Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year to All

jeez, a whole month has passed since I last wrote. That's what December (=Holidays) does to me every year: derails, distracts, confuses. How am I supposed to be spending my time? Cultural traditions demand one thing (and I enjoy a lot of it), commitments and emotions another. Pulls in different directions. We got my father moved into an independent living situation that helps keep my mind off his safety and welfare, though it's still important to see him. Long therapeutic walks, physical therapy, daily exercises as well as other therapies all take time. Long hours sitting in the car tend to set my healing back by days at a time; that's demanding physically. Standing is still painful after a few hours. The return to where I was is taking time, though last night when we were curling I was able to use the slide delivery again and to do some sweeping which I attrubute to the cranialsacral therapy I had yesterday. Amazing! I am headed, finally, to the studio today. This will feel normal, I hope. I'm looking forward to the winter working in my studio, preparing for a solo show I will have in the summer of 2012 at Aarhus Gallery in Belfast. I'll be teaching a few workshops, too, in the spring, so stay tuned for that!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 1

Wow, already December. I have just harvested the last of the broccoli from our garden--unheard of so late in the year! (The deer fortunately left us the tiny tender sideshoots, prefering the coarser stalks. We had seven in our back field last night.) I walked along Appleton Ridge this morning with my neighbors and their dogs, so much more fun than walking alone, so many more laughs. Feeling blessed to live here among such wonderful people. Spending the week printing and writing Christmas cards and sending out a end-of-year holiday type letter. It seemed appropriate this year to attempt to sum up what Bart refers to as the "wacky" nature for us of the last calendar year.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanks giving to all

Here in Maine we've had the most beautiful fall this year. It has not only been unusually warm but it has been sunny nearly every day and not at all windy. Due to the lack of cold nights earlier on we didn't have brilliant fall foliage but we've had instead a steady more subtle transformation of the landscape; I don't think I've ever appreciated the subtlies in the colors of the oak leaves quite as much. I have a Viburnum carlesii (Korean spice viburnum) right outside our kitchen windows, off the deck, and it has never had such brilliant color. Today, November 20, it still has its leaves--unheard of this late in the season. My fothergilla has been as brilliantly colored as one I once saw in Pittsburg at the botanical garden there in late October. Before I saw that one I was unaware of just how colorful these shrubs can be given a long, slow decrease in fall temperatures. The hydrangea and the spiraea were also exceptionally colorful this year, and, though I hate to mention it, the barberry had never spoken to me before...I saw one on a street in Rockland the other day that blew me away with the range of oranges and reds in its repertoire. I am usually one to promote the eradication of this invasive plant but for that one I wished I'd had my camera! Luckily I did bring my camera on the walk I took along Appleton Ridge Road through the blueberry barrens at the top.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Coming along fine, thank you

Rehabilitation is coming along. Taking walks every day to keep the process going. We continue to have a warm and beautful fall here; the blueberry barrens are particularly striking right now so finding an exciting place to walk is not difficult. Megan and I walked on Beauchamp Point in Rockport today. Lovely. Lucky to live on the coast of Maine. I should have had my camera with me.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Coming Along....Slowly

While I would very much like to move on from the accident and my injuries I am reminded constantly of the ongoing physical limitations, and the length of time it will take to get back to my former degree of fitness, strength and flexibility. I am told by my physical therapist to take things slowly so as not to add to the damage, resulting in a longer period of recovery. He has done ultrasound twice now which seems to loosen up the back muscles and I can feel the progress from one session to the next. While it is not exactly painful there can be painful muscle spasms and it is a slow process. When I visit my father, which I do several times a week, he notices my ongoing limitations and asks "Stiff today?" to which I respond with the same answer I give him every time, "Well, it is just the residual stiffness from the accident, no big deal." This seems to satisfy him and we can move on. I wonder if he then recalls, even briefly, that I was in the plane crash. While I was wearing the brace he was startled to see me in it each time and found it perplexing; he didn't remember from one visit to another why I was wearing it. That got tiresome for me, but I know it is not his fault that he forgets, it is the dementia. It is just hard and requires a great deal of patience. I look forward to the day when I am moving confidently and fluidly and he doesn't notice any problem.
Tomorrow Bart and I go to Cape Cod, for the first curling event of the season, except I will not be curling. Too soon. I do not have enough strength, flexibility or confidence yet that I can squat, stretch, slide, hop up out of the slide, sweep or otherwise perform on the ice. I will try to be positive about my ongoing recovery but this is depressing to me.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Physical Therapy

