Ramblings from the Cove...

September 2016

By Lars Gren

It was one of those mornings when I awoke not feeling as though I wanted to leap out of bed nor peer through the window and break out with a rendition of “Good Morning Sun” in a fine baritone voice-- another thing I do not have. Instead, I returned and succumbed to the invitation for a short lie-down on the bed. This would not do and so I gave myself a short command to get up and start the day with a bit of ham, potatoes and eggs. I decided to have the meal sitting in the living room where the solitary rocking chair faces south. The picture window gives one a lovely view towards the rocky shore and hence to the horizon where sky and sea blend into one. It is too bad that when we built at the Cove, we neglected to landscape the slope so as to have a semi-formal garden of bushes with a mix of trees rather than the sumacs, wild cherries—that do not bear—and who knows what else covered the slope. Instead I cut it down and then weed-whacked it for years until now it is but odd grasses and dandelions along with some very resistant English thistle, relished by the summer/fall goldfinches. Be that as it may, it is what we have for landscaping. Oh yes, if you happen to know how to rid oneself of fiddle head ferns, please tell me.

As I placed myself in the chair I remembered how often Elisabeth would be there whether summer or winter, relishing the ever-changing view. It is funny how the chair has become synonymous with her, for with the changing seasons the chair would be moved: winter—nearer the wood stove; to watch a video--another place; and when we had company, it was yet another replacement. It was hers so much so that when I came into the room from the hallway I would automatically have my eyes there to wave a bit of a greeting to her. Then there would oft be the return smile and a bit of a wave. How sweet and now how much missed.

The sea breeze was enough to raise a few whitecaps in the bluish-grey water that broke on the ridge –what I call the fisherman’s stone. It is rather a large part of the ledge coming down from the road leading to Gloucester, a favorite spot for those who are in hopes of getting bluefish or striped bass. Strange how when they arrive they uniformly line up perhaps 15-20 feet apart with the starting point towards the westward point and then work eastward until the ridge disappears beyond our point of view. Today there are only three there and as long as I watched I saw no snap of the rod signaling success. A thought from earlier years drifted into mind when we would see the approach of a lone stranger. He visited this spot every June for several years. If Elisabeth timed it right she would look at the path first and see through the trees the light of perhaps a swinging Coleman lantern jerkily progressing as he came to the tree line and then into the open. He would show up at near five am with pole, bucket and a lantern. Elisabeth’s alarm always went off at 4:45 am and I would hear, “Our friend is back.” Often I thought that I should "truck" down and meet him, but never did. Shortly after full sunrise the lantern had moved on, and I suppose, he went off to work. Now I wished I had gone to meet him, perhaps a unique character. Had any of those who came later greeted him? It was perhaps three or four years later that the ‘lantern’ ceased to come to the fishing spot, leaving that question unanswered.

A bit of blue distracted me and what was it but the lawn rocker that was on the terrace just below the picture window. The light sea breeze was just enough to cause motion. There we often had our noon summer lunches or afternoon tea or coffee breaks, at times with company or in the summers, long since gone by, when we would have the grandchildren here. The frequent flier miles would often be the vehicle for children’s visits which were a memorable high point. No one, though, could enjoy and "drink in" the beauty of the Cove--whether in dead calm or roaring storm with waves crashing onto the rocky shore--as Elisabeth was able to do. Even so, in this morning’s solitude of a lovely sea, with the three almost evenly-spaced fisherman, I thought of Elisabeth and how she relished the sights, sounds, seasons, and all that God put on display for her and others here at the Cove, and then considered the oft uttered familiar thanksgiving: "The lines have fallen unto me in pleasant places." (Psalm 16:6)

God bless y’all and, for now, that’s it from The Cove,

Lars

beach

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