The Great Plotnik

Monday, August 31, 2015

7am, Last Morning in Maine

Friday, August 28, 2015

Where We Are

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Cricket on Lily

Storm front finally rolled in this morning. After it passes we can get underway. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Spring Glen to Deer Isle

In Brooklyn on Sunday it's 90 degrees and concrete. In Spring Glen it's 80 degrees, green, pool, trees. So go home early? What, you're ouddayamind?

You pay with traffic. The slowdown at Bear Mountain, and crossing the GWB and then the Triboro, and the accident on the BQE, and then you dodge the miles of zoned-out Hasids jaywalking while tripping on Holybook. 

And it's sad because you know you won't see D and S and I and D for another too-long while.

On the other hand, one twenty minute Arecibo Town Car to JFK, one one-hour Jet Blue Embraer to Portland, one two-hour Concord Coach lines Portland-to-Bangor, one car pick-up by Captain Crow and a one hour drive with a stop for a lobster roll - and here we are.

It's blueberry season and lobster season at the same time. Pickers with blue buckets in every field, hand-drawn roadside directions for Fresh Lobster followed by a wavy black arrow.

Ocean calm and glassy this morning. Looking for the bald eagle who flew over our wine glasses last night. He lives with his family in one of those pine trees around the corner and he came overhead at 6:30 last night so we'll hope to see him tonight too.

There aren't any other houses like this house. You stay here, on this island at Chez CrowFinch, or you take second best.

And another thing: it is not possible to make Old Friends. You can make New Friends, but as wonderful as they are, you and your New Friends are larvae. It takes years for you all to grow into Old Friends. So hang on tight.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

The Structuring of the Honey Nut Cheerios

Isabella isn't a Giants fan, but this thing got into the picture anyway.  Today's our last day here and then it's on to LA, Brooklyn and Deer Isle. What a memorable 10 days it has been. We've had Britt here since June and Bells since a week ago Friday, and now, when we get home … it's back to just us. Jeez.

But between now and then we get to see Grandma Rose tomorrow, and then the Brooklyn Ks and then the Cap'n and First Mate. So -- got to say things are looking up.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Staci Sends in Reinforcements

Staci's oldest friend Michaela came over for dinner last night. Isabella has known Michaela forever and the two of them have a lot of fun together. When you're eight and away from home it's nice to glom onto an old buddy. And Britt knows Michaela through work. And we've been trying to adopt her for years. Great night.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Tuesday Night Lonesome

Isabella is homesick. My gorgeous granddaughter has come from Brooklyn to San Francisco to spend a week with us while she goes to SPCA camp, but she's never been so far away from her parents for such a long time. Earlier tonight she was crying a bit so we decided she should write her parents a letter. She sat down at the computer, thought it out and wrote that she missed her mommy and daddy so much that, the way she saw it, there were two options, either she should come home or, Option 2, maybe they could come out here?

It's around 10pm. I've come up to her room to tell her some stories. I got home late because I was in LA all day visiting my mom, Isabella's Great-Grandma Rose, who turned 101 today. I told Isabella I missed my old Southern California home sometimes too, even though today is our 22nd Anniversary of living up here. I told her I miss my mommy just like Isabella misses hers, but that what I miss most is the way Mom used to be, in the old, cantankerous days when you could tell her a joke and hear her big laugh.

And I explained to Isabella that I understood how she misses her daddy because I miss him too. I told her about the time his teacher wrote a note home telling us to "please ask Daniel to refrain from swimming on his desk." I told her about how he and I used to stand on San Fernando Road and listen for the train whistle and watch the Coast Starlight roll by. And then I asked Isabella if she'd like to hear her Daddy sing when he was two or three years old. She said she'd like that.

So I found the old cassette recording we made of him singing "I've Been Working on the Railroad." It's a treasure and made us both howl. And then she wanted to hear Auntie B. singing "Big Sister." And then she fell asleep.

I'm still up here in her room, that used to be Auntie B.'s room, and I hear her breathing softly as she sleeps, and I remember sitting the same way with my daughter as I do now with my granddaughter, leaning against the same pillow against the same window, as the jasmine-scented breeze pours in, and I'm filled to the brim with nostalgia and love, both sad and sweet, because you don't get one without the other and sometimes you don't fall asleep until you cry a little.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Rough Times in Napa

It was a tough day in Napa yesterday at Chef Pickle's house, as you can see. But we all soldiered through, with the help of an excellent not-too-mineral rosé and a beautiful cherry-nosed pinot noir. We fought off the malnutrition endemic to Napa County with Pickle's fried chicken and mac-and-cheese and heirloom tomatoes. As you can see, the location does almost nothing to inspire creativity, what with those fruit trees and the lovely enclosed deck, plus, of course, Pickle herself, who knows so very little about gracious entertaining.

As for the traffic, well, let's say we weren't the only people on the road, and if there may have been a wrong turn which led to another wrong turn, we can safely say this was the first time we have ever made THIS particular set of wrong turns, instead of the OTHER, more customary wrong turns, so let's just chalk it all up to a learning experience.

As for the Great Plotnik, he could easily hang out in Pickle's backyard forever, or until next summer, whichever comes first.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Luckily the Plane Was Parked