I have to admit something. My summer, though busy, has been leaving me feeling a bit frazzled. Months ago my husband and I planned a trip to Maine, to be taken when my kids were at sleep away camp (a rare occurrence for all three kids to be away at the same time). By the time the trip was coming upon us, I felt beat. A few family trips, my kids birthdays (all in July), work, a looming back surgery and doctors visits (more in another post) and I truly felt like going nowhere. I was spent.
By this time, though, the choice was not mine -the trip was paid for and I was going.
On top of it we were going to places in Maine I had never been before. My husband and I like to go off the beaten path, away from the crowds, close to the locals. But this time it was to an island off the Maine coast, and we were going to be off the grid. No cell service, very little electricity, no car. We had to take the mailboat to get there. I don't love boats, and what was a mailboat anyway?
As you might know, what I eat for physical nourishment, is vitally important to me. Vacation almost always leaves something to be desired, as there as there always seems to be a never ending array of junky food with less than desirable fruits and veggies and the ability to cook yourself a proper meal.
We were to stay at the only Inn on the island, much less the only place with food. Since there were no restaurants, stores or any place to eat except for where we were staying, we had to rely on what they served us. I was beholden to the Inn.
The Keepers House is not a big place. In fact, it is so small that you simply feel like you are a guest in someones house, as it used to be someone's home (the light keeper's, as a matter of fact). There were only six of us staying there, meals were served together in the dining room and there was only one choice of meal.
This made me feel hesitant at first (even the Julie the caretaker said Mark and I were "tensed up" when we first got there!). I like to be in control of my food. I do the cooking for everyone in my family, I tell everyone what's for dinner that night. NEVER the other way around. It's just how it is. I do it without thinking.
Here, the tables were turned. And I realized how much I loved it. And how much I needed it.
This time Julie and Shar, the other cook, told us what were eating. It might have been a little too much (homemade) bread, a little too much butter, too few vegetables but it was all delicious in that being totally cared for kind of way. French toast for breakfast? Yes, please. My own bagged lunch with a sandwich, trail mix and cookies? I felt so cared for.
I realized that I was craving that kind of emotional nourishment that only someone cooking good food can give you. It flooded me with memories of my grandmother cooking large Sunday breakfasts and my Aunts baking breads and cookies.
I have always preached that vacation is not about the food. And in most cases it is not. Yet food made for you with love and good energy is worth every bite. And it made me feel so good.
Heather Carey, M.S.
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