Porch Sitting

Lea Wait, here, enjoying summer in Maine. Temperatures and humidity have been a bit higher than usual this summer, but compared to other parts of the country we have nothing to complain about. (Although occasionally we complain anyway. I suspect complaining about weather is part of human DNA.)DSC01258

When I used to vacation in Maine for two or three weeks in the summer I swallowed the Maine experience in large gulps. Sometimes literally. I ate lobsters, clams, scallops, mussels, haddock, salmon … every day at least once. I went on boat rides. I attended auctions and checked out flea markets and antique shops and shows. I read as much as I could, when I wasn’t at a farmer’s market, or picking blueberries, or shopping the outlets with my daughters for back-to-school-and-work clothes. The many gift and craft shops in our area provided a good start on my Christmas gift shopping.

In short … being in Maine meant doing everything I loved to do, that my life in New York or New Jersey couldn’t provide. DSC01267

Now that I live here, though, there are no vacations.  Sure, I eat more seafood than I did when I lived in other places. (The lobsters pictured in my kitchen sink are dinner.) And my husband (who does most of our cooking) checks out a couple of farmers’ markets each week.

But this year I’m under deadline. My next mystery (Shadows on a Morning in Maine, the eighth in my Shadows Antique Print Mystery series,) is due to the editor September 1. My fellow Maine Crime Writes refer to this period of last-month panic as “writers’ jail.” No vacationing involved.

Still, it is summer in Maine, so I try to sneak in bits of outside time. A walk. An occasional day-trip. And, most often, I sit on my porch, overlooking the Sheepscot River. If I’m there during the day it’s usually because I’m editing the hard copy of pages I’ve written. Yesterday about 150 pages I thought were well-secured escaped … flying all over the porch and (a few) into the yard. Bob and I raced after them, grateful that, yes, they had page numbers. If it’s DSC01253late in the day, I’m sipping wine (or lemonade, if I’ll be working later that night) accompanied by Bob, and often, by neighbors who find our porch welcoming. Friends sometimes bring their own libations and nibbles. A couple of days ago neighbors even brought their own glasses!

We don’t ask them to do that. But it’s become a quiet summer ritual.

Sitting, sipping, nibbling, enjoying late afternoon sea breezes and the company of friends … every day it makes me thankful that I’m lucky enough to live and work on the coast of Maine. The gift shops and boat rides will wait.

In the meantime, when I’m not in my study, you can find me on my porch. No place is better.  DSC01566

About Lea Wait

I write mysteries - the Mainely Needlepoint, Shadows Antique Print and, coming soon, the Maine Café series. When I was single I was an adoption advocate and adopted my four daughters. Now my mysteries (and historical novels for young people) are about people trying to find love, acceptance, and a place to call home. My website is www.leawait.com
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9 Responses to Porch Sitting

  1. Jewel Hanley says:

    Summer in Maine is magical even if you live here year round, but I was always inspired by all the summer kids that escaped there own states to come here for those months. They renewed my pleasure in the little things I had come to take for granted.

    Good luck on your new book.

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  2. Lea Wait says:

    Thank you, Jewel! Yes — summer in Maine IS magical!

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  3. Smiling. I am also a transplant from New Jersey and like you, when I vacationed here every year for 30 years, I went to every auction, antique store, craft store and tourist attraction I could find. Now that we’ve settled here, we’ve slowed down a bit and the view of the lake from the porch and my writing room are more than enough.

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  4. Lea Wait says:

    It happens, doesn’t it Valerie? And — no — it’s not a bad thing! (Although once in a while it’s fun to play tourist again!)

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  5. Barb Ross says:

    Sitting on my porch–down the peninsula from you–waving! Actually, it’s a little foggy and chilly today.

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  6. Lea Wait says:

    Waving back, Barb!

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  7. Hi, Leah! Fellow Jersey Girl also enjoying the magical Maine summer and waving in your direction from our deck in BaHaBa, far (well, a half-mile) from the madding crowd! Our first summer here we lived much like tourists but, five years later, have settled into the many comforts and slower pace of our island home. Not coincidentally, I started writing fiction shortly after arriving here. There’s just something about Maine…! 🙂

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  8. Lea Wait says:

    Hi, L.C.! There’ll be a mystery event (Murder By the Book) sponsored by the Bar Harbor library the evening of September 18 and all day the 19th … maybe I’ll see you there?

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  9. Lea, I think we all need to try to be there on Sep. 18. Please post reminders.

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