No more brace! The X ray taken yesterday showed the same smooshed box of a vertabra, but the doc says that is normal and the way it will stay forever. Good healing is underway; given that I was in good shape before the accident and never a smoker my bones have healed well. Now it's on to physical therapy and getting back in shape for the curling season which starts in less than a month. I will try to get out on the ice--just to try it out, not to curl--next week when our team goes down to the Cape for the annual Bogspiel, our early season curling competition. Looking forward to seeing our friends down there, even if I can't curl. Can't wait to get back into it!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rest in Peace, Uncle Zane and Don

Bart, Dad and I attended the funeral yesterday of Don Campbell, the Penobscot Island Air pilot who was killed last Wednesday when his plane crashed on Matinicus. On Saturday we drove down to Bridgeport to be with family in celebrating the life of Zane Yost, who was the husband of my father's youngest sister Megan. I think I saw more of Zane as a child than as an adult which is a shame because I think I would have appreciated him more had I spent time with him as an adult. I was glad and impressed to be reminded of his accomplishments as an architect and of his liberal views and creative ideas which certainly align with mine. I was glad to see many of my cousins there, and though there wasn't a lot of time to visit with them, I was glad to see them and their families.
Don, the pilot, on the other hand, I did not know well at all, but I wanted to be there for Kevin, the owner of Penobscot Island Air to express my sorrow and support for him and the other pilots in these tough times for them. Don led an exemplary life, always cheerfully helping others while pursuing his own interests.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Very, very, very upsetting. A second plane crash on Matinicus, surreal. I just found out. The pilot, Don, was killed. He was flying groceries out to the islanders and if anyone was outside at about 6 tonight you are aware of the wind conditions at that time. The plane hit a power line and crashed. This cannot be happening to the owner of PIA, Kevin Waters, the PIA pilots and everyone who knows how hard those guys work to serve the islands, the islanders and all of us. For there to be two freak accidents like this in so short a stretch of time is inconceivable. My heart is aching for Rob's family, Kevin, and all the PIA pilots.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Just Back from Matinicus

I've just gotten home from a trip out to Matinicus with my sister Megan and her daughter Morgan and friend Greg. We had a beautiful, speedy trip out by boat with George Tarkelson on the Robin on Tuesday, spotting porpoise in the Bay. It was time to close everything up for the winter so we spent the three days we were there doing the final mowing, cutting back the gardens, hanging the covers over windows, bringing batteries from vehicles into the cellar, runnign the last recyclables to the island recycling shed and various other chores necessary to close up the big house and the two cottages. I had been eager to talk to some of the islanders who had been involved with our rescue after the plane crash to thank each one personally for their role. Clayton Philbrook, who plucked KC and me from the water came to the house for a visit and filled me on on details I'd not known about, including an disturbingly descriptive color for my skin in my hypothermic state. I found out on the ferry ride home this afternoon that Channel 6, WCSH Portland ran a story just last night on their 207 program about Matinicus. I've just watched it and if you want to see how the plane flies in and out of the airstrip on the island take a look. It's at, look for the 207 headline at the top.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Better and Better

I'm wearing the brace a little less every day and getting more exercise. Walking two miles almost every day (wearing the brace as the road from our house is a dirt road and uneven. After my session with my craniosacral therapist yesterday I felt great and feel great today. I have to be very careful when I'm not wearing the brace to move slowly and deliberately but it feels so good, so normal to be free of it. Off for my walk now! Afterward I plan to spend s much of the day as I can physically tolerate in my studio. There is a new show coming up at Aarhus for which I'd like to have new work.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


That is a little embarrassing reading that last post. What a low moment! But I was feeling duplicitous keeping all my low moments to myself. The action I am taking is to simplify my life so as not to get so overwhelmed while I am still moving so slowly. I accept that healing is going to take longer than I want it to. Things were coming along great, then earlier in the week I twisted, or bent or squatted too low or some damn thing and everything hurts again. I probably need to schedule an appointment every week with Sarah Bradley, my craniosacral therapist, who has healing hands and works wonders. I've only been twice so far but both times felt significantly better afterwards.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Truth is

