When he arrived on Friday night he was looking very downhearted, it seemed that very day he had received a phone call telling him the owner had changed his mind about selling, even with all the problems, he had become so attached to the cottage he felt he could not part with it. The next day we all felt sort of down in the dumps, our excitement had been short lived and remained that way until, Sunday morning when Bob again started reading the Sunday paper and shouted "this is it I'm sure, can you believe a six room cottage completely furnished for only sixteen hundred dollars, it's on an island approximately three miles off Portland, can this be right, do any of you know where this is?"
Fred said he had been there years ago on a school picnic and Betty said her aunt had taken her sisters there when they were just kids. I had never been there but knew something about it, my mother used to go there with the senior citizens for lobster bakes, she told us it was lovely and verified that it was not very far from Portland , and took only a few minutes to get there. That was all it took for Bob to once again make a call to the people who owned it. He was told that he could come anytime, and for him, anytime meant right then and now.
I must admit everyone except myself was excited, my hesitation was due to my having vertigo which still haunts me to this day. However after all their pleading I gave in and we were soon on our way, the trip proved to be an adventure that not only upset my stomach but also frightened me because of all the motion in the bay. The water was rather rough and for a person with vertigo this is a no-no, I can only say I was very happy when the ferry landed. Although the trip only took fifteen minutes, with a sick stomach, it felt like an eternity. We found our way to a small eating place called “The Coffee Cup,” we had tea and muffins then inquired as to where the people we were looking for might live, we were given directions and once again we were on our way. Needless to say I was worried about the return trip.
Not knowing anything about the island it seemed as though we walked for miles, stopping several people along the way to verify that we were still heading in the right direction. After what seemed like forever we came to a small road, which looked more like a lane, it had a home made hand painted sign that read “Winding Way.” At last we had made it, we gave a sigh of relief, after walking a short distance we made a sharp right turn in the road, which became shadowed with over grown pine trees, it looked like an archway, we forged onward for a short distance when we came upon a clearing among all the tall trees, there we saw several small cottages and one very large farm house, a dilapidated structure that you might say was definitely out of place, and had no resemblance to any of the other cottages. We just stood there in awe; it sort of looked like a picture one might see in a foreign travel magazine. On the opposite side of the dirt path that lead to the cottages, which I think we all noticed it at the same time, was a home made “For Sale” sign, with large red and black lettering; this had to be the place. It was a tiny little cottage neatly kept and from what we could see, it looked inviting. I remember remarking how the steps looked freshly painted as we went up onto the porch. Bob knocked on the door and a cute little older lady in a crisply starched apron opened the door and waited for Bob to introduce himself, then she invited us in.
Standing in the background was her husband; he introduced himself and invited us to sit down. The living room was very small and so very neat, it looked like one would imagine a New England cottage to look, it had wicker furniture and a small braided rug on the floor, and on the wooden walls were heavily gilded gold leaf picture frames with oil paintings and tables with oil lamps and fancy doilies,it was hard not to be overly impressed with the old furnishings that appeared to be in pristine condition.
After our normal introductions and chit chat Mrs. Mc Milan took Bob on a tour to see the rest of the cottage. They went up a very small set of stairs that went from the living room to the second floor; we later found out from Bob that there were three tiny and very neat bedrooms with lovely antique furniture. After he had finished his tour we resumed our chit chat and then he made his offer to buy, giving them a down payment just to make certain they would not change their minds, he promised to return during the week to sign all the necessary papers and to pay the remainder of the balance. The walk to and from the cottage had a beautiful view of the ocean, in fact the road ran along the side of the waters edge where there were Blue Corn Flowers, Queen Anne's Lace and Wild roses etc.
Our excitement was overwhelming; Bob was in a state of awe and could hardly believe this was actually going to happen. What we got to see that day was indeed an island paradise. The trip home was much more pleasurable, it was on a different ferry boat and the water not nearly as rough, that plus the excitement of finding this adorable cottage was all we could think about. It seemed as though the return trip was not nearly as long as going. We were all anxious for the next weekend to come and decided to take the car in order to see what the rest of the island was like.
During the week Bob had taken time off from work, he came to Portland to finalize his purchase, the cottage was now his. He was to take it over on the following week end.
The cottage was located on the southern side of the island; it sat high on a hill and had a grand ocean view, over looking the open ocean where the large ships came through the channel.
View from Bob’s cottage
There was an over grown path leading through the tall bayberry bushes with a colorful growth of lupine that took you right to the waters edge, it was indeed an island paradise.
to be continued….