Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bob Zenzt and Jeanne McDougal at the breakfast table.

It is Monday morning and our show is over. I know that as a producer I shouldn't always say things went well or were wonderful...but the show was great. Not due to my producing or directing, but due to the variety and quality of performers who brought song after song and story after story up to the stage.

I only wish all of you could have been there for the event. Someday please take a trip to Ocracoke the last weekend in July for our show! 

Jeanne McDougal was in the show along with Anke, her friend from Friesland (located in the Netherlands.) We found housing for Anke and her partner, Nanne, and Jeanne and Bob Zentz stayed with us. 

The best part about housing musicians is that when you wake up in the morning they are serenading you at the kitchen table. With banjo and ukulele in hand, we were treated to hours of performing all day.

Did I have work to do? Oh my yes. Did I do it? Absolutely not. How can I work when music is at my kitchen table. "Play the strings while you can."

Until tomorrow.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

One more time on the grand Opry stage....

Once again it is Saturday and time to post my weekly column. Just click on the above link and you will find it on the KPC website. I love my editor, Mike, who made the headline. It isn't quite the grand ole' Opry in Nashville, but pretty darn close.

Hope you can make it to the show at the Deep Water Theater.

Until Monday!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Ocracoke Women Present an Evening of Stories and Songs

This Sunday evening the Women of Ocracoke will be presenting their annual music and storytelling concert. As always it is full of lively stories and songs with these lovely island ladies.

We are hosting just one concert this year on Sunday evening, July 27th at 7:30. The event will be at Deep Water Theatre. We are not selling tickets, however donations are being accepted at the door for the Skipjack Wilma Lee that was damaged in Hurricane Arthur.

My advice? Come early if you want a seat at all!

Until tomorrow.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

"And another year blooms..." Marcy Brenner

"Will there really be a Morning?
Is there such a thing as Day?
Could I see if from the mountains
If I were as tall as they?

Has it feet like Water lilies?
Has it feathers like a bird?
Is it brought from famous countries
Of which I have never heard?

Oh some Scholar! Oh some Sailor!
Oh some Wise Men from the skies?
Please to tell a little Pilgrim
Where the place called Morning likes.
                                                                  Emily Dickinson

I took these photos on my early morning birthday walk at the beach. It was a beautiful morning.

Isn't it lovely when a few days go by and you forget about your blog?

It is July on the island which means so many of my friends, including me, celebrate our birthdays.

The parties started here on Sunday night as Philip and I hosted the party. The house was bursting with folks. My own celebration continued into Monday evening with dinner at the Back Porch and the Jolly Roger.

David made the best three-layer chocolate cake I have ever had and, along with candles, and family we had a great birthday dinner.

Philip ever remembered the poetry book I so longed for.

So, with the Happy Birthday over for another year, here we go for another spin around the sun.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

After a time to reflect, life does go on...

This week's column is again a reflection of life on Ocracoke. I hope you enjoy it. Please just click on the above link. As always, thank you for reading.

I took this photo of the Ocracoke United Methodist Church last winter when I was here. As you can see, it was decked out for Christmas.

Until Monday.
Ocracoke United Methodist Church

Friday, July 18, 2014

View from my Mad Mag Studio Window

View from my studio window.

I love mornings. I have coffee on the pizer, neaten up the cottage, and go on outside to my Mad Mag Studio. It is a collection of odds and ends that I have found and pieced together giving it a charming look. My windows overlook a small woodsy area, and on cool mornings like today, I can open up these windows and just let the birds sing. All-too-soon heat will descend upon the studio and I will once again close it up in favor of air-conditioning.

But writers long ago (or not so long ago) left the windows open all the time. I think of E.B. White writing in his small shed down by the water or Donald Hall still writing away in his old house in New England. I would be very surprised to hear he had air-conditioning. Perhaps when the day is too warm for the pen and pencil or keyboard, it is time to switch over to just reading away.