Okay, the truth is I don't feel all that positive every day. Some days I am frustrated and discouraged and those are the days I post nothing. No one likes a negative attitude and I hate feeling sorry for myself.
The truth is, I am not getting back to making art all that much. My studio sits empty while I--to the best of my current ability-- take care of other things, long neglected, including helping with the care of my father, 87, whose memory loss is Alzheimer's and who needs a lot of help and attention.
The truth is I'm frustrated being so inactive and having it take twice as long to get anything physical accomplished, if I can even manage it at all. There is no hiking, no kayaking, no biking and worst of all, no gardening. I can't bear to look at my gardens. Let the frost come so everything will just die and go away! I can't wait for everything to get buried in snow!
The truth is, my brush with death has left its mark, though I can't quite conceptualize yet what that mark looks like. But today I sure feel it. I am impatient for a sense of normalcy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Leaps of Faith

Contrary to conventional thinking, most landscapers know that a newly planted tree should never be staked. To develop health, strength and resistance the tree needs to be free to move with the wind. It's a leap of faith, proven by science. So with this brace. It allows plenty of movement even as it keeps my vertebrae protected. I'm removing it at night now and a little during the day to start to rebuild my muscles. I still can't bend over, even without the limitations of the brace, but I think that may have as much to do with stiffness and lack of use as weakness of the muscles and fractured vertebra. Today my niece Madeline is coming to help me start cutting back the gardens, cleaning up and putting things away for the season. This usually takes me days and days, especially after the dahlias have hardened off in the ground and need to be lifted, rinsed, tagged and stored in boxes full of wood shavings in my upstairs studio. The garlic will need to be planted and I hope to get her to help me with that, too. This summer I could only watch as first Jessica then Antoinette dug it for me. By October I might even be able to bend over enough to push the cloves into the raised beds myself. Like planting spring flowering bulbs in the fall, planting garlic is one of those leaps of faith that there will be a gratifying payoff ten months later. By then I will certainly be harvesting my own garlic again.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Great News

Fantastic news! My back is healing normally, on schedule and I have been given the green light to get back behind the wheel. Being able to drive again when you live a half hour away from ANYTHING is HUGE! Many thanks to those who have chauffered me around these last five weeks and gratitude to those who offfered to help in any way. I'll have pain for awhile but it is reassuring knowing that all those aches and pains are a normal part of the healing process. The disappointing news is that I probably won't be able to curl the first half of the season as I won't even be able to start any kind of physical therapy until after the beginning of November, (when I can shed the brace for good) which is the start of the season. Bummer, but I am really, really, really glad that I am still on this earth to be able to return to the things I so love to do and hug the people I love............

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Follow Up Tomorrow

Tomorrow, finally, I will have the follow up appointment in Portland for an X ray on my back and a meeting with a neurosurgeon to discuss it. I am looking forward to this and hoping for the best. Bart will come with me so he hears it all first hand. I'm trying to stay positive and patient and I'm assuming we will see significant healing in the back. At this point I am beginning to feel more aches and pain in other areas like hips and legs as a result of wearing the brace which makes me walk, sit and stand awkwardly. As a result, I am only truly comfortable sitting in a very straight chair for short stretches or lying on my back. Maybe I'll be able to remove the brace long enough to start some physical therapy. I've got to get back into shape--the curling season is only a few weeks away!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Restlessness Settles In

I know it's a good sign, this retlessness, eagerness to get back to my life. I have had many lectures on Patience and I am trying to be a good student so as not to permanently screw up the healing that is working its magic. I look forward to getting back to normal conversations, those that aren't about me or what happened to me. It's still inconceivable to me--what are the chances??--but it did happen and it is over (or almost over). I want to get back to my duties at Aarhus and voluntering at Waterfall Arts. Curling season is coming up and I need to get into shape for that. Too disappointing to think that I might not be able to get on the ice this fall...Still taking walks to hold onto some small amount of muscle tone. Balance and strength are improving. I'm looking ahead.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Life Amazingly Goes On

KC and I finally connected yesterday by phone. In spite of how strong and positive she sounded it was a long, emotionally difficult, often terrifying, conversation comparing notes and hearing what she has gone through since impact, since being so badly injured, in the hospital for 15 days, risky surgeries that she somehow made it through. She is an AMAZING testament to the mind and body's ability to heal. We both continue to be so grateful for our lives and for our families who have helped us through. Though KC and I had just met and had talked only briefly before the crash, I was looking forward to getting to know her a little once we got to Owl's Head where I was to give her a ride to meet her daughter in Union. When we are both stronger, a little ways down the road, we will get together. I am really looking forward to that.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back To Work!

