September 2018 included one farm, one national park, two provincial parks, four independent campgrounds and two driveways, for a total of ten different places.
Best meal of the month is easy: my friend B fed me swordfish in Rockport, MA, baked with olive oil and thyme, and it was the best swordfish I’ve ever tasted, one of those meals that you keep thinking about. I’m not going to start buying swordfish because I’ve had swordfish before and I know it’s not usually as delicious as B’s swordfish. But I’m definitely moving swordfish much higher on my mental “worth the risk if you’re at a fish market and it’s really, really fresh,” list.
Best event of the month: also pretty easy. Yesterday my friend C took me to a concert at the Gardner Museum, to see Sergey Malov. I enjoyed the music, but I enjoyed wandering around the art museum afterwards even more. They had a painting by John Singer Sargent on exhibit that I loved so much that when we got back to the house, I spent a solid hour on the internet trying to learn more about one of its subjects, Rachel, the daughter. In the painting, she’s eleven years old, and she looks like a rebel.
Um, yep. She has no wikipedia entry, no web sites dedicated to her story, in fact no stories of her history online at all, but glimpses of her can be found in various Google book entries from the twentieth century. She went to Radcliffe, married an archaeologist in 1914; worked with him in New Mexico; excavated human remains in California; travelled to Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras; and during WWI, was a paid intelligence agent for the Office of Naval Intelligence in Costa Rica — a spy, in other words, reportedly the only female overseas paid agent for the ONI. They had at least two, possibly three children, but divorced in the late 1920s. Sometime after that, she may have written a children’s book with Rhoda Power, possibly about Peru, or at least she’s on a copyright page for a children’s story called “The Baker and His Neighbor.” She basically disappears then, until in 1950 — at 58 — she married Robert Barton, an Irish Nationalist, politician, farmer, and judge. I’m not a biographer, not someone who’s willing to spend the next year hunting down primary sources, but I seriously think she deserves a novel. And it was fun following random links to try to learn more about her.
But back to my September! Favorite campground — I loved Campbell’s Cove on Prince Edward Island and Glooscap on the Bay of Fundy, but Glooscap wins, because the view from my site was so fantastic. That said, Prince Edward Island was hands-down my favorite place and if I had to pick a campground to go back to — with no ability to control my site location — I’d go to Campbell’s Cove in a heartbeat.
Overall, my September was an incredibly lovely month. It had a few bumps in the road, of course. I had to cut my last post short because all I really wanted to do was spew rage and fury about the state of politics in the US and that’s not something I want to have on my blog, even when I’m really feeling it. But listening to music and wandering around the museum yesterday reminded me that human beings have been creating beauty and sharing it with other people for hundreds of years. And during all of those hundreds of years, terrible things have also been happening. Some terrible things are happening now, but the world is still beautiful and people are still creating beauty. And I am still incredibly lucky to be living the life I live.