Dog Days

In the last days of August in Maine we try to wring every last drop of summer from the few warm days remaining before autumn. We all have projects we swore we’d finish; mine include refinishing a floor, developing a web page, and yes, getting that next book started. But with winter practically right around the corner, it’s important to get outdoors when we can, if only to replenish our stores of Vitamin D, and a dog is the perfect excuse to go…yes! to the beach!

Here on Moose Island, the beaches are mostly rocky. But if you time your visit to nearly high tide, you can find a stretch of sand to walk on and a stick of driftwood to toss into the waves for your dog to fetch. If he’s like mine, he will want to do this until your arm falls off.

There was an era in my life when I felt that beach activities — also lake activities, forest activities, mountain activities, and river activities — were all just ways to fritter away time that might better be used for writing.

But now I think it might be the other way around. Time spent outdoors, especially during the golden state of grace that is a Maine island summer, seems to fuel everything else I want to accomplish. Fresh air and exercise, sunshine and salt water, all seem to carbonate my blood with the kind of fizz that bubbles up later into pages with words on them.

Not that I’ve been neglecting my other responsibilities. That web page I mentioned, for instance: you might as well have a look. It’s at and although it’s still under construction, it is far enough along that I could use your comments and advice. Be warned: it might look a little rough around the edges, since when I’m not at the beach I’m still cudgeling my brains over it. Still, I built it myself so I’m a teensy bit proud of it.

As for the refinished floor, no pictures of that, I’m afraid. I did scrape umpty-ump layers of varnish off the gorgeous old white pine, and sand umpty-ump layers more. Now if I could just figure out how to get the orbital sander under the radiator…

But not today, since here we are in the last days of August. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and there’s a little breeze blowing, so it’s not too hot. Soon it will be nearly high tide, which means the dog and I will be going back to the beach — because if your dog is happy then you must be doing something right, is my position on the matter.


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5 Responses to Dog Days

  1. Joan Emerson says:

    What a beautiful dog! And I think you’ve done a marvelous job with the website . . . you should be proud.

    Thanks for sharing . . . I really enjoyed this post.

  2. thelma straw says:

    I also loved your dog. Looking at him makes me feel happy. thelma straw in manhattan

  3. lil Gluckstern says:

    Your dog is beautiful, and I’ve been told when you take a break from what you’re doing, you’re still simmering it on the back burner. Oh, and I ordered your oldest book so I could start from the beginning.

  4. So very lovely to see the beautiful Evelyn…and the wonderful website. You’ve done a great job with it! LOVE hearing about your new books–two of them coming, for the rest of us to savor!

    Hope the company has been and gone, and that the three of you can enjoy what’s left of summer. Any chance of coming south, ever? We here in CT miss you lots!

  5. Brian Tingle says:

    Thanks for your post about the “Dog Days”. What a great friend you have there. Since our 1 week stay in Eastport, I’ve finished two of your books and will be looking to start from the beginning and work my way forward during the coming winter. While our winters here in southern Oregon are mild compared to yours, I have lots of evening time for sitting on the sofa w/ a wook afghan knitted by my wife (her Norwegian genes from Mpls, MN) with our tortoise-shell cat, Snickers, curled up on my lap. Good reading time w/ a wee dram of Single Malt Scotch and your books; I’m good-to-go!

    Cheers from Ashland, OR!

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