Five weeks now since the plane crash. Bart indulged me over the weekend in a trip to Lucia beach so I could cool off and take a walk in another setting. I have been recounting the plane crash experience for someone different every day and each time it feels a little less real, I get a little more distance, though I continue to keep myself awake at night revisitng the terror, the rescue, the hospitalization...But today was a really great day as I had a chance to get into the studio and get back to work on my art. It may be crap until I get back into the rhythm of it but I don't care, what's important is that I am able to be in my studio and work again.....

Thursday, August 18, 2011

An Adventurous Life

A friend asked me the other day, "How do you manage to live such an adventurous life?" Taken aback, I thought "Surely he isn't referring to my recent close call in the airplane crash..." I got to thinking about the nature of "adventures" (dictionary definition: 1. An undertaking of a hazardous nature, a risky enterprise. 2. An unusual experience or course of events marked by excitement and suspense) as well as the last year and a half when he and I have been getting to know each other's lives.
And you know what? I really have had some adventures, until recently of the most enviable kind...In April of 2010 my long time buddy Jessica Straus and I took a three week trip to France,where we rented a car and drove around studying a detailed road map to visit outsider art sites and ended up being delayed in Paris (tough, eh?) for a few days while we waited for the smoke and ash to clear following the eruption of the volcano in Iceland. THAT was an adventure! And then if I think about all the times I've gone on curling trips out of state or to Canada with either my women's team or any mixed team, well, every single one of those trips has been an adventure. Although this summer has been an exception (we never got our boats in the water) Bart and I choose kayaking over any other summer activity; every single one of these trips has had its element of adventure. Another trip abroad this spring, this time with Bart, to Scotland to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Driving a car with right hand drive, on single lane roads covered with sheep above steep drop offs into the ocean on far flung islands...before we left for Scotland that same volcano (or was it another one?) posed a threat to air travel. Travel is always an adventure, a risky enterprise. That flight between Matinicus and Owl's Head has been done thousands of times all year round without incident over the years. Who would have thought that a routine 15 minute flight in my own backyard in Maine would have resulted in the biggest adventure of my life? So, I have given this some thought, Richard, and you know what? I could go on. I love my adventurous life and won't stop stepping out my door or getting on a plane, big or small, to continue to live it fully.
On the other hand, I am decidedly NOT interested in doing what Bart's parents, ages 82 and 79, are doing right now: sailing the Maine, N.H. and Massachusetts coasts to get back to Old Lyme, CT. We heard only a fraction of THEIR adventures last night and I say "No, thank you!" to THAT! Something to do with my intimate experience of the water temperature, I suspect.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Getting Out

Though it's hot and sticky wearing this rig of mine in the sun it was a total pleasure to get out yesterday for a brief trip to the annual Union Antiques Fair right around the corner from us. I found a few weird items for my found art collection and we lunched on some of Chuck's fried Maine shrimp and fried scallops. It was a well attended fair--I hope people were spending money so this fair continues to be one of the biggest and best. Afterward we came home and I liberated myself from the packaging so I could take a nap, still a daily ritual. I never used to nap in the afternoon!! Too much to do!! Oh well, it's all about healing, right? And won't be for long. Four weeks down, only eight to go.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Five Focused Gardeners

