Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Continuation of ….. A Picnic Became A Lifetime

Saturday morning came we packed a picnic lunch and we were off on our adventure, we took my mother with us, she was excited to see parts of the island that she had not seen before and she was anxious to see the cottage.  We took Bob over to see the former owners; he needed to go over some things with them.  We said we would be back to get him later. Then  we were off to tour the island which consisted of one paved road that went around the perimeter of the island and many unpaved side roads and streets.  The scenery was really beautiful and the cottages were of all shapes and sizes.  We located two churches, Methodist and Catholic, three grocery stores, a few little gift shops, a bowling alley, a gas station, a laundry mat, a fire/Police barn, a Post Office plus two dinning places, and that pretty much sums it up. 

We were very much impressed and thought this must really be a great place to live.  Riding around while we waited for Bob we saw many houses and cottages for sale. After riding around for quite sometime we picked him up and listened to his excitement of just having become the owner of a cottage.  He could hardly wait for the next weekend, when he was to actually move in, finding it hard to believe that all the furniture was to go with it, and just knowing that it now was his. 

While driving around we found a place on the back shore to park and had our picnic on the rocks.

Back shore 1966

Back shore  1964

Then we rode around the island again to show Bob what it was all about, he was excited and impressed.   We rode around the island at least a dozen times, this was not hard to do the island is only three and a half miles long and one and a half miles wide. We stopped along the way to watch the ocean and marveled as the sea gulls performed their incredible maneuvers, and we were amazed at all the boats going by. The lobster boats were busy hauling in their catch, it seemed so different from the mainland, even though it was only three miles from the city. Everyone seemed so friendly and the children were either carrying buckets with fish or fishing poles, it seemed everyone’s life and interests were somehow connected to the water. There just was a different feeling about it.  It was sort of a laidback slow moving way of life.

Then the inevitable happened, we saw a cottage with a sign that read “For Sale by Owner.”  It was a rather large cottage with a wrap around porch, on a corner lot with a nice lawn.  We all said “gee’s this is a great place” but we all knew the price would be too much for us, yet Fred insisted we go in just to see it.  No one else felt it right, just to go in, knowing we had no intentions of buying.  However, he kept insisting and after driving by several more times, he finally won me over.  He and I went in while the others waited in the car.  We knocked on the door and a woman greeted us with a rather gruff voice saying “it’s already rented” Fred said “we saw the For Sale sign and are here to look at it,” with a change in the tone of her voice, she said “come on in.”  I remember the fireplace impressing me as we entered and the room being very large, the whole cottage seemed to be very spacious.  After she finished showing us the rest of the cottage, I asked her how much she was asking for it, she told me four thousand dollars, I thanked her and asked if my friends might come in to see it, she was willing, so Fred went to get the others.  At this point in time there was no interest in buying, although I really did think it would be great. 

Then we thanked her for showing us the cottage and told her we would call her tomorrow, you see I had in the back of my mind that I could get my father to co-sign for me and that it would be a great buy.  My mother was as impressed as I was, and envisioned herself spending time here. 

Margaret's mother

     Margaret’s mother on the back shore that first day

Before leaving I boldly asked if she might consider thirty five hundred and she said she would think about it and let me know. So we left with my promise to call her the next day.

Fred had just gotten a divorce and had no money, I wasn’t making didly squat, my only hope was that Betty might be willing to go along with the idea that we buy it together, I hit it lucky, she was willing, so we approached my dad and asked if he would co-sign. He was willing so now we were going to own a cottage on the island as well.  After calling her the next day as promised, within two weeks we had bought the cottage.

Our cottage 1964

             The Inevitable cottage

Bob was excited to hear we were going to buy the cottage. Things were really starting to look up! We envisioned great times just summering on an island.

The following week when Bob moved into his cottage he got an unexpected surprise. When he inspected his buy more closely, it seemed that sometime in the past years the fireplace had gotten out of hand and burned the underneath floor quite badly. It had been covered with a heavy brown construction paper that camouflaged the damage, but with his love for the place and the price he paid he was not too disappointed.

He called home to Illinois and before long his brother and brother in law were up here and things got put back into shape.  So for the next month they kept his cottage hopping.  His whole family came from Illinois and they all really enjoyed the ocean, having lobster bakes and cookouts down at the oceans edge, that summer was really something.

Edmund, Olive, Joe & George

   Cookout Fun, Yum, Yum!

Youth has a way of making things happen, it seemed as though we were meeting every boat, friends and relatives came from far and wide to enjoy what the island had to offer. We really made the most of that last month of summer, fishing became a new adventure for us all, and hiking through the woods took on a new meaning with new found explorations of old forts built for the soldiers during the Second World War.  Entrance to Battery Steele

            Entrance to Battery Steele

On top of Battery Steele

       On top of Battery Steele

The under ground ammunition forts were still accessible at that time and easy to explore although somewhat on the scary side, very dark and they gave off a hollow sound that made ones voice

echo back sending chills up your spine. Over the years they had become dumps for anything and everything not a pleasant site, Adventure on the island was never dull, it seems everyday brought new experiences.

to be continued……


  1. Great writing again Margaret....I just posted a comment on the last post trying to catch up reading your wonderful story. I cannot cannot believe how you recall events and details from that many years ago! Amazing....and great writing....can't wait to read the next post!

  2. You almost got me wanting to live on an Island. Almost but not quite.I do enjoy your stories though, This can turn into a nice journal for you.

  3. Hello, MaBe ...
    I've enjoyed reading this episode of "Island Paradise" twice - firstly from your blog and secondly, as I copied and pasted to your journal! I'm an ocean-person so unlike Woody, could spend my life living on your island or on/near my beloved waterfront in Portland!
    I come animated near the ocean and very happy!

    Wonderful pictures! I can see my grandfather in your grandfather - there's something there very identical. When I was a child (thought and spoke like a child) I used to think that my grandfather looked like a little Eskimo and that my uncle 'Frenchie' resembled 'Sitting Bull' ... At least like the Indian on our buffalo nickles.
    Now, what's up w/that!

    Your story is a ***** +
    Love ... GeeGee

  4. It was natures way, and science hadproved over and over how they could duplicate the form, but rarely thefunction. Finally, my wife and hergirlfriend come out but they are with two other girls and a black guy.
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    It was natures way, and science hadproved over and over how they could duplicate the form, but rarely thefunction. Finally, my wife and hergirlfriend come out but they are with two other girls and a black guy.