My family and I left Chappy early last Sunday morning to visit a very different island a bit further north: Mount Desert Island in Maine, home to Acadia National Park. Similar to Martha’s Vineyard, MDI has a thriving summer season which lasts as long as the leaves continue their spectacular displays of oranges, reds and yellows. We arrived just as the tourists were dissipating, staying in Northeast Harbor, a tiny town with a simple main street in which many of the shops were already shuttered for the season.

The Asticou Azalea Garden, with its Japanese-influenced design, reminded me of Mytoi. Elegant paths wound around a small pond, with lots of simple benches for perching and contemplation. Juna, our two year old, looked in the dark water for turtles like those at Mytoi, but found none. We decided perhaps they were already in hibernation.

The paths in the garden were raked in the Zen garden style, with calming lines and circles, and rocks sat artfully balanced on each other amid the carefully maintained plantings. Although the azalea blooms were long gone for the season, the fall foliage was on full display. Like at Mytoi, one could not help but feel noticeably relaxed while strolling the garden paths.

On Thursday, we received reports of high winds on Martha’s Vineyard and heard that the Steamship ferry was not running once more. We only had a bit of the storm up north; some rain and wind led to a slow start for us that morning. We waited out the worst of it, lingering over breakfast until it cleared enough for us to head out in our rain gear for a day of biking on the Acadia carriage trails.

It sounded like the storm held on for longer over Chappy and the Vineyard. Lots of branches and leaves littered the road when we returned home, including a large snapped limb in our own yard.

At Slip Away, our big greenhouse plastic barely held on through the last storm and then finally let go in this one. We have been limping along with it for the past two seasons. Unusually strong winds ripped large holes along the ridgeline the first winter we installed it. Because the plastic is so expensive to replace, we decided to use it as long as possible, holding our breath each time a storm arrived.

With each one, strong gusts worked their ways through the holes, causing the entire house to shutter. In my worrying, I imagined that a particularly strong blow would lift the whole house off its footings and send it tumbling about Chappy.

Of course that didn’t happen, but the plastic did break free from the frame in last week’s storm, flapping dramatically and loudly in the wind. Luckily for us, it had survived the season. We had just pulled out the final summer crops and were preparing to seed a cover crop for the winter. Now that the plastic is off, we will not replace it until spring, once the danger of winter storms are behind us.

Sidney Morris reminds all that you can pick up your new CCC 2020 calendar on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 5 p.m.

The next community potluck is Wednesday, Nov. 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. The CCC is always happy to find a host for the potlucks. If you would like to sign up, give them a call at 508-627-8222.

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