Categorized | Keeper's Log

Day 87 – January 2, 2012

That’s a pretty special date, as far as they go. “1.2.12″. There’s certainly a cadence there. Maybe not quite as unique as 11.11.11, but it’s still worth noting. And I continue to consider, for long moments at a time, that it is in fact, 2012. I have sometimes thought I must be playing some sort of role in a cable (not that that’s bad…), Sci-Fi series, right? Can I really be living in 2012? Really? It’s 2012? Apparently it’s hard for me to accept since in yesterday’s post I claim it’s still, or back to, 2011. Now I know a lot of us make that mistake when we used to write checks a lot or something similar, but usually you get it right the first couple of times, and then sort of regress to the previous year for a period of time, generally late January. I did it right out of the box. Well, maybe I got it out of the way, and out of my system. As I said, I don’t really write any checks anymore. Now it’s all automatic withdrawals, online payments, mobile transfers, QR Code deliveries, Amazon and ebay accounts, and PayPal. Oh, hey…yeah, I guess it is really 2012.

And yet I am living on an island contending with many of the same things Keeper’s of the past, and their families had to deal with. I seized the opportunity to do laundry today, (OK, a load of darks), as the temperature was 45 degrees, which in my relative world is now the equivalent of “tropical”. It is however truly special to be able to pile the washed clothes in a real wooden, reeded basket, carry them out and around the house, stand on the steps of the gray and wooden back porch, listening to the waves crash upon the front lawn rocks a mere 30 feet away, use clothespins to set them to a revolving, circular line that is affixed to a 40′ pine tree exactly fifty-two feet from the back porch, (I know this because I have replaced the line more than once and purchasing a 100′ length will leave you 4′ short, and holding an obviously wasted purchase), and come back some six hours later to methodically retrieve and fold them. Upon returning to the Keeper’s House I find that they again smell of the ocean’s salt, and a hint of the supermarket’s bleach. A truly transporting essence I will some day figure out how to bottle. And sell. Or maybe just give away.

(Here’s a snap of some of the Cutler Naval Station Antennas, of which half of them are always working and half are redundant back-ups as I understand it, that’s 13 and 13, and transmit on VLF or “very low frequency”. This is best understood as ” Whale Frequency”. It is the most powerful VLF site in the world, and the ones you are looking at are 997 feet tall, and talk to every submarine in the northern hemisphere). I took this today at sunset.

There are only four boats still out, and I think three of them will fish over the winter.  More would, or at least would for a few more weeks, if the economics were different.  As a result of an unusually warm Autumn and first part of winter, the water temperature is about 50 degrees.  This is significantly warmer than usual and as a result, has postponed Mother Nature”s annually imposed edict for lobsters to go to “sleep”, and Lostermen to take a three month break from fishin’, if not do some sleepin’ for themselves.  Unfortunately however, with the cost of fuel, salt and bait and an all-time high, coupled with the uncertain promise of a viable catch and a certainty of a less than promising “boat price”, it no longer makes sense for the majority of them.  This is not my favorite time of year from this standpoint and I suspect Keeper’s of the past felt the same.  The Lobstermen are already missed.  In sight, and on the radio.

I actually got off island today to go meet with Norb’s daughter, who has been visiting for the holidays from London, where she works for an ad agency, is raising a 1 year old daughter with her husband, and has been writing a book on DownEast Lobstering that will be published this spring by History Press.  We have been talking via skype and she would like to use a half dozen of my photos.  I of course said yes and we got to spend about an hour together this afternoon.  That was nice.  I also walked out with a half a loaf of freshly baked banana bread from Norb’s wife.  Thank you!  Speaking of culinary considerations, I was also given a bag of locally-grown, county potatoes which actually do taste different, and better than other spuds.  I think perhaps for me, the bag graphics are equally appealing.

Being the start of a new year it seems like the right time to share the beginning of Lighthouses.  “Pharology” is the study of lighthouses and comes from the city of Pharos, Alexandria, Egypt, 280 BC.  This is the site of the first known lighthouse, an ever-burning and tended fire atop a 400 foot tower, one of the tallest man-made structures for many centuries, and written of as one of the Seven Wonders Of The World.  This would be the start of over two thousand years of economic, sociological and military significance that lighthouses would play in the development and shaping of the modern world.  (more each week).  As for the pic to the left…ok you’re joking right?  they built this in 280 BC???



I am really looking forward to the Quadrantids meteor shower, tomorrow night.  It is brief but intense, with 80-100 shots per hour.  But it only lasts two or three hours.  Just have to time it right.  It looks like I might have a clear sky, and that the half-waxing moon will be gone by 3am or so.  It could work out perfectly.  And while it is expected to be 2 degrees tomorrow night, at best, I may have to climb the 33 circular stairs to the tower, then the eight ladder steps to the gallery, and lie on the iron catwalk on a blanket, and look hopefully skyward.

On a business note, I am in the process of putting these Journal entries into folders so that you don’t have to load the entire log, and pictures, every time you want to read the latest post.  I hope to have this done tomorrow and I apologize for any issues, technically or simply with ones’ patience.  I’m working on it and thanks for bringing it to my attention.  Again, Happy New Year to all, thanks for the wonderful comments about Snow’s Christmas “Just Mine” Tree story, and for the support that continues to build.  Please enjoy, “like” and share.  Thanks and Good Enuf.  (This is what I call “Cutler Down Low“).



2 Responses to “Day 87 – January 2, 2012”

  1. Yasemin says:

    Elaine (Second sister in law) – These are levoly Mark clever boy! And yes, one Hannah is more than enough for us all!Can we purchase some prints of all of these i will look for a clever frame for them,Elainex


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