Almost like having two homes

With the Red Barn’s focus lately on two communities a state apart – Dover and Eastport – I’m also getting a sense of people who have two or more homes and locales.

Eastport, after all, has a large number of Summer People, some of them quite active in community affairs when they’re here. Maybe some of them can explain to me how they manage.

You know, all the extra costs and responsibilities. How many possessions do you have to duplicate, and how many others need to be packed and repacked for each shift?

And then there are all of the people’s names and faces to remember.

For me, one home can be overwhelming.

Call it Victorian, if you must

By the time of the Civil War, Bangor as in Maine was the world’s leading lumber port. Some of that wealth is reflected in the proud Second Empire, Greek Revival, and Federal style homes that punctuate the Broadway Historic District and elsewhere through the city.

My elder daughter would find these to be models for her annual gingerbread houses.

Meanwhile, do any of them capture your imagination?

And you wonder where Stephen King got his inspiration?

Not that I see anyone using theirs

I always wondered about the practicality of outdoor window shutters, which were a staple on old houses, even back in the Midwest.

Now that I’m living along a coast that for months has had small-craft or gale warnings in our forecasts seemingly daily, the appendages make a lot more sense. They’re not just decorative. Objects blow about like projectiles, for sure, but more than that, a layer that breaks the icy wind before it slams up against the glass panes and worms through the sash into the house definitely adds some relief.

Of course, our Cape has only one remaining shutter, and it’s too small for the window beside it. Purely decorative, it’s nailed securely to the siding. Hopefully, it provides some extra insulation there.


Miss my bunnies

With my elder daughter’s growing allergies to rabbits’ prolific fur, which flies everywhere, Salty and Pepper had to move on. The Lagomorph duo did provide companionship through two deep winters, as well as constant amusement. In late summer, they received a new home with a then 13-year-old and her 11-year-old brother. From what I seen from a distance since, they couldn’t have been luckier. Those are two happy kids.

Still, it’s surprising how many times I start to do something that might involve them – say bend over to pick dandelion greens while out on a walk or gather carrot ends or parsley stems to feed them while I prepping dinner or move an electrical cord or papers out of their reach – only to realize, emptily, their lusty absence.

Here are a few shots as reminders.