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And here we are packing and getting ready to leave again. We have been home for a week and were scheduled to go to Seguin Island (this is a crazy year for us) on Sunday. Seguin was our first island lighthouse caretaking gig and it holds a special place in our hearts. Tim has been in touch with the present caretakers and it sounds like they have taken fabulous care of the island and hosted nearly 3000 visitors, each one escorted up the lighthouse tower in groups!

Now the weather report looks like we will go on Saturday because 6 foot seas are predicted for Sunday and the waters off the Kennebec River are some of the more treacherous coastal waters. They combine wind, tide and a beach landing. Oh for the protected waters of Protection Island.  It was so easy these few days back on the mainland. I only had to glance at the weather to see what clothing to wear. Now we’re back to looking at marine forecasts and it is not a pretty sight. The weather won’t be anything like Hurricane Harvey, which just devastated Houston, killed several, caused at least 30,000 people to seek shelter and will cost billions to repair.

But it will cause a change in plans.

We quickly assimilated to home living, however brief. We bonded with the northern grandchildren, went to a minor league baseball game, worked and worked, caught up with friends, unpacked, and now are packing again.

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Yet, I am trying to maintain the slow paced life I enjoyed in Washington. I walked the hour to work one day and saw this cloud upon cloud.

Another day after work, I went down to the Champlain bridge that spans Lake Champlain and walked back and forth between the states a couple of times and toured the Crown Point Historic site.

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We have a personal connection to this bridge. When they decided to replace the old one, they put several designs out for public comment and vote. This is the one we chose.

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I was reminded I have to try again to build a clay pizza oven. My first attempt collapsed but I saw a beautiful example at the Fort. I’m not sure when they use it but it inspired me.  I just have to stay home long enough to do it.

Now to pack.

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We slept little and rose early to a gale warning. Nothing materialized near us so we did our final clean up, shut off and lock down. I had to take the truck back to the maintenance shop to drop something off and flushed several eagles from the brush. They flew overhead to wish me godspeed.

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It has been two months since we had any rain. One of the mule deer came down to the marina to lap up some salt water.

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The seagulls will be happy to have their island to themselves and they can dirty everything to their heart’s content.

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We packed and shipped our bikes and Tim’s keyboard (his source of sanity on the island), Tim swam, then we hopped a bus and ferry to Seattle. Tim indulged me and we were tourists for the afternoon.

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But he managed to get a front row seat on the monorail ride downtown on our way to the airport. We’re on our way home.

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IMG_2373IMG_2445I should be committed, someplace.  30 hours for my trip east and 18 hours return and I haven’t even left the country. Not counting the fact I slept in a hotel last night where I can park my car.  We didn’t factor our love of travel in when we moved two hours from the closest airports.

Today’s modes of travel included hotel shuttle bus, two planes, light rail from Seatac to Washington State Ferry, Strait Shot bus, uber, power boat run by Capt Tim and pickup truck to the cabin.  I’m only at the bus part now. Phew.

It could have been worse though. Last night I dropped my wallet in a parking lot with my ID, all my credit cards and my PO Box key. I retraced my steps (3 stops) and at the last, someone had turned it in. I was ecstatic. Restored my faith in the world.

During my trip home, I reconnected with children, grandchildren, sibling, coworkers, friends and, last but not least, my cat. And I worked and worked and had my car repaired.

Now I’m ready to enjoy island life and solace with Tim again, for another month. While I saw a lot of people, I avoided large groups. I wasn’t ready for a complete reentry into civilization.  It’s a process.

Except for being a challenge to get there, our part of the world is pretty sweet too.

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Although I traveled for more than 30 hours with only three hours sleep, my trip went fairly well. I took advantage of lounges in the airports and had a quiet place to have appetizers (and a cocktail) at night and breakfast (and good coffee) in the morning. IMG_2367I watched a movie, The Meddler, where I laughed and cried. Perhaps sleep deprivation played a part.

On the seven seater flight home to the Adirondacks the boy pilot said he expected a smooth ride except for some “messy” weather over the mountains. The altimeter said we were at 8,000 feet so I knew we wouldn’t graze the High Peaks, at 4,000 feet.  When I saw him tighten his seat belt mid-flight, I thought it might be a good idea to do the same. I did and sure enough it was a bit bumpy.

We landed beautifully and then I was concerned my car, which had been parked for two months, wouldn’t start. I needn’t have worried about that though because as I walked to the car, I saw the rear tire was flat. NOOOO!!! I’m too tired for this. But I had visions of an ice cream cone from Donnelly’s and powered through. The flavor of the day was raspberry peach swirl and it perked me up for the drive home.

Yesterday was lazy.

