Sunday, June 29, 2008

Surprise Party!

This summer Philip is, shall I say, semi-retired. In that I mean he has hired a manger to run the business so that he can have some time off. Jude has worked for Philip for years and she is the perfect one to make decisions and keep the Village Craftsmen running smoothly.

I commented to Philip the other day that he never did have a retirement party, or a gold watch. (Even though I did buy him an old pocket watch years ago for Christmas!)
So, my friend Katy and I decided to plan a surprise retirement party. Oh, it was nothing like what is given in corporations or schools for that matter, it was Ocracoke style.

Katy and John had just moved into their new cottage on the island so it was the perfect excuse to plan an open house pot luck, that is just the way it is done here!

We had a great time keeping this secret and by the time we walked into Katy's last night, you could tell he was definitely surprised. There were flowers and balloons and even a banner. I think Philip was a bit overwhelmed by this party with his island friends. There were a few toasts, plenty of wine and beer and the food was fabulous!

Some of us stayed late to just talk and tell stories. It was inky dark by the time we left. Philip had the bouquet of balloons in one hand and steering his bike with the other.

Happy Semi-Retirement Philip!

Lou Ann

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Remembering Tasha Tudor

"Award-winning author and illustrator Tasha Tudor died yesterday (June 18, 2008) at the age of 92 at her home in Marlboro, Vermont. On her farm, she lived an 1830s life of self-sufficiency. Tasha Tudor’s close to 100 books included Mother Goose, a Caldecott Honor Book in 1945, and 1 Is One, a Caldecott Honor Book in 1957. Her family has created an online memorial page that will remain online until July 1, 2009Plans are underway for a Tasha Tudor Museum"

Years ago we bought a small golden retriever puppy. She was the runt of the litter, small, golden and full of life for my three boys. She came with papers and her legal name was Pumpkin Moonshine from a book by Tasha Tudor. She grew up to be in love with the boys, but I think Aaron loved her most of all. They hunted together, fished together, even played baseball together. I loved having another 'female' in the house!

When the boys all went off to college she wept for them in the saddest, sweetest way. It broke my heart. She knew things were changing. She is buried out on the farm.

I have all of Tasha Tudor's books and still make her apple crisp. I especially loved pulling the books out in the Autumn and reading to my sons.

She lived a wonderful long and productive life. The world is a better place because she lived her.

Lou Ann

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A trip up the Beach...

Yesterday morning I awoke to thunder and rain...it was wonderful as it is so dry here. I hurridly, and I do mean hurridly, took my shower outdoors. We have the most wonderful outside shower, complete with a stained glass window. It actually is artistic in every way. So, I took the shower, not bothering to dry off, as there was no need with the rain pouring down on me. The hot coffee was waiting for me inside the cottage!

We then (Philip and I) made our way up the beach for his dental appointment. It is no easy task to go to the dentist when you live on an island. There are, of course, no dentists here...so we drive to the ferry, board at 9 and am off and driving by 10 o'clock. We travel through the Cape Hattaras National Seashore, small towns and then his Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head...ahhh...finally the home of the dentist! We make the 12 o'clock appointment on time. I meander small shops, develop pictures at CVS...while waiting for Philip.

Since we were off island, we took advantage of seeing a movie, Get Smart. It was a light, fun adventuresome comedy. We headed back home traveling into dark, stormy weather as we boarded the ferry. It was a lovely game of chess...who would win...us or the storm. Luckily we made it off the ferry and home before the storm hit.

We spent the evening playing speed scrabble by candlelight and drinking gin and tonics. All in all..it was a lovely day.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Early morning kayaking...




With my Indiana girlfriends still here, we decided to go out on the early morning kayak trip to watch the sunrise. We met at 6:00, had coffee on the Pizer and walked on over to the water. Our kayaks were ready and waiting. The water was a bit rough as we headed out of Silver Lake, but smoothed out once we hit the marsh area.

It was tranquil and peaceful as we watched nature wake up on this morning. The virescent marshlands were stunningly beautiful in the early morning light. We even stopped at Springer's Point to follow the path of Blackbeard the Pirate. It is not so frightening during the day...but alas at night, one must beware.

We kayaked until the sun was warm on our backs and the bustle of the day began.

