Tag Archives: family

Time Flies!

I can’t believe that there’s a crispness in the air already! The summer is flying by … and this weekend is Labor Day already! How is it that time flies by so quickly? I decided to choose a few pictures of the summer from beginning to end to show you what’s been going on at our house this summer.

It always makes us happy when the loons return to Messalonskee!

Duck family! We had two families this year.

Kids visiting … tubing is always a favorite activity!

Little cousins visit from the West Coast. They all loved visiting Blueberry Hill with Uncle Ned.

The rope swing is a lot of fun – even for the adults!

One Early Morning

A bit of knitting on the dock.

Another visit from the kids and the grand-dogs. Their favorite activity may be an evening “cocktail cruise”.

The BBD (Big Brown Dog) is happy in the sun on the porch. So are we!

8/28/17 The first morning where there is fog on the lake. The evenings are getting much cooler.

It’s been a wonderful summer and we look forward to the rest of the summer days. And the cooler weather of fall.

We are so fortunate to live here!

40 Years Later


The Warners 7/30/16 with all five of our children!

Well, we have finally done it.

On Saturday July 30th at 11:00 in the morning we were married in the yard here at our beautiful home. With our children and family in attendance, it was a spectacularly special day full of love and laughter. The weekend stretched from our only boy’s arrival on Tuesday through to the last daughter leaving the following Tuesday. It was everything that we had hoped it would be.

Late nights, beautiful days, water skiing, tubing, swimming, wine drinking and a lot of laughs. We are so blessed. I’ll write more as we come back to the “real world”.

Now for our honeymoon … at home on Messalonskee!

Life is good.

Fatherless Father’s Day

fathers-day-remington-king-for-a-day-swscan06412-copy-copyFather’s Day is an odd event when you no longer have a father. It’s a mix of feelings of love, and loss, and a little bit of jealousy, too, perhaps. Especially in today’s world of Facebook “bragging”.

I read an article online about father’s day without your father. It shared an interesting “angle” to think about. So, I’ve spent the day chewing on the idea that I can change my perspective about father’s day and look at it with fresh eyes. I can be grateful that I am somehow like my dad and that I carry him in my habits, things that he taught me to love. With me daily. Present.

Dad Sailing

Dad Sailing

My father died 30 years ago and I struggle to remember him. I don’t have a good sense of how I am like him. I know I loved going to the grocery store with him on occasion because he’d buy the pink pistachios that we both loved. I ate most of them. Dad was a workaholic attorney. He’d come home at the end of the day, take off his jacket and tie, unbutton the top button of his (always) starched white shirt, have a drink and dinner and retire to the den to read the evening paper. He wasn’t much for chit-chat or TV. He believed in “early to bed, early to rise”. He loved his vegetable garden when he was younger … I love to eat vegetables. I hated “having to” weed. I have a cassette tape with his voice on it, I’d love to hear him speak again. (Anybody still have a tape player?)



When I shared the idea of the article with Ned, he got tears in his eyes. He was only ten when his dad died of a sudden heart attack. He really never knew his father. He’s heard stories over the years from his sister and from Maine neighbors and friends. Eddie was born in Maine, his uncle owned this property originally. Eddie bought it in the 40s. He was a restaurant-owner, a very social guy by all accounts. He loved race horses and he loved to have a drink with the neighbors here. He and Ned’s mom threw a lot of parties (which Helen remembered were a lot of work). We had a Fourth of July party one summer and invited all of our neighbors (many of whom we’d never met). One of the guys gave Ned a lighter that Eddie had given him when he was a teenager. The lighter was from Eddie’s diner (the Tastee Diner is still in business in Maryland). It had been a cherished memory for Carl and it touched Ned deeply. His sister remembers more about their father and her stories are wonderful to hear. We know they both liked to cook and they like a good cocktail.

Yardwork - Dad & Me

Yardwork – Dad & Me

I am grateful for the memories of my dad that I have: Walking around the yard picking up sticks, smelling the branches of a birch that smells like root beer. Feeding the birds. Going to the office with him on Saturday and going to the “automat” in his building. Sitting next to him in the car on the way to church on Sunday morning, the first “I see church” would win you a penny. He’d drop us off for Sunday school, sit in the car reading his paper and smoke cigarettes, on the way home we’d listen to “Your Box at the Opera” on the radio.

Our dads both loved Maine. We have that in common. I’m quite sure that both of our dads are happy we’re here.

Mom in Maine with Diapers

Mom in Maine with Diapers

P.S. – My mom did not love Maine. With three little kids pre-disposable-diapers with the nearest washing machine down the road a piece, no dryer besides a clothes line in the yard, and dad on the phone to the office or reading the paper … maybe this is why?

