Thanksgiving is often celebrated in well-worn places. Familiar rooms. Walls that echo and floors that creak in patterns we've recorded deep in our memories. A sagging couch. The dining and card playing table. A storm door with its signature rattle when someone's coming in. Home.
I cooked this year's turkey in an electric oven I'd not seen a week earlier. We are in the midst of exploring, feeling our way about and enjoying a change of scenery on North Haven Island.
Leaving Matinicus for the winter is wrenching. I'm homesick. Kids are homesick. We had a lot of reasons for leaving, but it still drags hard. Short version: our asses were kicked by nearly 6 years in a challenging, isolated environment we had no real experience with.
North Haven is very nice. We've been welcomed into another unique island community. The kids start school tomorrow, Monday. On Tuesday, I'll leave bright and early, reversing last Tuesday's journey up Hurricane Sound and steaming across to Matinicus.
I have two hundred and some odd traps to take up. Taking up is always a grind. The season has been long and draining. The air is cold, the sea inevitably choppy. Sopping wet mounds of rope must be coiled. It is a grueling sequence where traps get untied, stacked on the boat, heaved onto the dock, lifted onto the pickup truck, unloaded and stacked in the yard.
I'll be away a while longer to finish up some work commitments and prepare the house on Matinicus for winter.
I have the feeling I always got before we moved there: if I'm not on Matinicus, it isn't there. Matinicus is a cruel lover and I miss her.
Between the move, the new place, traveling to my family's home in Bowdoinham for the holiday weekend, and preparing to head back to Matinicus I'm feeling a little Bambi-ish; four hooves going in four directions, all of me spinning around. Hunting season ended yesterday, though, so I should be OK.