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.
First let me say what a beautiful picture! Second I can’t say and won’t say much except that I’ve never been so sad, depressed ,bewildered and heartbroken about the state of our country. You’re not alone even though we’re the minority. Thirdly, would you consider writing a small snipet or a couple of paragraphs about Fen. I would love to catch a glimpse of what you’re writing these days. As always I’m enjoying the travelogue.
I’ve actually been working on finishing a short story that I started a long time ago, that I was hoping to have done with by the end of September, so that I could start putting my pieces together on Fen when I got to my brother’s house. I’m not quite done with it, but I’m close. Here’s a tiny snippet of that:
Zane made a sound as he sat down next to her. It might have been a neutral murmur, but Akira felt like she heard a hum of disagreement in it.
“Oh, come on,” she said. “You can’t believe in cursed objects. That’s just ridiculous.”
He tilted his head to the side in equivocation.
“How? How would an object influence people? Or events? It’s a thing, not a—”
“Not a machine?” Zane interrupted her.
She closed her mouth without finishing her sentence.
“A machine is an object that uses mechanical power to accomplish something, right? That’s sort of the basic idea, anyway. Suppose this shell is an object powered by spirit energy. You know spirit energy exists, even if you haven’t been able to measure it. You’ve seen it, you’ve felt it. You know it’s real.”
Once I get to PA and have a couple days to get organized, I’ll post a Fen snippet that’s a little longer!
I love how you ended with the positive and upbeat attitude. It’s hard to realize you’re (meaning me) only one person and you want to change all of the negative and unbelievably stupid things that are being done by our current leaders, but we are just one person and the best thing we can do is to live our lives in a positive way, being grateful for where we are in life, and for all that we have to be thankful for. Hugs… T
I REALLY need more of that Zane and Akira situation. Love it… huggers… T
Glad you liked it! A short story to be finished soon, I hope. And yeah, I would very much like to fix the world, but I don’t think it’s within my power. Believing in hope & joy & kindness & creativity, and getting back to FL in time to vote is the best I can do.
Judy, Judy, Judy said:
Love the Zane and Akira snippet. Also I’m pretty impressed with how much you found out about the rebel daughter.
Seems you’ve had a good September. Here’s hoping we all have a good November.
It was fun searching for her! And yes, I’m certainly hoping for that, too. *Fingers crossed*
Not flattery — it was delicious!