… on an anchor



By this time, in mid-October-years-past, I would have had The Disposable Shack* decorated to the nines.

What is ‘decorated to the nines’? That number seems rather random. Screw it. Being an admirer of Spinal Tap, I think I’ll now say ‘decorated to the elevens’.


By this time in October, the Disposable Shack would have been decorated to the elevens with jack-o-lanterns and skeletons, creepy hands reaching for unsuspecting victims approaching the house, glowing rats on the floor, hanging spiders, walls dripping blood and a Halloween village emitting groans and squeaks and werewolf howls from around every teeny-tiny leaf-strewn corner.

The leaves are teen tiny. The corners are normal, as far as miniature villages go.

But, this year, nada.

The house in Dunstable is not scary at all… well, at least not in the traditional way. A little over a week ago, I turned on the faucet to brush my teeth early one morning and nothing came out. That was terrifying (and, luckily, fixable).

We have so much to do in Maine, getting ready for the wedding here next Summer – yes, that sounds oddly plan-y for me, but there are some things we need to do before the snow flies and the early spring mud season hits (paint the barn for the first time in 12 years (wHoops) and take down a sixty foot tree that we have spent about eight seasons trying to save (sigh), and a ‘few’ other things that feel like way more than a few. This will allow us to focus on the gardens, and fairy lights, and and and… beginning in May.  When your job is magic, you have to take it seriously.

So we have been here in Maine a lot lately, and it’s been pretty cool.

But I don’t have my Halloween bins up here (yet) and so my fall decorating here is limited to three very cool, velvet pumpkins sold to me a week ago by my friend Carol, who has a gorgeous little shop downtown.

And, fine, the colors on the trees and grounds and waters around the house add a fairly spectacular autumn kick to the world here as well.

This is the first year we have extended our time in Maine past the usual deadline of just before, or just after, Labor day… when school starts.  For nearly a quarter of a century, this is the point on the calendar where our lives are swept into the strong but somehow comfortable currents of academic happenings, sporting, and/or extracurricular activities and the myriad of playdates that turned to sleepovers and date-dates and eventually proms and then the inevitable last summer before college.

And then suddenly we had actually dropped our last kid off at college and did a standard check in with the other two and a half that are already out in the world, and then there was this strange thing.

Kind of a rumbly vibration-y thing.

Like any good bass-y sound, I could feel it deep in my chest and down to my toes.

It was a Life Anchor.

And it was being raised.

Life Anchors are funky things. Some, you have a choice with, others not so much. Deciding to leave our childhood homes and strike out on our own, accepting our first job, changing careers, the end of a treasured relationship, death… and, for sure, our children growing up.

After a bit of time on this planet, I recognize the feeling of a Life Anchor being raised… when I suddenly realize there is a part of me that is untethered, floating.

And there is that moment where I am at the mercy of the currents and tides…

Was this a good idea, or a bad idea… will this be an ending, or a beginning…

And then the realization that it is up to me, because it is up to each of us, every time.

You know the feeling.

When we will decide to put our hands on the wheel.

Ease the throttle up.

And head out, well laid plan or not…

Next anchorage TBD.

Thanks for readin’


*The Disposable Shack is what we began calling the house in Dunstable shortly after we realized we were dreaming of living in The Inn (the house in Maine that was formerly an inn, so please don’t call trying to book a room because it freaks Marshal Dillon Dingle right out). Before being called The Disposable Shack, it was called a number of things including The Parthenon (because when we were building it, JoHn wanted columns, columns, and even more columns everywhere and I thought it began resembling ancient greek buildings, mostly ones dedicated to Athena and archeoastronimacally aligned with the Hyades (No. I was not reading Wikipedia again. Why do you ask?))

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