Honoring the Past in the Present … We are Happy

The Old House circa 1930

The Old House circa 1930

The old house was right on the lake and everyone knew it. So when people started to notice that the house was gone, I guess it was inevitable that they would offer their opinions and thoughts about it. We can hear them saying, “it’s gone!” and “I loved that house” and “did it burn?” from their boats.

We have seen one such comment that said, in essence, what a shame to have destroyed an historic, circa 1880, house. We totally agree. And nobody has felt the pain of taking this house down more than we have because nobody loved the house as much as we did. Others may have liked the way it looked on the water’s edge or they may have thought they’d enjoy an afternoon on the porch but nobody really knew that house like we did. And you can’t really love something, or someone, for that matter, without knowing it intimately.

Undulating Floors

Undulating Floors

When we started to think about moving to Maine several years ago, we had some people come out and give us estimates to jack up the house and put a foundation under it. And because we sit on the lake and beside a (what I call) creek but the powers that be call a drainage course or something similar we had some special things we had to do to protect the lake. Just jacking up the house was very expensive. Even without adding a foundation. But we thought about it. And even spoke to our contractor about renovating, insulating, replacing windows and doors, upgrading the electric and plumbing … Nothing was to code. Everything had to be upgraded to code once we started working on it. The cost was going to be prohibitive.

Family on the Porch circa 1959

Family on the Porch circa 1959

So we started to consider replacing the house. It took us several years to come to a place where we were close to comfortable with knocking down the old, much loved, full-of-memories house. Last summer we got bold enough to start asking what it would take and what the process would be. We decided that the only fiduciarily responsible thing was tear down the old house and build a new one in its place.

First Fish

First Fish

All the back story isn’t for anyone’s edification and it’s not an excuse or an explanation. It’s merely part of our story. I’ve been following a blog about a farm in New York State and the writer is dealing with some of the same things that I feel we may be opening ourselves to. Criticism by those who think they know what is the right thing or better thing to do. I’m not sure how anyone who hasn’t lived in our house, paid our bills, experienced all the twists and turns that we have lived on our path to this exact place in our lives can even perceive that they behave a right to an opinion about our property. Because nobody knows about the tears that we have shed leaving this place at the end of the summer or yearning to be here in the winter, or witnessing the “jaws of death” taking the first bite out of the “little yellow bedroom”.

Nobody is sorrier to see the house gone than we are. We loved it. Our kids, especially Ned’s kids, loved it. We knew the roller coaster floor (over the rocks in the kitchen and bedroom). We knew where to find a lost dog ball that rolled toward the lake when dropped. We knew the singed rafters and the carpenter ants in the attic. And we loved every bit of each quirky crazy square inch.

Grandma Thomas making rugs in the living room

Grandma Thomas making rugs in the living room

We are building our new home on sacred ground. Where Ned grew up. Where his mother and father spent weekends (unchaperoned … GASP!) before they were married. Where aunts and uncles shouted and where grandma braided the wool rugs with wool from local mills. Where Ned last saw his father alive. Where we came on our day off from being camp counselors in the summer of 1976 when we were first dating and again in 2007 after nearly 30 years apart.

Ned's Dad Cooking Fish (for breakfast) in the Kitchen

Ned’s Dad Cooking Fish (for breakfast) in the Kitchen

We are grateful to have this beautiful place to call home. We honor the past and the old house and will build our new house with love and respect and family and some of the floors, beams, doors and windows from the old house that Ned lovingly salvaged.

We are gong to be married here in a year or so. We are happy.

What? Me Remember?



I’m having a difficult time with preparing to demolish my summer home. Part of the issue that confounds my brain, is all the work. Physical and mental, this work is keeping me more busy than I’ve been since my schedule consisted of full time job, full time kids, and full time kids schedule, and still get dinner on the table. But behind this work is the anguish of memory DSC_0062.JPGand it’s impending silence. This home is a catalyst and a storehouse, for memory. I walk through the rooms and watch the stream of old pictures spill out. The sound of floors creaking under my weight give rise to images and feelings from the past, trying to sneak down the hall without anyone on the first floor knowing. Without these catalysts, surely some of my past will stay hidden. So I am mourning ( worrying) my memory.

Of course the memories are still there. I’m sure my mother, in her last years, suffering from dementia, telling me of poultry on her bed from the night before (in an assisted living facility-otherwise politically incorrectly referred to as “the home”) or non-existent infant nephews (at least I think they were non-existent), had available, through whatever processes, chemical or verbal, the total recall of her 91 years. But out of sight and out of mind, without the stimulus, I might as well be demented. Then of course everyday would be fresh and full of wonder in an ever new but same environment and meeting people for the first time you’ve known all your life.


So it will be a lot harder to recall without the visual and aural. The memories, and the structure incorporating them, require respect and reverence. You can’t have a house as a friend yet I tear up while I’m tearing it down.