Have you ever found the perfect vacation spot? My wife, Margaret, and I did one year, and we didn’t even leave our hometown.
You see, one spring we took the ferry across the harbor to Peaks Island and while walking around couldn’t help but notice the stunning beauty of the place. Not to mention that stress just seemed to melt away on the island.
As we walked, we discovered a cottage that was available. It was very tiny, but we thought, “Let’s just give it a try.” What followed were several years of vacationing in the near-perfect spot for our family. Though small, it was near the beach and had a large patio with a big, old oak tree standing guard over it – the perfect shady spot for a hot summer day.
Our children, Caitlynn and Curtis, were young then and the island proved to be the idyllic spot for them. I’m fond of saying, “There’s nothing to do on Peaks Island and never enough time to do it all.” That is to say there’s nothing earth-shattering to do, but still there are lots of very casual and enjoyable things to do.
We would while away our days, with the kids happy to play on the beach for hours, and when they got bored with that, we would climb on the bikes and visit one of the World War II forts on the island. There was always a dark nook or cranny one could imagine that all kinds of scalawags once frequented. Perhaps just last night.
Or you could meander off to sea glass beach, where many interesting things waited to be discovered. Did you know blue sea glass is the rarest and most prized color? Have I mentioned that your stress level drops appreciably on the island?
I’ve always lived in Maine, but never felt more like a true Mainer than falling asleep in the cottage one foggy night to the sound of the Portland Head Light horn warning ships away while the headlight periodically flashed across the ceiling.
Or perhaps it was really the Fourth of July Road Race when one could clearly see that island culture simply did not regard such an event to be as competitive as it would be on the mainland. Prizes were things like yard-sale toasters or kitchen tools. The winners, two young men, were presented with grass dresses and coconut bras as their prizes, which they happily modeled for the crowd.
Inevitably, casual August days give way to fall, the return to school and city bustle, and when you string enough of these together those kids suddenly become pre-teens.
Once that happens, going to Peaks Island no longer cuts it. So it is with all good things – they must come to an end, and we decided as a family to move on. But for all those years, a small island off the coast of Maine was the perfect vacation spot.
— Special to the Telegram