Small World

Photo by Priya Jain

“Is this your store?”

It was an email with photo from my friend Priya. Priya is looking for a new apartment in Brooklyn and one of apartments she looked at was decorated with a poster from Down Front, our ice cream store on Peaks Island.

I offer this as further evidence that Peaks Island is some sort of vortex, black hole or other type of science fiction-like location. Considering we only have 800 year-round residents—and not a single traffic light—it’s amazing how often I meet new people and it turns out they’ve been here.

The poster hangs in the bathroom, but they framed it nicely—so I’m ignoring its proximity to the toilet and taking the poster’s presence as a compliment.

By the way, the poster was designed by Peaks Island resident Marty Braun.

November Raspberries?

Like a handful of my friends, my raspberry bush is habitually tardy. It doesn’t really get going until fall. In September green berries appear, but then the temperature drops–and so do my berries. 🙁

Every year it’s the same. All of the raspberries die before they ever get ripe. Until this year. It’s been so warm. Who would have thought I’d be picking raspberries in Maine in November?

My perennial geranium, which stopped blooming in September, seems to have gotten a second wind. It’s periwinkle blue blooms contrast spectacularly with the orange leaves that surround them.

It’s all very strange considering it snowed a week and a half ago.

I hope this lasts.



Kitchen Sorting Adventure

It’s hard to figure out which kitchen equipment you might need over the next year. Here is what went through my mind as I decided which items to leave in our Portland condo for the renters and which items to move to Peaks Island with me–

Pizza stone: Gotta bring that!

Bread knife: Come to mama.

Waffle iron: Will I feel an uncontrollable urge to make waffles in the next twelve months? I don’t think so but you never know…

Food processor: I haven’t needed it all summer, but then I certainly don’t want strangers touching it.

Various attachments for the food processor, many of which I’ve never used: I obviously don’t need them, but leaving them behind would be like splitting up a family.

Instruction booklet for my immersion blender: Oh, that’s what that does. I never knew…

Bag of healthy snacks my daughter packed for an overnight hike that got canceled (three months ago): Gee, these sure do smell and look like goat feed.

Unopened jar of Stonewall kitchen blueberry jam: Yessss!!!

Grape seed oil: I got this to make something special. If only I could remember what…

Rainbow colored glass pebbles: Where did these even come from?


Storage Container Hell

My name is Lisa and I am storage container inept.

I open the cabinet door to find a container for some left over pasta. Two pieces of Gladware, three Ziplock lids and one large rectangular Rubbermaid bottom slide out, bounce off of my head, and tumble onto the floor. I pick them up and shove them back in.

My cupboard looks like a refugee camp for displaced Tupperware. The mismatched collection includes half-a dozen different brands in a seemingly infinite number of shapes and sizes.

One has a dark gray lid. I squint at it. Where did that come from? I don’t remember buying any of these containers. Perhaps they migrate here on their own–or reproduce at night like mice in springtime.

The leftover pasta waits on the counter. I return to rooting though the cabinet. The perfect capacity container must be in here, somewhere.

My Mom is expert at mating leftovers with their ideal sized storage unit. She can reach into a cabinet and grab the right container without even thinking. It’s some sort of sixth sense—which she also applies to things like figuring out exactly how much clothes she can fit into her suitcase—and how many showers are left in a bar of soap.

I dump the pasta into a square Ziplock container. Only two-thirds fit. I’ve inherited Mom’s love of shoes, but not her ability to match food with storage containers. I hold back a scream.

I return to the cupboard and select another candidate, a Rubbermaid model with a raised number on the bottom to help me locate its corresponding lid. This particular unit is a #3. I dump the pasta into #3. It fits. Yea!

I go back to the cabinet to find the lid. Three, three, three. Come on lucky three. It’s like Casino Night at the Lion’s Club.

Thirty seconds later, dozens of lids are spread across the kitchen counter. I inspect them all, but there is no lid #3. Aggghhh!

I should toss #3 in the recycling bin. But maybe his lid will turn up–return home like a college student who needs more money. It could materialize magically under the couch or in the car. Maybe I left it at a friend’s house after a party? You never know.

I place #3 back in the cabinet to wait for his mate–then settle on a quart-sized piece of Gladware. It’s bigger than I need, but it has an even more important quality: a lid. I’ve invested too much time already. Time to refocus on something that matters. Ok–something that matters more than plastic storage.

I wish that some product designer would get this right. Two or three sizes of lid that fit on five or six sizes of nesting bottoms. They can build an all-in-one, palm-sized phone, computer, camera, GPS and music/video player—you’d think an organized food storage container system would be easy.

Apparently not.