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Day 165 – Wednesday March 21, 2012

“Thermal-Free”

Today is the first day in six months I have not worn thermals.

It is 64 degrees.  Beautiful.  Unseasonable, but not surprising given our winter’s benign season I guess.  Nary a cloud in the sky.  Jet vapor trails cross the horizon from east to west.  The sea is flat and indigo blue, and the flag wags, wavering and gently on the pole.  It is warmer outside than it is in.

Not a heater is on in the house nor is the pellet stove.  The clock in the living room ticks more loudly and the foghorn sounds as if surely I’ve turned up its volume.

Sounds have changed.  Everything today is louder.  Much.

My lack of clothes is decidedly freeing and odd at the same time.  The grass has turned, even in one day; a definitive sign, with some of the blades upon close examination, clearly green, within hours.  Somewhere, upstairs, I hear a squirrel most certainly, scamper along the floor, although despite looking I have found no evidence of its presence.

The front door is open and I have removed the black duct tape from the full borders of the back door, a constant reminder of winter’s wrath, and preclusion of use for many months, now a commitment to the idea that spring is here.  A belief.  A chance taken.  A bet, a wager, perhaps even a gamble.

I went into the Village yesterday.  The F/V Charlene Gail was in Norb’s driveway for some fiberglass work and the smell, even outdoors, was clearly present.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Norb can fix and build absolutely anything.  I hope he’ll fix the Ilsa Lund too.

 

 

 

I met his Mother Celine, and his sister, Bernadette, and am again reminded how blessed I am that this little town has adopted me as close to being one of their own, even being “from away”.

 

I stopped at Bella Terra, a house that sells feed and eggs, and spoke with Teri about getting some chicks on the island.  I hope to raise enough money to build a small coop, and she has ordered four laying hens for me.  They will arrive next month but won’t lay eggs until September, and between the Eagles and the weasel I will have to build a covered enclosure.  It is doable though.  I think it will be an eggsellent addition to the educational part of The Endeavor.

 

I have not had internet for the last two days although Axiom has worked diligently to fix it.  Obviously back on now, and I’m grateful for all they do for us here.  Sorry for the post delay but that’s why.  I live on an island.

The press release Tim conjured up for St. Patrick’s Day was picked up by a number of news stations and we appreciate the coverage.  We are however in desperate need of funding so anything, even $25 you can help with, is appreciated.  Any thoughts of corporations who may help is also welcome.  The Tower needs painting and the house needs work, inside and out.

Without the ever-running of the pellet stove the crows are louder, the horn, the bell, and even the squirrels.  I am grateful though.

A shot of one of the Eagles…

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for checking in, “Liking”, and sharing.  The Light is on.  Good Enuf.

 

 

 

 

 

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14 Responses to “Day 165 – Wednesday March 21, 2012”

  1. Epona says:

    Down in Southern Maine people where out and about in shorts and lightweight clothing. We have had a very mild winter on this part of the coast. However – I do believe that we will have some more winter like weather before the end of April.

    Computer problems what a drag!!!

    As far eagles I prefer Hawks. Go Hawks Go!

    Bill enjoy your time outside on the island.

  2. elayne kitchen says:

    How absolutely odd….Our temperature in Sunny Arizona was 65o and that means quite a bit colder than in Maine……who would have “thunk”. Loved this post and love Axiom for getting you back on line so I know you are safe…..Sleep well mb

  3. Joe Dowling says:

    Bill,

    Great Post and photos….
    The only thing I really don’t like about your posts is that they end…… and I am anxious to see more pictures and read more about the “Endeavor”. Jordan Porter posted a painting he did of Little River Light house on Facebook. Looks like a watercolor. Nicely done. I suggested to him that he visit this site. His family is from Cutler.

  4. Seamond says:

    Bill, keep the thermals handy, just in case, but, oh, isn’t a breath, a promise of spring ever so wonderful! Chickens!!! I am all for that. On our lighthouses I always had chickens and you will love watching them grow. (I have 16 chickens myself to entertain me in my dotage.) Where you have eagles and other air predators, cover is an absolute and you will only be able to let them free range while you watch them — but I am sure you will make time for that. Start getting your other chicken supplies now and have it ready for when your chicks come in. I think you can get chick starter in 25 lb bags insteady of 50 and being you have to row and carry stuff, smaller is better. Get a long extension cord and a mechanic’s light that you can keep them warm with at first and build your baby chick enclosure either on a porch or close to it, for now until the weather warms up considerably – then, ensure wind protection. You will need a chick feeder and waterer – they mess them up fast. Get a little bag of chick grit also. O.K., done with the chick advice. Did you get my package of ‘Cajun goodies yet? I hope so; if not, it was supposed to be at Cutler post office on 03/16/12. Enjoy and keep on writing us off here in the rest of America. Seamond

  5. David Corbett says:

    Bill,
    Glad to see you back. You are missed when you can’t post my friend. Chickens remind me that we would eventually like to reconstruct the barn that use to stand behind the Lighthouse tower. What do you need to construct your chicken coop? Have you a plan for one? Keep us posted.

