Our own Thanksiving Day celebrations are long since passed and are "in the rear view mirror". However, on Thursday, November 22nd... our new friends Peter Frost, his lovely partner Kelsey Boesch and her look-alike sister Kerry (visiting from Minnesota)... will be sharing a tom on Pine Island, located directly in front of of our Islandsview home onshore in Rockport.
I met these adventurous young people as a result of my plein air adventure on their Pine Island summer retreat. They came to see my paintings and to meet me. The Universe offered "Me" further opportunity to come to know and admire the Keats family tradition, which began when John K. and Margaret K. Keats first purchased their Island Paradise. Margaret's own family began their Thousand Island heritage back in the days of steam and skiff travel on The River at Cliff Cottage west of Rockport... and that love affair was continued when John, a columnist/writer and Margaret decided to make their summer cottage getaway... a permanent home for they and their three young children Margaret, Victoria and Christopher.
They lived on the Island full time... the children attending the one room Rockport School onshore... and John supporting his family with a freelance career... writing travel and sporting magazine articles. This experience created a connection and relationship with Pine Island which has been passed from the now deceased parents... to their children... and now their grandchildren. That experience pretty much parallels my own Thousand Island story and experience. When the River grabs your soul... it holds on to you tightly... forever!
Peter and Kelsey have been up here since early fall... living in the small, but beloved "bunkie"... simply because its easier to heat on these cold and damp autumn days on the River. They are enjoying their experience for certain... because they are both intrepid and vital youngsters who thrive on outdoor life. Choosing to live and share their lives aboard their 37 foot sail boat "The Privateer"... in Alaska, they are both used to "living on the edge"... but totally in touch with the Natural World which they respect and create their livelihood from. Captain Peter... is a Master Mariner, with credentials and time at sea.... as long as your arm and Kelsey as his affable and hearty First Mate and partner create a team who lead sailing and wilderness adventure tours, teach sailing... and deliver large sailing craft up and down the West Coast for owners. You can read more about their adventures on their highly interesting web site www.nwexpeditions.com
Vacationing is not the order of their business at the moment on Pine Island. They have been carrying out very necessary repairs to the footings which support and sustain the future safety and presence of the main boathouse/home on the island. This has involved trucking nearly fifty bags of cement and lumber to construct pouring forms for the cement work... all by small aluminum boat to the Island. Back breaking... and dangerous work. I guess you could say that there are two competing beaver groups pitted against the other head-to-head! HA HA!!
The beavers in the area continually maraud and create havoc on Pine Island and on surrounding islands... taking down any unprotected trees that they find... and wooden piers when the trees disappear. They are indeed industrious and marvellous dam building creatures... but on the other side of the coin, they are not selective in their felling practices. They drop and clear cut trees... it seems rather compulsively... or for the shear love of doing so.
Peter's grandfather, John K. Keats wrote a book "Of Time and an Island" which chronicles his family's love affair and life on Pine Island. I came upon it by chance after painting there and read it religiously during our first months here in Rockport. Through my reading, I became intrigued with their story and made it my business to meet Margaret and Victoria (Pete's Mom) when they visited this summer. I have yet to meet Christopher. Through them... I came to meet Pete and Kelsey. Note the friendly note of informality in my speaking of them both. They are souls who I immediately embraced as Friends because, no matter our age difference... we share an abundance of shared principles and values which will cause us to remain friends from now forward.
I deeply admire their sense of courage and adventure... their obvious love of and respect for the environment... their healthy outlook and vitality... and in short... their ... "joie-de-vivre." I admire those people, as I mentioned in my last post..."who make it happen"... rather than just wish it could. Despite the obvious uncertainty of choosing an alternative life style... they go out to life and live it fully in the Now. This is a lesson that the rest of America and Canada could well take a look at... or a page from a JK Keats' marvellous "Of Time on an Island." Make your own dreams and journey happen. Life is too short and precious to squander... or wish away!
We look forward top our next visit with you both Peter and Kelsey... SOON we hope!
Happy Thanksgiving to "You" both and Kerry.... and my other US Followers from The Paint Box Gang!