Today’s bookmark is from Maine. You’ve probably seen bracelets made with this sailor’s knot technique (I had one as a child). This bookmark is special to me because it reminds me of Captain Bob Smith. For most of my childhood, my family rented a cottage on Smith Cove (near Blue Hill), Maine for two weeks each summer. Bob and his wife Wilma owned Gull’s Way Cottages, a group of three cottages. The one we stayed in was built of logs and must have been built in the early 1900s. It was a summer home for a wealthy family, complete with a tiny maid’s cottage on the grounds. It was a magical place. The screened in porch sat above the shore and there was a decrepid upholstered porch swing I spent my days on, reading. In front of it was a cobbler’s bench that served as a coffee table. A card table was set up on the porch with a jigsaw puzzle. A creek trickled through the property to a small waterfall on the shore. A stone patio with a fireplace was built into the hill and stone steps went down to the rocky beach where there were mussels and shells. A wooden pier led to a floating dock where a rowboat we used was tied. I would swim in the frigid water and explore on the shore that smelled of salt, mud, clams and seaweed.
Captain Bob had been a sea captain and so were both of his sons. When we arrived each year, we sat in his living room with his mementos and looked out a big picture window on the cove. He would stop by our cabin every few days to check on us and tell stories of his life. He took us out on his Boston whaler and let me steer. He learned to make sailor’s knots during his time at sea. It helped pass the time. He wouldn’t eat lobster (scavengers he called them and insisted no real Mainer would eat them) and told me Coke was poison (he may have been right about that).
One year he gave me a sailor’s knot light pull he had made for me. For years, it hung from the overhead light in my bedroom, then on my closet light until I got married. It traveled with me and eventually got left behind on the pull of a closet light at a rental house. Moving out with a two-month baby, I simply forgot about it. It makes me sad to have left that behind. So this bookmark that I bought on one of our trips to Maine makes me remember Captain Bob and the cottage on the cove that I loved so much.
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