Good writers are good readers, of course.

I love this quote by William Faulkner, perhaps you will also.

Until tomorrow.

“Read, read, read. Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it.
Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window.” 
William Faulkner

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"I have often walked down this street before..."

The view from Philip's front porch.

Last night's rain came down in buckets with a brilliant display of thunder and lightning. It was great to sit out on the pizer watching the storm. I could actually see the storm swirling and circling around the island.

This morning the storm continued. Flashes of light, hoof beats of thunder and torrential rain came down upon the rooftop and the gardens.

My morning coffee was not interrupted by the storms; although I had to move the rocking chair back a few inches to keep from getting wet.

Because I was raised on Broadway songs, I just can't stop singing, "On the street where you live..." from My Fair Lady. Here is an excerpt in case you have forgotten.

I hope your day is full of sun or rain wherever you are.

Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Inside the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse with Lou Ann

I thought you might like to take a look inside the Ocracoke Lighthouse. I actually took this video last summer, but some things do not go out of date!

If you are on the Island, come on over on Wednesday or Thursday afternoons from 1-3 for a great photo shoot and a few tales as well.

Until tomorrow.

Monday, July 14, 2014

John Masefield and Ocracoke Island

I MUST go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea's face, and a gray dawn breaking.
I must down go to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

John Masefield

I have loved this poem ever since I was a child. My father used to recite, not read, it to me. We spent our summers on Lake Michigan, and whereas Lake Michigan is not the sea, it was and is spectacular to me. 

Masefield was born in 1878 in Herefordshire, England and was trained as a merchant seaman. In 1895 he left his ship in New York City and worked in a carpet factory. He soon returned home to London to write poetry and became the British poet laureate in 1930.  

Even if you do not live by the sea, the poem keeps dreams in your head.

Until tomorrow.

John Masefield, British Poet Laureate

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A sleepy village returns to normal life - KPCNews: Kpcnews

Dear Friends,

Today's blog features my weekly column (please see the above link), and a lovely painting by Dave Benn. This is an original one of a kind painting, and it hangs in my Mad Mag Studio. It is a great depiction of Howard Street.

As always, thank you for reading.

Until tomorrow.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Monet on Ocracoke?

The other day while I was working in the Ocracoke Lighthouse,
Philip came visiting.

As he was walking up the boardwalk he took this photo of an unknown artist.

When I arrived home later he showed me the photo, and I, of course, 
absolutely loved it.

Here is the photo:

I guess you would call this photo
"Man painting on lawn."

He was, of course, painting the Ocracoke Lighthouse.

The painting looked so familiar to me, but I just couldn't 
figure out why until later.

Years ago, when I was infatuated with Claude Monet (and I still am),
I traveled to Paris. Take a look at Monet in his gardens.

So, perhaps the man in the white jacket was a random
painter, or perhaps not?

You decide.

Until tomorrow.,

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Ocracoke Treasures

A piece of artwork left from Libby Hicks. 

Digging around bushes and under this old house, I often find treasures that have long been lost or forgotten. I know this to be true of all old houses.

How many times are we digging in a garden and come across a small toy or truck or just a tiny time capsule from folks who came before us?

This artwork was left by Libby Hicks who once lived in this old house with her husband, Bill. Libby was a true artist in every sense of the word. She played musical instruments, sang and sculpted art from everyone else's leftovers.

She left a few of these small pieces of art in the yard of this house. I find them one at a time and use them in my own garden.

But here is an interesting story: I met Libby and Bill at a conference years before I ever came to Ocracoke or really even knew much about it. I was going through a rough patch in my life and Libby wanted to bring me home...kind of like bringing home a stray cat or kitten. She was insistent, but I knew I had to go through "the bad times" on my own even though I was and still am eternally grateful for her friendship at that time.

Little did any of us realize that in time I would meet Philip Howard, and I would end up living in this little cottage that had once belonged to his grandparents. Life certainly has a way of taking us in circles, doesn't it?