Every day has its highlights. My healing process can't really be measured in daily visible improvement to mobility, as the back brace feels just as snug, hot and restrictive today (no, I am not complaining!)as it did yesterday. Yes, the pain lessens and of course I gain some strength from physical therapy. My longtime (29 years!) good friend Antoinette came up this week from Massachusetts to help out for a few days and these precious visits from my buddies from near and far are truly the silver lining to the accident. Yesterday's highlight was the arrival of a team of gardening friends, Tracy, Nancy, Rosalie and Sharon who joined Antoinette for most of the afternoon to take care of all the deadheading and weeding I have been lamenting in the kitchen and shade gardens. While I of course could not participate and had to take a break to lie down they carried on cheerfully and energetically. Afterward I had the vicarious gratification of seeing the difference it made to have five focused gardeners at work for several hours. Low maintenance my gardens are not! But then, that has always been for me the pleasure of gardening, that mix of sensual experiences: the warmth of the sun, the subtle differences in fragrance of the plants up close, witnessing up close the insect and bird life, the physicality of the process. Like making art.
Bravo to Eva for her article in yesterday's paper! What a good writer she is: funny, irreverent, to the point. this was one of the best. I agree that our rescue had little to do with a miraculous event, it truly was the Matinicus Island Rescue Team (which basically includes everyone on the island as well as the flying service in Owl's Head who wants to get involved) From my perspective, it may not have been a miracle to have survived, but it was dramatic. In and out of consciousness after the rescue, I can recall only snippets of this part of the drama while the entire stretch of time we were in the water, including the moment of the crash, is etched in my memory. To know that I was in good hands when the islanders in their boats arrived is an understatement. While I do not live on Matinicus, I have known most of these people all my life, many since childhood, when our family first began to spend summers on Matinicus. For those so inspired there is a fund called the Matinicus Island Rescue, and as long as there continues to be a Post Office on Matinicus (that's the next story) a check could be mailed to the Matinicus Island Rescue Fund, Matinicus Island, Maine, 04851. This fund is used to buy the equipment necessary to carry out the kind of rescue the islanders recently so successfully carried out. Eva, please correct me if I am wrong in any detail, or have missed any crucial aspects of this! Truthfully, it had never occurred to me before to contribute to this fund, but of course that will now change, as soon as Bart and I sort out the insurance and financial aftermath of all of this.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My body needs to catch up

My body needs to catch up with my spirit! I really, really just want to be where I was physically on July 16...I know I am making progress but now I'm at the stage where I want to tear off this apparatus and go for a jog. The physical therapist is due any minute; I am going to request some more advanced exercises. Yesterday I walked two miles, steady and confident. More visitors last night, more good food (especially that chocolate mousse, thank you Ella and Deborah!), more laughs and normalcy. Can't get enough of that. Oh, the pt is here. Will be back later.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My Dearest Husband Bart

I realize I have said very little about Bart's role and support in all of this. That is not because I take him for granted! He has been ownderfully attentive to me and is the only one I want to put on and take off my back brace; it feels so intimate. He stayed with me in the Trauma Unit in Portland for the first four nights, then when I ws transferred went home to get some sleep and prepare for my homecoming. I could not have dreamed of a more loving life companion. We celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary this September 5, and when we first talked about how to mark this milestone months ago we thought PARTY but then thought well, maybe use the money for a trip...we opted for the trip and spent two and a half weeks this last May and June in London (four days) and Scotland, mostly the Outer Hebrides and Isle of Skye. The weather is supposed to be at its best in Scotland in May, less wet, no midges. It was a great trip in spite of the rain (plenty of it!) and we're so glad we went when we did. Now because of the accident we are getting visits from all our friends far and wide and that is MUCH better than a party where you feel afterward that you didn't really get to see anyone! In the middle of this life altering experience Bart started a new job after having been unemployed for three months. He has just finished his first week working at Fisher Engineering (a division of Douglas Dynamics) in Rockland where they make snow plows and he is Continuous Improvement Manager. He likes it! (And we'll soon have a snow plow on my trusty truck no doubt.) While he has been getting used to a new job my best buddy and former colleague from Concord Academy Jessica Straus has been here catering to my every whim and taking over in the kitchen garden weeding, watering, harvesting, replanting and deadheading where I left off three weeks ago. Talking, laughing and reminiscing with her all week kept my mind off the horrors of the accident. I am so appreciative not to have been left alone for Bart's first week of work...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Busy, Happy Days

For some reason, when I first got home from the hospital, I pictured unbearably lengthy days ahead of me, painful and lonely. The reality has been anything but that! Yesterday was so busy I didn't have time to post. First taking care of e-mail, picking some blueberries for breakfast, exercises. The PT came at the same time as soem friends arrived to drop off dinner, a nice reunion, as all these visits are. Then at lunchtime a visit from My sister in law Elphie and my niece Madeline and nephew Henry. We almost finished the tail end of all the beautiful healthy whole grain salads people have been bringing. Such healthy food--I am sure this is why I am feeling so strong again so soon! After lunch my generous neighbors Debby and Heather brought their children over to do some gardening for me--it was getting sad for me to see my gardens get weedy again after all the vigilant attention we'd given them for the garden tour on July 10. Carol arrived for a visit after I'd gotten the gardening crew going and then it was time to lie down for awhile so I could have a break from the brace and just lie quietly for a little while, a little internal naval contemplation. Another visit from long time best buddy Dory whose other good friend KC was also in the plane crash as we had decided to fly off the island together on the 17th so I could give KC a ride to Union to meet up with her daughter after her very first visit to Matinicus. I am so happy to report that KC is back home finally and will also mend completely, I am told, even after the double whammy of heart surgery AND back surgery. Dory is caling the three of us passengers "plucky." I think it took more than pluck to get us through that ordeal, a convergence of luck and miracle but I like being called plucky. Kind of a combination of lucky and...pleased? fiesty? I am certainly more than just pleased!
I was exhausted by nine and had the best overnight rest so far. Bart and I have learned how to get back to sleep quickly after our one and a half hour intervals getting up during the night.
My love to everyone!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Another Beautiful Day

