Posted by: jeannineatkins | August 31, 2010

Back Home

We’ve taken family vacations in Maine, near where my husband and I got married, since soon after our daughter was born. That’s a lot of memories, and they include my friend Pat, a teacher with summers off, who loved the ocean, though her having lupus meant we tended to hit the beach more toward evening and under wide-brimmed hats. My brother-in-law Don loved visiting his beloved niece, frolicking in waves, eating ice cream, and playing Scrabble after supper. One summer when Emily was little, our friends Robyn and George brought their children to Maine, and we loaded the kids into a van to drive to Story Land. I can remember putting the exhausted kids to bed that night, and the sight of Robyn, who I think was then pregnant with their fourth child, and George sitting side by side, gazing at the water. The image of their backs brings me peace, as well as tears to my eyes, because like Pat and Don, Robyn died too young.

We had a great time this summer in Maine, and there were memories. I was so glad our daughter flew from California to join us, and that a few of her friends drove up. We heard a bit about their jobs, trips, classes, and futures. I was happy that the ocean keeps doing its ocean thing. Clams keep getting fried. The layering of the past and the present make me feel as I did coming home and stopping at a farm stand. There are still zucchini, peaches, and blueberries, but there are apples and pumpkins, too. Am I ready for them? No. I stuck to corn that’s not as good as it is in July, and blueberries, which are still remarkable. But maybe next time I’ll buy a bag of apples, and consider the chrysanthemums. Time moves on and there’s so much to enjoy ahead.

Like my nephew Ben and his wife Kelly, who just visited with their baby.



  1. What a sweetie! And the very thought of pumpkins makes me misty-eyed. But it’s a gift to have all those layers of memory to draw on, isn’t it? Even when (maybe especially when) you’re far away.

  2. Adorable!
    What a cute wee one!

  3. Lovely, Jeannine. We had our Storybook Land here, and trips to Chesapeake Beach and Breezy Point and Fairview Beach and Widewater (bay and river beaches). And the cycle of reunions and summer food. Pumpkins in August? Even apples are suspect. Stick to squash and tomatoes . . .

  4. I’m feeling not quite ready for fall either, however one thing I really love about September means visits back to the valley and seeing you.

  5. The ocean keeps doing its ocean thing.
    Love that, and thank goodness.

  6. Sounds wonderful!

  7. It sounds like a good vacation. The mix of nostalgia and enjoyment of the present is the perfect fit for this between-season time.

  8. “The layering of the past and the present” is a beautiful, evocative phrase. I’m glad you had such a good visit!

  9. Please help yourself to extra cinnamon and nutmeg to make up for pumpkins. And another cup of tea with all the memories you are making in your new home. Being able to walk to places sounds like a treasure in itself.

  10. Re: Adorable!
    We thinks so, Bethany!

  11. I need to find out about Storybook Land! And the name Widewater is most evocative, too. Good advice to hold off on pumpkins. They need to bide their time.

  12. Yes! So excited to see you and your new laptop soon!

  13. I love to imagine you drawling that “thank goodness,” Liz, with a long deep breath.

  14. Thanks, Kimberly. And aren’t you supposed to be writing something like ten chapters today? But I’m glad you dropped by!

  15. Thanks, Kathy. Enjoy these days with your daughter!

  16. Thanks for all your kind words, Kelly.

  17. Only five! Ha, ha! Actually, I’m DONE drafting. I just finished my first read-through, added 8,000 more words, and am hoping to do one more revision per my son’s critique by the weekend. Cuz it’s due!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: