Since part of our group description is “all things Maine,” today we thought we’d share some of the things we’re planning for this summer. What we’ll do and where we’ll go when we’re not chained to our desks.
Kate Flora: For my 55th birthday, my sweet husband bought me a blueberry field in Union. Wild blueberries are only harvested every other year, and I’m excited because this will be a blueberry summer. Although the majority of these organic berries are commercially harvested, there will be a day in late July or early August when family and friends assemble for a blueberry picking morning followed by a picnic of the family farm (courtesy of the new owners) and a swim in Sennebec Pond. I will come home from that and spend the next day or two making blueberry jam!
As if that weren’t enough, a month later, assuming the crop is okay, I will join my best friend Karin (friends since were were 4 1/2 and 5 1/2) to harvest grapes.
Sounds like a pretty agricultural summer, yes? I also hope to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden a few times, as it is a favorite, and there’s an oyster cruise in Damariscotta I’ve been wanting to take for years. And of course, I want to revisit the Robert McCloskey exhibit at the Curtis Library in Brunswick. It’s amazing!
Kaitlyn Dunnett/Kathy Lynn Emerson: I’ve always been a homebody at heart, so I’m happiest just staying put when the weather is nice. Since we live on some 25 rural, mostly forested acres, that isn’t any hardship. We “camp out” with the advantage of sleeping in our own bed and having two fully functional bathrooms.
Above is a look at part of our land a little earlier in a typical year. We even have a water feature, the source of the name Moosetookalook. Moose (and deer, and other critters) come to drink in full view of our windows. There are old logging trails up into the woods, and a stream that marks our property line on one side. I admit, I don’t go out walking much these days, thanks to arthritis in my knees and feet, but I still have relaxing summertime views when I look up from reading on our screened-in front porch. What can I say? There’s no place like home, especially when that home is a house in Maine.
Maggie Robinson: Like Kathy/Kaitlyn, I prefer my own Maine backyard, whatever the season. We live in the Historic District of Farmington, quite close to the thriving downtown, but when you’re behind the fence, you’re a million miles away. The rock pond burbles, the hummingbirds and their bigger buddies dip in and out to drink and clean their feathers, the perennials do their thing. Since we bought the house, I’ve put in a zillion daylilies, foxgloves, and peonies. (Just don’t remind me of the 200 purple tulip bulbs I bought for the front garden, which have been merrily munched by the deer who live down the street in Bonney Woods. Happily, they have not figured out how to open up the gates to the garden.)
We usually have some summer company. This year we’ll be blessed with our six-year-old granddaughter for several days. We can walk to the 4th of July parade, and watch the fireworks from our front porch if we keep her up past her bedtime. Some ice cream and native strawberries will probably be involved. Life is good.
Kait Carson: Do I detect a theme? I’ll echo Maggie and Kathy/Kaitlyn. I live in St. John Valley area of Aroostook County. My backyard provides ample distraction for four season enjoyment. Hiking in the spring/summer/fall and snowshoeing in the winter over the old logging roads fill the days. Research trips are also on the agenda this year. My latest WIP is set in a fictitious town in the Allagash. Been a while since I visited the area. Summer in Maine is delectable, delightful, and lasts just long enough to make you long for the change of season.
Matt Cost: I much enjoy walking the dogs in the woods behind my house, a visit to Popham Beach, maybe Old Orchard Beach, and a festival or two. The fact is, though, that my truest enjoyment in the summer months occurs doing outdoor book events. I just recently had the pleasure of signing and selling books at the Belgrades Lakes Craft Fair with fellow Maine Crime Writers Maureen Milliken, Kate Flora, and John Clark.
We had a fabulous day chatting amongst ourselves and the reading public. I will also be attending the 2nd Friday events in my hometown of Brunswick for the next three months. There will be music, food, crafts, friends, new friends, and of course, books. In July I will be doing a book presentation at the Southport Memorial Library on the beautiful Maine Coast, and in August I will talking about my latest published book, Mainely Wicked, at the Readfield Community Library on the shores of Lake Maranacook, where the climatic scene of the book takes place. Those are my true sweet moments of summer.
John Clark: We spend a week in Perry every summer, usually over the 4th of July and hike a different trail or two each year as well as enjoy parades and book sales. Beth kayaks a lot while I bring a stack of books. We also keep a tally of the license plates we see from other states and Canada.
Closer to home, I like taking Piper (maybe Reid and Gemma this summer) fishing. I also love sunning on the back deck while reading and watching hummingbirds down low and eagles soaring high above. I’ve seen as many as seven at one time.
Brenda Buchanan: Lots of common themes here!
Our backyard is a verdant pleasure, and the deer eat our tulips, too, Maggie.
We also will make a trip to Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick to see the new exhibit, Robert McCloskey: The Art of Wonder. The Illustration Institute, founded by our dear friends Scott Nash and Nancy Gibson-Nash, is the library’s partner in this collaboration, and every project the institute undertakes is so well done. Also, Sal of blueberry fame is a friend from my days in Hancock County.
Speaking of Hancock County, in about a month we’ll be there at the sweet cottage we rent on Allen Cove in Brooklin. I look forward to mornings writing on The Porch With The Perfect View™ , and afternoons hiking and swimming. Our time in Brooklin is a highlight of every year, and I cannot wait.
Wishing everyone a great summer! It’s short, but oh so sweet!