Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer in Lubec: Gourmet Jazz Brunch, Kayaking, and...Harleys?!

Shanna kayaking on Rocky Lake
Photo by Joe Phelan

The campsite on Rocky Lake
In photo: Shanna, Kristin, Chris
Photo by Joe Phelan

Chris loading up the kayaks after lunch
Photo by Joe Phelan

Sunday Jazz Brunch at Water Street Tavern
Mike Levine (keyboards) and Ric Mosley (upright bass)

No, it isn't Sturgis....
it's downtown Lubec....rumbling, rolling Harleys...about thirty of them!
Photo by Joe Phelan

Neal McPartlin with his painting "End of the Bay"
Now on display at Cobscook Pottery and Fiber Arts
Photo by Joe Phelan

My most recently completed tapestry,
inspired by St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada
Wool and silk fibers, maple, bronzite, Czechoslovakian glass

Water Street Tavern, listening to live jazz, eating gourmet crabcake and poached eggs benedict, I looked to my friends and said, with inquisitive disbelief, "This is Lubec?" Moments later, throngs of Harleys rolled down over Main Street and around the corner, brigading behind Annabells Pub. Bellies full, we walked the gaslight-lined brick sidewalk, past the smokehouse gardens, past the scents of homebaked goodies at Atlantic House, and into Landmarks Gallery for the Circus Show where spectators bounced about joyfully perusing familiar local faces in oil and acrylic paintings by Shawn Costello and Peter Deveber.

Nine years ago this month, Chris and I arrived in a 24 foot Uhaul with two cats in tow, no jobs, no money. The roads were bumpy, buildings dilapidated, streets vacant. We had been driving two days from Knoxville, Tennessee, and all we had was a photo of a house (no legitimate address), a key, and the wise words of Richard Bell Jackson "it's a great place for an artist and a writer."

It took a few years for me to acclimate to the quietness and despair of a seaside village that was in the midst of change. The last of the factories had just closed previous to our arrival downeast, and Lubec felt more of a Ghost Town than anything else. But we got used to this way of life: the solitude, the remoteness, the struggle. though all of a sudden, Lubec has sparked. Water Street is full of tourists, the harbor is filling once again with boats, and four-star dining is becoming the norm. The arts are growing, artists visible, and music is pouring out from the pubs and Summer Keys.

Pinch me.

Is this real?

Surreal. Yes. Surreal.

I thank the fates and our ancestors everyday for the gift that we have been given - to be able to live here, where nature inspires and encourages the creative meanderings of an eccentric poet and artist. And now, not only the beauty of the environment, but the bustling activity of a thriving seaside village that is blooming with arts and music.

This past weekend allowed me breaks in my regular work routine to enjoy all the gifts of this area. My sister Kristin and her partner Neal visited, as well as our friend Joe, a photographer from central Maine. Our travels took us to a new kayaking spot at "Rocky Lake". We had never been there before and it has quickly become one of my fave kayaking spots of all time. We began our excursion at a small inlet which led to the larger lake. In our exploring, we happened upon a rustic campsite on a small island where we sat a spell for picnic lunch. Our return to base in the afternoon allowed time to regenerate before an extravagant cookout that left us all well-fed and ready for a sound night's sleep.

Neal likes to paint while here in Lubec. I was thrilled that he left behind three paintings for display in our shop/gallery. (See photo above). Cobscook Pottery and Fiber Arts really is a family effort. My sister displays her gorgeous jewelery, my mom notecards from her paintings and my sis-in-law notecards with her photographs. My husband sells his poetry chapbooks, and now Neal his paintings. My own work, which ranges from pottery, to sculpture, weaving, and painting, is on display as well. I love that we are a small cottage environment, and that such talent is evident in our family throughout. Dad even has a hand in things.With his woodworking talents he has contributed by making the space more aesthetically pleasing with walls, windows, steps, and trim.

It's been a fantastically full week with family and friends, art, business, and planning. A new week is beginning, and though it does not entail any kayak excursions or gourmet jazz brunches, it will allow time for weaving. Pots are drying and awaiting firing, and there is thinking and writing that needs to be completed this week. I am hoping for a couple of quiet days to tackle the brain-bending work - will see what the week brings me!

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