Of course, every day is a beautiful day now. My friend Jessica is here for the week to take over for Bart while he starts his new job, which he did today. I got out and did three significant walks, with my new hiking poles--very effective for balance and confidence. We walked along the waterfront in Rockland, along the boardwalk and sat outdoors at Amalfi's to watch the boats. Later we went to Perry Pond so Jess could swim, where we ran into other Appletonions Heather, Lisa and Jan. It is so good to see everyone! I still have many thank yous to write, not the least of which are to my rescuers Clayton and Robin and others who came to get us in their boats and talk reassuringly to us en route to Pen Bay. I don't really know how to thank them but continue to embrace every get well wish that comes my way so for them to know I'm doing well is important.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Beautiful Summer Day

Saturday, July 30. Just got back from the second walk of the day, down to the end of the driveway where my beautiful (thank you again Susan and Dave!) studio is, and back. Felt good! Getting strong again! We went to Maine Sport this morning and got a pair of hiking poles for walking outdoors; they are going to serve me well. Anyone wanting some more dahlias for their garden should come and get some. I have a bunch in pots that are looking chlorotic from lack of fertilizer (nitrogen) but they are all either in bloom or about to flower. They need to be in the ground which I can't do! So give me a call, come by and grab some. Most are Endless Summer Farm (in Camden)varieties, there is also one called Waterlily originally from Barb Walch's farm. Beautiful, beautiful summer in Maine.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Easily amused

Friday, July 29. It amuses me that it took an event of this magnitude to get me to slow down long enough to appreciate the wonders of communicating with people this way. I now realize my posts don't have to be long or top notch pieces of writing. After a miserable night fighting gas and nausea as my system attempts to get back to normal after the abdominal surgery and meds I took a long (longest yet) walk down to the studio at the end of the driveway and watched while Bart watered the gardens. Walking is a slow process and not being able to bend even to deadhead a daylily is bizarre and so contrary to my usual experience in the garden I am left to take the time to admire what I have created. When I can stand for longer lengths of time I will get back to my art. For now, it's reassuriong to feel the Appleton Ridge breezes on my body. I am alive!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A little more of the story

It's Thursday, July 28 so it has been a good ten days since the accident. I've recounted parts of what happened to people along the way and I've just read Eva's account of what happened. As we taxied down the runway on the island I waved, as I always do, to my Dad and other family members and friends who see the planes off. We were in the air only briefly before I was aware of the engine trouble and Rob saying something, though I don't remember what it was. Next thing I knew there was the impact of hitting the water and the plane began to sink fast. I saw the water rising out my window and thought to myself," If I don't get this door open RIGHT NOW I won't be able to push it open against the water." So I undid my seatbelt and I did, and I got out. Once my head was above water I looked around for the others and almost right away saw K.C., with her bloody chin,on the other side of the plane. Then I saw Rob and then we waited for Eva. It was long enough that I cried out "Eva! Eva needs to get out!! Where is Eva??" Then she surfaced, with blood, lots of it, on her face. From somewhere there was the flotation pod, I'm told from the belly of the plane. The rest of the plane disappeared fast. The four of us clung to this thing, trying to keep our heads above water and not swallow more salt water than we already had. Rob had a whistle which he blew on every few seconds. Eva had a strong consistant kick. We were trying to kick our way to the island which didn't seem that far away. At one point I decided I would try to swim to the isalnd and I let go of the flotation thing. K.C. said, "Where are you going?" And I said "I'm going to swim to the island." "Not in that direction you aren't" Then they all told me to get back there with them. I obeyed. Rob kept saying they were coming for us. I thought it was taking a long time, I was so cold. I floated on my back now and then to save energy.
I began to lose my energy. The Rob said "There's a boat!" and I looked up and saw a boat screaming toward us. Clayton got K.C. aboard his boat first then me, I think. I remember reaching for the gaff then having strong arms pulling me up and intot he boat where I saw K.C. curled up on the deck. After that I gave myself over to the rescuers and my memories are spotty: Robin Tarkelson talking to me, saying my name, Samantha's face, others I did not recognize. I was so cold. They were working hard to get me warmed up. I felt no pain at that point, just cold.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Hello everybody. I knew that if I promised to startposting on my blog I would have to hold myself to it, so here goes. I have now been home for as many days as I was in Maine Medical in the truma unit. Great team down there, if you should ever know anyone who has to go there (god forbid). While there I was treated for severe hypothermia, numerous abrasions and bruises, a herniated colon requiring immediate surgery, and a fractured back. I am grateful that the back brace I am now sporting seems to be doing its job of keeping the vertebrae lined up so my back can heal on its own; Karen, who was next to me in the back of the plane, was not so lucky and had to have back surgery. Eva is back out on the island and I am sure with her strength and spunk is doing well and getting back into all that she does for the island. I will try to attach to this post the picture sent to me by Lisa Twombley, one of the islanders involved in the rescue. When I looked just now at the pictures of the plane after it had been recovered I began to feel sick. So that's all for now. Suffice it to say that I feel extremely lucky to be alive. I want to correct the information that we were in the water for a mere 20-30 minutes. More like 45-50. At one hour you begin to succomb. Love, Abbie

