Although the kids threw us a fabulous party back in August, complete with a terrific dancing band, nearly one hundred people, and wonderful weather, today is the actual day that I said “I do” all those years ago. Right here in Camden, at the same church where I parked my bottom this past Sunday, where our children were baptized and confirmed, and where I will most likely be put to rest, hopefully not for a very long time.
Lots of water has tumbled under our proverbial bridge. Not only three kids, three dogs, two cats, two rats, and more hamsters than I can remember, but several careers (innkeepers, owners of a vacation rental business, Ed’s legal practice, real estate, my defunct CD tour business, and my writing.) We’ve bought and sold homes, boats, and cars; built decks, docks, and floats. Not everything has worked out exactly as we planned, but in most cases, things have happened in what we now see as a fortuitous manner. Good thing the nice couple came along and bought our inn when they did, we say. Thank goodness we ended up with this house, on this particular street, because it’s been a great fit for us. Things like that — probably the same conversation many couples share as time flows by.
This kind of rootedness anchors my life, and it is also at the heart of my mystery series. My character Darby Farr, a Japanese American, struggles with her upbringing on small Maine island, while realizing she is inextricably tied to it. She knows she is a part of Hurricane Harbor, that its residents and rocky shores have formed her. She struggles with this knowledge, with what Wallace Stegner called the curse of the nomad, who never knows the key elements that make us human: community, character, commitment. She’s figuring it out, and solving murders to boot.
Meanwhile, my decades here make me think of the lyrics of John Cougar Mellencamp. “No, I cannot forget where it is that I come from; I cannot forget the people who love me; Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town; And people let me be just what I want to be.” I’ve been many things in this small town: a wife, mother, daughter, sister, innkeeper, subsitute teacher, Realtor, entrepreneur, ambulance attendant, author, lifeguard…the list goes on and on. Two of the constants? My rich, rollicking marriage to Ed and my writing.
Today, on my silver wedding anniversary, I’m grateful for both.