We spent two mid-July weeks in Bayside, our ninth year renting a cottage in this 19th century Methodist campground, now cottage colony, on Penobscot Bay just south of Belfast. This year, after six straight years in Cameo Cottage, we switched to Carmel Cottage in Auditorium Park, which was originally the location of the auditorium where the worship services took place. The cottages in this area are named after the Maine towns whose church members shared them in the summer: South Thomaston, Unity, Union, Rockport…
Carmel Cottage was the fourth cottage from the water and had a lovely view of the bay, although not as spectacular as the 180 degree view we had at Cameo.
My favorite thing about Carmel Cottage was the porch, which had two classic New England rocking chairs at the corner where the most breezes could be caught. It was heavenly sitting and rocking and reading early in the morning or at sunset or any time of day. The porch was shady most of the day. Sometimes I listened to sacred music in my headphones as I rocked, which I guess was quite appropriate in this old Methodist campground.
I brought along a folding café table and two chairs so that we could have our meals on the porch. I always bring a selection of blue-and-white dishes and some fine china and nice linens along to the cottages we rent, as they give me so much pleasure, and I wouldn’t enjoy eating on ordinary dishes. Breakfast in the fresh air at our little table was one of the best times of every day.
Several years ago I read a study of retirement from the Gerontology Department at U. Mass/Boston, and I remember that not everyone was happy about all aspects of being retired, but the one thing almost all retirees liked was a leisurely breakfast. I have not had trouble with any aspect of retirement, unlike some of the people studied, but I agree that a leisurely breakfast is one of the nicest things. Every day is a gift, truly, and at breakfast the new day stretches out before me so luxuriously…. I refuse to hurry, after all those years of having to watch the clock and rush to get to work at 9:00. These days I seldom have to be anywhere at any particular time in the morning, and I can drink a pot of tea and talk with Peter about the day ahead or any other thing that comes to mind. In Bayside there was the fabulous cool morning air and the view of the water in addition to all the usual blessings.
We had many lunches on the porch too, on the days when we weren’t out and about. The food tasted so good outside, and the iced tea was so refreshing. I do love black unsweetened iced tea when it’s hot.
I had a small tea most afternoons if I was home at the cottage. One day just before our time at the cottage was up, I finally got Peter to join me for tea and scones. Actually, he doesn’t drink tea, but he likes scones with cream and jam!
The little streets of Bayside are lined with sweet cottages, all with porches. My dream house would definitely have a front porch. I wish I had been lucky enough to have one of these cottages passed down in my family. Many of the people in Bayside have been coming for decades, if not for generations, to their beloved cottages.