My Thoughts Are Like Sanderlings, Redux

In early April, when our awareness of the pandemic was still new, I wrote a post consisting of a series of random thoughts. I thought about that post last Sunday while walking the beach late in the afternoon, studying the little birds I used to illustrate the first sentence:

During this trying time, my brain frequently skitters from thought to thought in approximately the same manner as this flock of sanderlings feeding along the line of an incoming tide.

And here they are again, their busy antics deserving of a return performance here on the MCW blog.

Tide in and tide out, the tiny birds roam the wrack line, looking for nibbles and flitting around in formation. So entertaining. So calming.

I’m more focused than I was in April, when the tragedy that is coronavirus was only beginning to unfold. But once again my head is abuzz with short takes rather than full-blown ideas, so here’s another sanderling-like post.

►  I totally forgot about Wednesday’s group post featuring memorable photos from our respective summers, so I’m interspersing a few in this post to make up for that oversight.

I never tire of beach roses.

► Did anyone else get whiplash a week or so ago when the mugginess of the first half of August evaporated in a blink, ushering in a series of I-need-to-wear-socks days and pull-up-the-quilt nights? The transition seemed even more abrupt than usual this year. A couple of mornings there – brrrrr!

Evening fog

Evening mist at the shore promises foghorns that will sing us to sleep.

►  A flood of incredible crime novels released this summer (and more coming this fall) has me scrambling to keep up. Recently I’ve read Paul Doiron’s terrific One Last Lie, Cheryl Head’s Find Me When I’m Lost, the newest in her wonderful Charlie Mack series, Laura Lippman’s fine Lady In The Lake, Kristen Lepionka’s highly engaging The Last Place You Look, Irish writer Dervla McTiernan’s The Ruin (don’t miss it!) and S.A. Cosby’s Blacktop Wasteland, which was everything the reviewers promised and more.

Fabulous sunset

Like Kate Flora, I love a good sunset. This one illuminates Allen Cove in Brooklin.

►  This fall I’m looking forward to more excellent reading, both crime and non-crime. Soon to be released and on my pre-order list: the incomparable Walter Mosley’s short story collection, The Awkward Black Man, Ann Cleeves’ new Vera Stanhope novel The Darkest Evening and Louise Penny’s All The Devils Are Here, which I understand is set not in Canada but Paris(!). I also plan to treat myself to Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead books (Gilead, Home, Lila and the soon to be released Jack). The first three have been on my TBR list for some time, and I believe this fall will be the right time to immerse myself.

►  I was fortunate to be an early reader of Sweetie Bogan’s Sorrow by our own Richard J. Cass, which is out next month. It’s his best book yet in the marvelous Elder Darrow series. You can pre-order it (and any other book you might like to buy) from any of the area’s local booksellers. Here are five of my faves:,,, and

This was my morning writing spot when we were on vacation. It is so perfect it almost looks fake, but it is a real and wonderful place, dear to my heart.

►  Is there anything more wonderful than a sandwich consisting of a ripe tomato—still sun-warm from your own garden—on nice bread of some sort? Maybe miche or rustica from Standard Baking, or three-seed from Big Sky? Add a little mayo (the good stuff) and if you feel fancy, some torn basil leaves. A bit of coarse salt and black pepper. Simplicity to be savored.

Labor Day weekend bounty

►  Are you registered to vote? Do you know the many ways you can vote this fall, and how to go about it? If not and you need to know how/where/when, here are some helpful links:

Happy Labor Day everyone! Keep your bookshelves full, your chins up and find some fun this weekend. Sorry to say, summer’s on the run!

Brenda Buchanan is the author of the Joe Gale Mystery Series, featuring a diehard Maine newspaper reporter who covers the crime and courts beat. Three books—QUICK PIVOT, COVER STORY and TRUTH BEAT—are available everywhere e-books are sold. She’s currently working on a new series featuring criminal lawyer Neva Pierce, whose passionate defense of her clients leads her deep into the rough-and-tumble world of Downeast crime.

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5 Responses to My Thoughts Are Like Sanderlings, Redux

  1. Anne Cass says:

    When I read you, I feel as if I’m in the room with you…wish I really were…

    • Brenda Buchanan says:

      That is such a nice comment, Anne. Thank you. I so look forward to when we can all be together in the same room again.

  2. You stole a bit of my Monday next thunder. Stay tuned to see how.

  3. Richard J Cass says:

    Thanks, Brenda. Never a bad time to remind us how fleeting the summer is . .

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