atlantic ocean

ENCOUNTERING THE LOWCOUNTRY

 
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pond pine cones
pine forest
atlantic ocean 1
mom and elle
bojangles
west virginia 2
rosemary at the ocean
loblolly pine by samantha spigos
woodpecker damage to a swamp tree by samantha spigos
the ocean at sunrise by samantha spigos
rosemary sleeping at sunset by samantha spigos
west virginia 1

A compilation of images from an impromptu female road trip to South Carolina’s Lowcountry last summer. It was one of the most beautiful weeks of my life: introducing my daughter to the ocean, and fumbling across the hot sand with my sister and mama. I witnessed for the first time loblolly pines, cypress knees, and Spanish moss. I was not ready to share these images a year ago, but today I am. That topmost photo remains my favorite image of Rosemary and I, from her very first encounter with the Atlantic.

Have you taken a spur of the moment road trip somewhere? If yes, where to?


—S

PEAKS ISLAND, MAINE + A WHIRLWIND MONTH

 
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In the last four weeks, we have participated in no shortage of self-induced upheaval, insomuch as we went from having Very Routine Lives to routine-less, travel-heavy existences in far flung spots on the map. This was a month that saw our toes in the frigid Atlantic and laughing at seals while aboard a fishing boat named Dasakamo; a month that watched us move out of Vermont and into a two-story brick house in our home state; a month that had us pouring Austrian beers at a resort biergarten not two days after weeding a dahlia patch on a friend's produce + flowers farm in the middle of nowhere. Nothing has felt routine save the baby in Sam's belly kick, kick, kicking. Which, as it were, occurred for the first time at the beginning of this whirlwind month during a magical trip to Peaks Island, Maine . . .

As vacations are concerned, this one was especially memorable. The five of us stayed with a positively inspiring couple in their oceanfront home on Peaks Island. Not a bad place to conduct our final hurrah. There was a lobster dinner with the day's catch, cooked in ocean water. There were sauna sessions followed by a mad dash into the numbing waters of the Ocean. Morning walks around the island ushered in our days; a late night movie capped them. And a few hours before traveling home, we were treated to an impromptu, breathtaking tour of Casco Bay by way of our host's boat. We rode by pairs of mega-athletes tethered to one another, swimming from island to island (excuse me?) on our way to Chebeague Island, a rural fishing island that was inexplicably home to mouthwatering breakfast sandwiches and pastries. We purchased Robert McCloskey's One Morning In Maine for our baby because, you know. A month later we're missing our friends to be sure, but relishing what was a perfect coda to our time in the Northeast, lived alongside some very special people.

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—M&S

N. CAROLINA | THE VACATION ABOUT NOTHING

 

As I write this, two young goats by the names Dill and Tuna are eating grass with abandon, a watermelon rind just got tossed into the compost bucket, and two towels hang on the line. Vermont once more; us, returned. Not far — at the closest reaches of my memory — lies the ocean. Yesterday morning I sat atop the sand, before my own eyes were awake and before her majesty, the Atlantic Ocean, was awoken. Slowly, with grace and without an iota of pretense, a flaming globe crested the horizon and warmly kissed the edges of the sea. Illuminating everything in its path, the sun awoke us both. With haste and gratitude I realized my role as a child to the ocean, a child to the sun, a child to the sand, a child to the undulations and currents and life-giving force that were happening unnoticed and unabated in that moment. I sat at the edge of my country, holding hands with the mother that grew me, waking up face-to-face with the mother that is responsible for life on this planet. Confronted with so much wonder, all I could think was, “thanks be to God.”

From pockets of Ohio, Vermont, and Massachusetts, our family converged in North Carolina. Back to the same place we visited for several consecutive years during my childhood. Even now the location remains a bit hazy, a bit mythical. This faraway place — humid as humid gets and warmer than us Northerners are used to — sits unchanged with the minor exception of the pier, which washed away during a hurricane. In a similar way, being together as a family, it was as if nothing had ever changed. In ten years many things have changed, of course. One of us has entered a convent, three of us are married or getting married, one of us runs an upscale restaurant and lives in two starkly different locales during the year. Four children have been added into the mix, plus four partners. We have gone from seven to fifteen. Otherwise, nothing has changed. All of the cuddling and request for company (i.e. “come into the bathroom with me”) remains, as does the unquenchable desire to pummel a sibling underwater or onto a sofa. We still stand around the kitchen to snack until the snacks are gone, and we likewise continue to view our parents as ultimate beacons of goodness and joy. The Vacation About Nothing, as it was named, was about as relaxing a week on planet Earth could be. To be so enveloped in the charisma and calm of the people you love most in the world: in a word, heaven.


—S