… on loading out, and wanting to stay


Now my writing seat is all empty…

One of my favorite Jackson Browne songs is the performance of The Load Out/Stay.

You know the one…

Now the seats are all empty
And the roadies take the stage
Pack it up and tear it down…

I’ve been singing that in my head for the past couple of hours, as John and Gabe have been dragging kayaks in from the dock, and loading up the station wagon with their bags and a few dogs (hope no hitchhikers get in there… that’s sort of how we got Fred).

They’re on their way south as I type, and will stop in Brunswick for a quick workout (Gabe with his soccer trainer, John working his biceps by hoisting hot coffee back and forth to his mouth, sitting outside with the dogs at the nearby cafe).

Life with kids, man.


This summer has been short of short and a bit ragged, all with unexpected things that thankfully had good reasons and outcomes.

Heath issues with loved ones seemed to have worked out a-ok.

Extra training sessions (requiring some back and forth driving) have Gabe feeling ready to take on the high school soccer season.

Mac and Jack are excited and settling into their new apartment and young adult lives in Connecticut.

The Old Yankee Man and Granny, who stayed down in chic and trendy Dunstable, were fine each time we got home to check in with them.

All this required us to leave Maine, and spend a little more time not together in Maine, than years past.

The Nearly Perfect Husband and I were talking and laughing about this in our morning spots, with our coffee, just a couple of hours ago.

I said we should be grateful we got to spend any time at all here.

He looked at me sternly, reminding me how much I despise the word, ‘should’.

“Okay, fine.” I said “I’m feeling a little kicky and screamy.”

And we both laughed.

Not a surprise though. We never really want to leave here.

For me, it is this strange feeling and sense that I can’t quite put my finger on. I actually tried to explain it to a friend, during a phone call recently. I totally failed.

Maybe it’s an ‘ecstatic place’ – a place that Louise Chowla refers to as a place deep in the minds and memories of creative people, maybe a place from childhood where we felt safe and loved.


I do not remember ever being coddled and loved with the diesel engine of a lobster boat boop-boop-booping in the background.

Maybe it’s the salt air? I do love me some salt air.

Could be.

Maybe it’s the fact that my house still seems to have a resident, Mr. Walbridge, from long ago. Just hanging out and ‘fixing’ our clocks?

Also, could be.

I dunno.

And I don’t really need to know.

What I do know is that I have never felt more connected to ‘home’ than I feel here.

I’ve never felt more creative in a place.

My brain wanders (and you know this because you are hostage to where it goes when you come here (bless you, try to stay safe))… but it wanders and I think about oodles of things and I sort things out and pretty much solve all the world’s problems.

In my mind.

Then I write, and a few of those world problems seem to crop back up by the next time I check the news.

It’s a vicious cycle.

So right now, on a bit of a gray Maine day, I’m gazing out at the boats floating on the water, and feeling pretty smiley about the fact that we even got to be here at all in the first place.

But also a little kicky and screamy that it’s time to hand over the keys to the caretaker and  head home.


Time to leave this nearly two hundred year old house purchased on a whim, a decade ago…

Where my heart sings and my mind floats (or sails… I’m sort of at its mercy).

And where each year, I’m the ‘first to come and the last to leave’. And when John and the kids are packing and moving kayaks and closing windows, instead of Jackson Browne mandating that the roadies make sure it’s all set to go before they come for his piano (because he wants to play as long as possible)…

I tell them not to touch my laptop.

I’ll put it in its case, the very last thing I’ll pack, before I walk out the door.

Because I want to stay…

Just a little bit longer.

Just take a little time.

Before I leave this all behind.

Just…. one more post.

Thanks for readin’.

From the front gardens, following a late afternoon thunderstorm yesterday:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs always, you can come on over to Just Ponderin’s Facebook page to comment or just hang out.