  6. Arthur says:

    Chickens and a cow and often a pig were essential parts of living at off-shore family light stations. Abbie Burgess had chickens at Matinicus Rock and so also did my mother. Ownership of the cow was shared by the keeper and the two assistants, the assistants each having one-quarter share.

    However, during the Lighthouse Service years a letter of authorization was required if a keeper desired to construct a chicken coop (or a shelter for the light station family cow or pig), as per the following:
    ————————————————
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
    LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE
    Office of Superintendent, 1st District
    Portland, Maine
    March 14, 1921

    A. J. Beal, 2nd Asst Keeper
    Matinicus Rock L. S.
    Matinicus, Maine

    Referring to your letter of the 8th instant, you are authorized to build a hen house of the dimensions and the location stated in letter,: About 75 yards, NNE, from the north tower; to be 10′ x 6′, 8′ post, shed roof.

    This with the understood that it will be removed whenever the requirements of the Service make it necessary or desirable.

    Sherman
    Superintendent

  7. Seamond says:

    To Arthur: Ye Gods, another government regulation, i.e., size and placement and duration spelled out of the Lighthouse Chicken Coop. This is one we never ran into during our days; had we, I am sure the damn thing would have had to had brass fixtures, to be polished daily of course! Wonderful. How I enjoyed reading the verbiage of governmentese once again. Thanks for sharing that one. To Bill: This will be quite a project for you, just in case (he-he) you have any time on your hands at all. Uh – do you have any “critters” (such as raccoons) out in the woods that would like to make chicken dinner on your future chickens? If so, a fortified coop is also necessary.

    • Arthur says:

      Seamond,

      You have much more knowledge of lightships than I but I can find no such regulations regarding hen houses or similar animal shelters for lightships or lighthouse tenders or any rule prohibiting such critters on such vessels. There was once a Hen and Chickens lightship down in your old stopping grounds. And the Vineyard Sound LV was also known as Sow and Pigs. (The crews from each could get together, weather and seas permitting to enjoy a meal of ham and eggs.)

      • Arthur says:

        (My intent was to make light of the regulations, not the lightships and not the crews who served on them and most especially the Vineyard LS.)

  8. Seamond says:

    To Arthur: What a wit you are! These were “our” lightship boys when we were on Cuttyhunk Island and they often stayed with us at the lighthouse when storm bound. The reefs they were duty bound to were (I have been told) geographically shaped like the sow and piglets and the hen with her chicks and thus named that I guess many years before they even had lightships out there. Everyone down there loved the names, even though the Sow and Pigs reef lightship was actually the Vineyard Lightship by name, being that it guarded Vineyard Sound. It was the one lost in the 1944 hurricane, to which I am forever attached in my heart and soul because Daddy and I were the last people to see its lights off to the seaward of us. The bell memorial in New Bedford is for all lost lightship men, but to me, of course, in particular it’s for my “uncles” from the Vineyard Lightship. Since we did have chickens at the lighthouse, many of those lightship boys did eat ham and eggs at our place and we’d all laugh at the very thought of it tied to their duty stations. Sad thinking of it; yet, wonderful to remember all the good times we shared. To me, animals on lighthouses were essential – for food and entertainment.

  9. Arthur says:

    And there was Jack the Donkey at Whitehead Light. He has been acquired by Keeper Isaac Grant and for over ten years to haul coal from the distant landing to continually replenish the steam whistle boiler coal bunkers. He was very popular with the island children and the many visitors. However, Jack’s long connection with government employment had the usual effect — he was adept at getting rid of work. When there is anything for him to do, it was necessary to keep him in hand till the work is done; otherwise he was sure to be missing. Some observers actually thought he sometimes knew by the appearance of things when there was work ahead, for he was always in evidence when not wanted and is generally hidden when his services were most needed.

  10. Regina & Norm says:

    we have been following your experience…
    we will volunteer….soon
    the photos are spectacular…
    we hope you feel that you are never alone out at the Lighthouse…
    we are with you awlays

    look forward to meeting you soon.

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