For my recent fiftieth birthday my mom, Susan Weil, dreamed up a surprise trip to Outer Island - the island her father and mother bought in 1927. The island was sold in the early sixties (at the direction of my grandmother's will - she didn't want her kids following her dream - she wanted them to follow their own dreams)(although as far as I am concerned I don't see anything wrong with following your grandparent's dreams!). Since I have been working hard with my grandfather's island memoir, mom knew it would be extra special for me to go to the island. I hadn't been there since I was 3.
She contacted an organization I had found on the web called Friends of Outer Island and they very kindly offered to meet us there and show us around the island. My mom worked very hard to orchestrate this surprise and lots of people helped, starting with Malia who loaned us her car. My dear Aunt Judy and Uncle Joseph and their daughter Molly joined us at the Stony Creek dock where a boat waited to take us to the island. Here are some pictures from the trip:
This is the island as we were motoring there:
Here my mom sits in an opening in the old sea wall:
I land, barefoot, on the pink granite of the island's shore:
Here you can see the shirt I made for my mom that she wore that day to the island. It has on it a copy of her father's notes on the island. Can you read it in this large picture? It is about swimming off the island shore with phosphorescent jellyfish.
A barnacled shore:
The house - rebuilt in 1951 or 2 after a fire - but with the chimney and foundation intact from the old house:
I can't help but wonder if the day lilies were planted by my grandma?
The old fireplace is 11-feet wide at the opening!
Here I am before: (Photo Credit - Susan Weil)
And 47 or 48 years later in the same spot: (Photo Credit - Joseph Shea)
Getting ready to go:
A hard act to follow? How about 1 1/2 lobsters for dinner?
A special thank you to Lynn Dorsey and Nancy from Friends of Outer Island!