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Open Studio and Garden Tour

There was a fantastic turnout for the 20th annual Gardens of the Watershed tour on Sunday, July 10,this year. ARTgarden was one of the six featured gardens and the generous people of the Georges River Land Trust allowed me to open my art studio to the public for the event. Over 500 people came through, admired the many garden beds and had a chance to look at not only my art but my many collections of cool stuff. My niece Madeline was here making twig structures for the garden and got a number of commissions. Doug Smith painted two pictures on site for the art auction and my buddy Jessica Straus oversaw the sales of art and various other things from the studio. Bart did a fantastic job answering questions of all kinds and seeing that people did not feel parking-challenged along the driveway. It was so successful I plan to host another Open Studio event in mid September. Meanwhile, if anyone wants to come admire my gardens in their unusually tidy state please come by! (Well, call first, I might be working somehwere else.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


After A LOT of rain yesterday we have a sunny day today. Things are beginning to remerge in the garden...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pecha Kucha last night

The turnout was awesome for Pecha Kucha last night in Thomaston! Watts Hall was full of enthusiastic supporters of art, wine, Rock City coffee, the Island Institute. Chris Rector, our state senator, did a fabulous job MCing the event and Maggie Blue had done a terrific job putting the Power Point together so that our 20 slides/20seconds for presentation followed each other perfectly smoothly. Isabelle did a particularly impressive job winging it in front of such a crowd! We went over to Billy's Tavern afterward for drinks and more fun. Thanks to everyone who got themselves there to share the evening!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Trigger and Reconfigure at Wellesley

The show is up at Wellesley College at the Jewett Art Gallery. Check it out:
We managed to get coverage in the Boston Globe, in the Critic's Pick section. The opening was well attended and I was pleased to see some of my former colleagues, a coupleI hadn't seen in 20 years! Clara took us all out to dinner afterward and the whole evening was lovely. I drove home the next morning and went right to my studio--a logn lost adventure these days it seems--and made a new piece in the afternoon.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

24 hours in NYC

A quick, quick trip to New York with Bart allowed me to see four things I found worthwhile: a visit to my favorite store in Soho(Evolution), a perusal of a show called Day Job at The Drawing Center, a visit to the Center for Book Arts just to check it out and a fabulously inventive show of works by Robert Rauschenberg at Gagosian which handles his estate. Many galleries were closed for installation and the streets were sloppy with wet snow. A visit to New York from Maine is always good for some deep contemplation of humanity...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New web presence

Not wanting to load too many pictures onto this blog just cansee more images on my new web page on Maine Art Scene.
Thw Wellesley show is coming up. I drive down to Boston on January 20 with my work to help install it. Then the opening is the following week on the 26th. I'm excited about having this great opportunity and grateful to Jessica, Antoinette and Clara for all the work they have done to see the show happen!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A new year, new resolutions

I have promised myself (and a few others as well) that I will attempt to improve my relationship with the internet, and specifically this is some new work....very, very soon you will be able to see images on my new webpage on Maine Art Scene's website