This morning I drove Tim two hours back to a different airport, then drove back home, after a roadside nap, and headed to the seasonal farmer’s market. I stocked up on hand dyed yarn, fresh veggies, local meat, and eggs. My last stop was my favorite bread baker’s booth. I had just collected my large bag of bread and switched the bag on to my left arm to pay. A large gust of wind came up and I thought the bag had exploded because there was a loud noise and commotion on my left arm. One of the tent supports, with a long nail at the end, pulled free in the wind and landed on my bag of bread, NOT ME!, and tore it apart.  I feel my luck may have changed for the better.IMG_2371

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Island life and travel off island requires planning, mostly around tides and weather. The tides are predictable, the weather less so.

Last night was lovely, the moon wasn’t quite full and the cabin looked like a little house on the prairie.

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There are certain times, at least once a day, when the tide is too low to leave or enter the marina. It falls lowest when the moon is new or full; somehow the tide table we rely on states it can fall below 0. That means we frequently wake up and leave before 6 am, like this morning. I actually understand tides better now that I they are frequently presented in graph form.

The other piece of information we gather is the weather forecast, issued at least three times a day. Early in the week today’s wind was forecast to be light, then it was going to be a little stronger and when I woke up at 4:20 this morning there was a gale warning. I was crushed.

The wind seemed very calm around the cabin although one of the buoys in the Strait reported steady 20+ mph winds. We had been shadowed by the land to the south all night while the wind blew. I got binoculars and looked at the water I was able to see and it looked pretty calm. Weather point forecasts, confirmed this, so I left. Just as the sun rose. There were some gentle rollers and it was fine.

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Pretty spectacular and I docked like a champ!

Then the day really began. I walked a couple of miles to get breakfast,

IMG_2337IMG_2340a couple more miles to the post office, where I added so much stuff to my pack I decided to walk another 2 miles (roundtrip) to ship some stuff separately because I was going to tour Seattle. Until I got a text which said my midnight plane was delayed until 0100 and I wouldn’t catch the little plane back to the Adirondacks. After a mere 2 hours on the phone!!!! the problem was worked out. And I should catch the little plane and get home with only

I would love to have an assistant when travel plans hit the dirt. It takes all the fun out of travel. My phone calls were dropped at least 3 times, by the 5th person, I had a chance to look up flights online, when the bus was on the ferry, and after giving 3 pieces of evidence that my flight was actually delayed just kept saying, I want to be on X flight on a different airline. To be truthful, I was ready to just buy that ticket. But my 5th agent got the message, hung in there and made the change, requested a refund from Jetblue and I only had to pay $16 more. You might argue I shouldn’t pay anything, but I’m happy. And I am scheduled to leave 3 hours earlier so although I didn’t get to see Seattle at least I was on the bus to the airport. Home tomorrow by noon.

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It was quite a jolt back to the world of schedules, delays, and customer service representatives. My transition from island time has begun.

 

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Click your heels three times

and say I want to go home. I got to say this line when I played the part Glenda, the good witch, during an elementary school play. I was revelling in my stardom just a little while ago. 

And now we’re home. A little more complicated than clicking our heels. Our return flight included some security issue in Paris and all the passengers had to deplane with their belongings so the could search the plane. The last time this happened to me was 9/4/2001. Boy how times have changed since then. 

My idea of souveniers has changed too. I have little piles of rocks, shells and feathers from around the world. Here are my newest additions.

  
The snail shells were from the scariest part of the hike at Navacelles, the smooth round rock was from near the abbey in Sommiers and the gray rock was from St. Guilhelm le desert.  Soon they will just be part of the pile. 

Then there are my jars. We had homemade quince jam in this adorable little mason jar and spicy mustard in the elegant shaped jar. I knew they were coming home with me when I saw them. They will be a great reminder. 

  
The cats liked their market baske, which will remind me of our daily shopping adventures for baguettes, pastries, irridescent strawberries and wine. 

  
I know that souvenier means to remember because our Canadian neighbors’ licence plates say, “Je me souviens”, I remember.

And today I went to work next to a much newer, albiet pretty, church on a lake. 

  
I will remember and cherish our trip to Languedoc but it’s good to be home. 

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Work! I have to confess I complained a little to Tim about all this travel and packing. We’ve been home from Alaska for 6 weeks and during that time, I’ve taken 4 trips, all of which required some degree of planning. And here we go again.

I had a chance to discuss my fiber planning and travels with Kelley Petkun on the Knitpicks podcast last week. You can find the episode here

This weekend, I’m getting ready to head to Seguin Island again.

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Friends stay at our house and watch the cats, which is great, but I have to get the house ready. The fridge is almost empty, a little prematurely.

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We’ve taken our last sail on Boreas for the season.

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I’ve been trying to spin an hour a day. Here is some alpaca fiber I am spinning straight from the locks.

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Yesterday, I wound several skeins of my handspun, wool-mohair blend for socks and kool aid dyed corriedale for a child’s hat.

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My clothes are packed, I’ll spend some time working on projects I am leaving behind today and, oh yes, plan our food. Tomorrow I take a vacation from vacation before my next vacation.

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