This is the month that our one liveable guest room is hosting our kids and their partners (our very first guests), the builders are accelerating their pace, the blueberries are ripening, the corn is showing silk, Narrative Food is deep in preparations for holiday boxes, and basically it's a huge juggle in preparation for the fall -- which we feel already with a bit of nip in the breeze which is sprinkling the grass with leaves. Above all, the deadline of winterizing the farmhouse (which has been a summer house for approximately 100 years) is coming closer. Currently there is an enormous void where the cellar belongs (but hooray the footings were poured yesterday), and we are still waiting on a quote for the heating system. But we keep the faith.
Footings getting poured. Next up, the foundation walls. Notice the house seems to be hanging in mid-air!
After fifteen years of endless summer in California, I have to say the seasonality of Maine is a huge draw. I have a theory about the passage of time: the longer you've been on the planet, the faster it seems to rotate around the sun: since every day is a smaller percentage of your entire life, it occupies that much less space on your life timeline. The seasons change in the blink of an eye, and the years just slip by in what seems like a matter of weeks compared to how endless a year felt as a kid. Summer was epic back in the 70s and the school year felt like an entire lifetime; now that carousel just spins faster and faster. It's quite exciting to be honest! I try to hold on to moments -- to be present on that edge between past and future, to savor the firefly season, the first favas, the changes on our apple trees, the harvest of our blueberries; I'm so grateful to the seasons for anchoring me in time and space.
Hannah, my daughter, making blueberry muffins with our highbush blueberries!
I remember in Los Angeles there were moments that I truly had to stop myself to think carefully if it was August or February, and sometimes all I had to go by were the changes in the produce availability lists I received from my growers (which tended to include strawberries year round), because otherwise it was, well, mostly warm and sunny... Smoky was becoming the most noticeable trait of fall -- the smell that triggers memories of that fateful day in November 2018 when the Woolsey Fire swept through my home in the mountains... In my new home, everything around us is constantly changing, keeping me on the alert!
Picking blueberries for Hannah's muffins!
I have been carefully mapping out our "pre-freeze" projects on my Asana task list -- we still have about 20 windows to restore -- and I am improving my linseed putty skills. Once the foundations project is complete, hopefully our cellar will be ready for a new boiler and the deteriorating roof will be replaced! We are 1/2 way through re-wiring the upstairs attic voids before the insulation gets blown into the eaves in September.
Taking time out to explore the Isle with Hannah and Leo!
And on top of the winterizing projects, we are juggling the comings and goings of our house guests, and I'm busily preparing for the holiday gift season, planning boxes with new East Coast yummies. I'm so grateful to have onboarded our first Deer Isle team member, to help us with outreach to impact driven companies who might want Narrative to curate holiday gifts for them (if you know of any, please send them our way!)! For the past 18 months, Hallie has been interning with Healthy Island Project, the non profit we partner with here on Deer Isle, and with that internship coming to an end, we are so lucky to have her support this fall! (Some of you will be hearing from her, she's lovely!)
Shooting product photos in the barn!
That said, I would love to dive deeper into the deep and accelerating August rabbit hole, but we have to drive down to Portland this afternoon to pick up our next guest! Maine is known as vacationland, and August is definitely high season in that regard -- but somehow the "vacationland" is a more apt description of Maine for those who visit, than those who receive! Hopefully my next post we will be on our way to a home that can take us through the winter, when I hope to find a moment to recharge! : )
At our local farmstand, a Maine resident who gets a rest in August!