For the better part of a century a modest, three-season cottage on the shore of Muscongus Bay has belonged to the Gardner clan. Fortunately Gene Gardner, a "downeaster" if there ever were one, married Ruth Grover. She in turn was the aunt to Durelle Grover who, of course, joined the Cloutier clan fifty three years ago. Hence the connection. We first started to spend some wonderful weeks at the cottage thirty five years ago. Without regaling you with even a small portion of the pleasant stories of family and friends that occurred here, permit me to set the stage. Immediately across route 32 in front of the cottage is the Rachel Carson "Silent Spring" salt pond. A salt pond is a small (perhaps a hundred yards across) depression that fills up during high tide and remains full as the tide retreats. At midday in the summer it is waist deep in the center and warms up in the sun until it is the most comfortable body of salt water on the Maine coast. Assorted coastal aquatic critters are often deposited there who must await the next high tide to escape.
The expanse of Maine woods extending from the porch a quarter of a mile downhill to the coastal road has been cut down and grown up as various generations have cleaned out the view. Few can forget the admonitions of Gene who permitted the pines to go, but insisted on preserving the oaks. It is currently cleared again. Yesterday we ventured down from Belfast, and I took another picture from the porch. Look for route 32 at the foot of the hill, the salt pond immediately beyond it and a large home on Long Cove Point on the other side of Long Cove.
The cottage is largely unchanged. It is still heated by a wood stove and a fireplace. The outhouse was replaced by a septic system in the late forties. The water supply is still provided by an above ground hose. When we made our unannounced visit, all three Gardner boys were there along with Harold's wife Dianne and Dianne's folks. It was a quick visit as we headed over to Shaws for a lunch with Estelle Anderson and her daughter Karen. The shot below shows the flowers in the parking lot.
And the last shows the arrival of lunch on the deck.