Until tomorrow.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

All is well on this Fourth of July shared with Arthur...

All is well on this Fourth of July shared with Arthur - KPCNews: Kpcnews

Hi Folks,

Well, it has been quite a ride these past few days with King Arthur. But, here we are on a gorgeous Sunday morning after just receiving word that the power has been restored and we are back in business.

The tourists will begin arriving this morning, the sun will shine, and all is right with the world.

All our Fourth of July events were cancelled except for the flag raising on Friday morning. Here is a photo of the flag on Ocracoke.

The above article is my column for the week, enjoy as always, and thank you for reading. Just click on the KPC story, and there it is.

Your prayers, concerns, and notes were well received. Thank you for all your thoughts.

Until tomorrow.

At the flag raising ceremony,

Friday, July 04, 2014

A Gas-Powered Blog Post from Ocracoke...

Dear Friends,

Philip hooked up the generator with just enough gas for me to write my column and write a brief blog.


I must say it was quite a night, and a week in my life I will always remember. Everyone is fine here and the damage was minimal...trees and branches covering roadways and yards, and, of course, no power.

The power will be out for a few days, they say.

We do have cold running water, however, and we are very grateful for that.

I do not think there is enough gas for me to bother with photos, so that will come another time.

We do not know as much news as you probably do since we have no sources without power or Internet.

Anyway, most importantly, everyone is OK.

Thank you for all your concerns. It was quite amazing!

Lou Ann

Until tomorrow (maybe).

Thursday, July 03, 2014

King Arthur, we are ready!

Here is Philip with Stefen and David finishing up the trimming.

The last of the ferries will be leaving by 5:00 this afternoon. If you haven't left yet, you better hurry! This is the Swan Quarter ferry leaving this morning.

It has been great to keep all of you informed, and we appreciate your concern.

King Arthur has now been updated to a category 2 hurricane, but the preparations are the same. 

Most things have been removed from the grounds and the the surrounding area. Windows have been caulked, tree limbs removed, and anything loose has been tied down.

We made one last run to the grocery for more chocolate and other necessities.

So, now we just take the last of the showers, put on clean clothes and cook in our air conditioned kitchens knowing that that all will change. (I am going to really enjoy this last shower!!)

I will continue the blog as long as I can, if we have Internet and power!!

Until later.

Lou Ann

This was the beach this morning. Isn't it lovely?

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

A lovely afternoon before the storm...

An afternoon view from the dock.

I was out on my bike this afternoon just looking for photos and talking to folks. I loved this sailboat speeding away from the ferry. What is unusual about this photo is that the ferry is coming to take folks away from Ocracoke as opposed to bringing them here!

The sky was blue, the water was sparkling, and there still were lots of tourists taking in the sights and the shops before heading out.

We are currently under a voluntary evacuation notice so it is up to each family to decide what to do. As for me? I will be here throughout the storm with photos and updates.

Don't go away!

Lou Ann

"Should I stay or should I go now?"

Last night Jude Wheeler and I went down to Dajio's to hear April Trueblood's band, Raygun, Ruby.

It was a great evening with lots of folks dancing, singing, and listening to the band.

One of their songs last evening was "Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?" which, of course, brought down the house with the impending Tropical Storm Arthur.

So, here we are facing this storm, and I am finding it very interesting with so many possibilities. First of all, it is not a hurricane and the thought of leaving Ocracoke is not even a thought.

Other considerations are happening though...folks are trimming bushes and trees, putting their cars on high ground, putting up bicycles, etc.

I think it will be important to keep things plugged in as long as possible in case the power goes out, to keep water in jugs, and make sure the wine supply is ample enough for folks.

I know the campground and the NPS will close at noon which means I won't be working in the lighthouse today or tomorrow. All the events for the Fourth of July have been postponed until Saturday, and then it is a wait and see.

For now I have my blog and I have you!

Until later.

Lou Ann