The first, and one of the only, times I ever saw my father cry was after our Brittney Spaniel Phil disappeared. I was 13. The dog had been in my father’s truck on a warm autumn day and he’d gone into a Chinese restaurant for lunch. It had no windows, or none that allowed a vantage of the truck anyway, and when my father came out, the dog was gone. Stolen my Dad surmised, or perhaps run off, escaped out the slightly opened window. The afternoon I saw him crying was much like the afternoon the dog had gone missing some two weeks earlier: a bluebird day with not a cloud in sight. I walked up from our small barn towards the house, newly fallen leaves rustling beneath my feet, and there he was by the side of our house, sobbing. It stuck me that this was a strange place to break down. Not out in the woods, or in the privacy of his study, but awkwardly along one side of our house, near the corner. A sort of in between place, a no man’s land of our domestic landscape. But maybe that was the point.
For many of us, summer in Maine means one thing: lobster. From the 5,000 lobster fishermen to the throngs of tourists who flock to our rocky shore – everyone is focused on Maine’s famous crustacean. After all, combined with tourism, it’s our State’s biggest economic driver and by far our biggest fishery. We’ve got over… Continue reading Cutting My Teeth [Again]: Lobster Shack Ops
“Head out of town, and up the hill, when you see the sign post that has no sign, take a left, go past the gravel pit and just carry on until you come to a yellow gate. Walk in to the snowmobile bridge and from there you can look up and down the river, you… Continue reading Boy, Emerging
The texts came within the space of an hour: “I’ve got a 67 pound fish if you’ve got a market” and then from another fisherman, “Merritt I’ve got a 37 pounder I’m bringing in now.” Halibut season. In the rush of spring I’d forgotten that Last year I’d played fish monger for the Tenants Harbor… Continue reading Halibut Season: Fish Monger for a Day
Someone once told me that the older you get, the faster time goes by. And there is nothing like a calendar to make that apparent. This month I was flattered (if a little embarrassed) to be “Miss May” for Luke’s Lobster Ladies Calendar. It got me thinking about another time I was featured in a… Continue reading Calendar Girl: One Month + 2 Decades + A Different Sea
Not long ago I had the good fortune to receive an invitation to join longtime fisherman Gordon (“Skip”) Connell for supper. He promised to make lobster chowder (not to be confused with lobster stew!). There had been a raw easterly breeze blowing all day long and I had spent much of the day messing around… Continue reading Easterlies, Lobster Chowder and the Art of Pie Making
Few things are as emblematic of summer in Maine as a lobster bake. Along our rocky shoreline all summer long this tradition plays out: the gathering of friends and family; last minute runs for ice; children scampering about sneaking cookies, playing tag, the lobster, purchased at a local wharf, sometimes directly from a fisherman, ready… Continue reading Lobster Bakes, Islands & Summertime
Every now and again, we get a window into our former selves – not a memory, or a story retold so many times the story becomes the memory - but a true factual account. I had such a vista not long ago when I tracked down a small blurb Downeast Magazine had written about me at age 16. The… Continue reading A Window to the Past