Lou Ann

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sweet Scent of Laundry

It is early morning on the Ocracoke Island where I spend my time working. By night I lead ghost and history walks and tell stories at the old Opry...by day? I am a laundry connoisseur. If fact the first summer I was asked to come to the Island by my sweetheart I said, and I quote..."..only if you provide me a clothesline," and he did.

So, I like the idea of saving money..I also like the romance of hanging out laundry. I got up early this morning to hang out sheets. The sky was a soft pewter gray with just a tinge of sunshine as the cardinals around the cottage kept me company with their morning sun. All day I will go about my other activities with one eye on the clothesline. By nightfall the sheets will be sweet scented with yaupons, cedars and salt from the sea.

Lou Ann

Monday, June 16, 2008

Waking Dunes


My friends from Indiana are here this week so we decided to meet for an early walk on the beach. The sun was just rising as I made a pot of coffee and sat out on the pizer watching the day open as they arrived by bike. I bid farewell to Philip who would be home enjoying a quiet breakfast,for a change, as we made our way to the sleeping dunes.

Ahhh, the beach is so lovely in the morning. We walked along the shore letting the waves lap over our still pale Indiana legs as we told stories and had girl talk!

When we turned around to walk back the beauty was strikingly beautiful of the day awakening. We stopped to watch dolphins in the water and then headed back to the village for breakfast. We were full of salt and sand, but it doesn't really matter here. It is good to share this life with my friends.

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories

Saturday, June 14, 2008

'What Could Possibly Go Wrong Festival'

This morning after a long walk on the beach and a lovely swim in the water that was the color of aquamarine jewels, Philip and I biked down to the Community Store with our canvas chairs to spend the day at the What Could Possibly Go Wrong Festival. (This is, by the way Friday the 13th!) We set up our chairs on the porch facing the water and the musicians and enjoyed the company of friends and music and a pig pickin to go along with it. All of this was in financial support of a new radio station for the island. Folks of all ages were joining in the festivities...laughing, telling stories, dancing. The last act of the day was performed by Baby Dee and The Free Moustache Rides Again. All performers were islanders making it all the more special. By nightfall all had dispersed and a quiet came over the sandy lanes once again.

It was quite a wonderful day...so much that, in fact, we will talk about it around the village tomorrow.

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Time...fluid and flowing

Time has been something that I have been thinking about this first week back on the Island. This is the first year I am not working in the shop, so the gift of time has been handed to me...or should I say tossed at me. I wasn't sure at first how I would handle this or even what to do with it. So, here it is Wednesday morning and here are a few of the activities that I have participated in: sitting on the porch of the Community Store, attending events at the museum (Philip has one in about an hour!), hosting the after festival party, sitting on the porch of the Community Store, biking, walking the beach, baking bread (well, not really, but hope to soon!), giving ghost tours (two of them last night!), re-writing radio shows for the Opry, talking with Philip by the hour, sitting on the Community Store porch, dinner with family, dinner with friends...OK, the list could go on and on.

Time. It is lovely for me to have...to use...to savor...to gather.

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories

Monday, June 09, 2008

Home on the Island

So, here I am again...Home on the Island. The leaving is always difficult and busy, but once I am packed and locked up I am fine and ready to begin my adventure.
It took three days of driving as I took my time to enjoy the journey. I got caught in the storms in Pennsylvania the first night so stopped early.

I drove an old road through Virginia and thought of Adam the whole way as I passed through Confederate territory with signs every few miles. It was a stunning drive....highway 17 in case you need to make the trip. I arrived to a house full of folks and the pot luck supper and the auction. It was as if I had never left...good friends, good food..

Philip's cottage is as it was. Quaint...small...full of history. I felt at home right away!

The week end was the Ocrafolk festival out under the shade of the live oaks. The weather was hot as it was everywhere else, but tolerable. Philip and I did our old fashioned radio show as well as call the evening square dance. We sat by the hour listening to all types of music from jazz to folk to original pieces.

Last night after the festival we hosted the party. All the musicians came and filled up the old cottage with music....accordions, banjos, guitars, and even a keyboard. A new baby slept in the old bedroom while laughter and friendship was shared. The music went on until after midnight. Philip and Jim and I then sat out on the front pizer watching the half golden moon talking about how wonderful life is.

I did wake early this morning and biked down to the cold restored Community Store for coffee and conversation. I sat out on the porch in the early morning light and just visited with folks as they stroled by.

Today is unpacking, settling in...

It is lovely to be back...to be Home on the Island.

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.