason jars line my shelf in my office filled to the brims with years of collecting.

Those tiny shards, or large hunks of weather worn glass have a story to tell.  Maybe they were part of an old rum bottle that sailed the seven seas, or maybe an old glass bottle which contained a message from someone shipwrecked on a desert island somewhere.Who knows? It’s always nice to dream.

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I’m always just drawn to the  remarkable array of shapes and colors, from soft lavender to bright neon green of the washed seaglass. No matter what the color, there is just something magical about an object that can endure the punishment of the ocean and instead of being destroyed, it becomes a piece of beauty to these old eyes..

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Market Specials

Summer in Maine means its Farmer’s Market time! I anxiously await the Opening Day for each market with that first-day-of-school anticipation. I love the Marketplaces’ milieu—the people that come, the venders I call friends. It’s a place where I can make “hay while the haying is’ good”.

At one market, I can smell fresh lamb and pork sausages wafting on a mid summer breeze. At another, it’s feeling the electrifying excitement generated by the market’s very presence, being long awaited and most welcomed by its community. At the third, it’s the sound of laughter, folks sharing conversation, gardening tips, menu’s and words of hope. It is at this market that I hear one laugh above all the others—a laugh so hardy, and so deep– it booms; and inside, I laugh too.

In the summer, the Markets are a place where families come—some teetering on inexperienced legs, some seasoned; some come together as mother and daughter, some as a crew.  The dogs all come with their owners in a plethora of colors, breeds, and sizes; and I watch in amazement the resemblance between dog and owner, observing the interactions of all.  I learn a great deal at my markets, like how Brussels sprouts grow, and how to tell the difference between a male and a female lobster by just looking at them. Then there’s the sharing of market trends and news, of the good sales days and the slow, and of battling wind and rain and sometimes, even an early snow.

The beauty of Maine, summer or winter, from her shores to her mountains to her lakes is unequivocal. However, the beauty of Maine’s people and farmers and the fruits of their labor are in bloom at Maine’s summertime Farmer’s Markets. Please support your local farmers–and shop locally.

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