I am writing this on a blue-sky morning, the day before the first day of spring. In an ordinary year, that would be a touchstone for all of us. Time to plan gardens, to think about summer trips. But this is not an ordinary year. We are all at a place where we are feeling […]
By Yankee Magazine
Mar 18 2020
A resting place for Monhegan’s visitors for more than a century, the Island Inn is situated on a bluff that provides a commanding view of the harbor and a front-row seat for sunsets.Photo Credit : Mark Fleming
I am writing this on a blue-sky morning, the day before the first day of spring. In an ordinary year, that would be a touchstone for all of us. Time to plan gardens, to think about summer trips. But this is not an ordinary year. We are all at a place where we are feeling our way, day by day.
Here at Yankee’s office in Dublin, New Hampshire, we have just sent the May/June issue to the printers and are starting work on July/August. These two issues have long been a way for many readers to explore summer in New England, even if only from their living room sofa. Now it seems as if those issues were conceived in a different time — and yet, in a way, they have never been so needed.
For 85 years our magazine has been an essential part of New England. Our stories about the people and places of this region — which more than any other belongs to the collective memory and spirit of our nation — have entertained, inspired, informed, and moved our readers.
Today our storytelling goes far beyond the printed page. On our website you will find a seemingly endless array of stories and photographs that show off New England to people everywhere. Our daily e-newsletter, our outreach on Facebook and Instagram, and our Weekends with Yankee PBS television show carry the simple reassurance that we are all connected. Bonding with others around a beautiful image or a comforting recipe is not a trivial pursuit: We know the importance of community and continuity when the ground is shifting so suddenly beneath our feet.
For the foreseeable future, many of us will be spending more time in our hometowns — and, of course, in our homes. More than ever, we at Yankee want to stay a part of your lives. We have removed the paywall from all content on our site so that the storytelling that has endured throughout our years as “New England’s magazine” is available to all. We’ve also made the first three seasons of Weekends with Yankee available to stream for free; the fourth season premieres soon on public television stations nationwide.
We know that so many of you will be putting travel on hold for now. Travel has always been an antidote to routine, the calm after the storm. In these days of hunkering down, you can explore hundreds of the places we have discovered when you visit our site or our social media channels, or queue up some episodes of our TV show. In these ways, the New England that you know — or the New England that you hope to find one day — can come into your home.
The beauty of the region remains, with all its fascinating places to see. We are here to give you images to dream about: puffins, whales, lighthouses, dramatic lakes, villages so pretty they live forever in your heart. They will be here when you are ready. When all of us are ready.
Before closing, I want to add my personal perspective. Yankee has been my work home for four decades. I have seen New England recover from two deep recessions; a terrorist attack that began partly in Portland, Maine, and Boston; wars that sent tens of thousands of New Englanders to Iraq and Afghanistan; and a bombing at our cherished Boston Marathon. And always, the people who live here tapped into the resilient spirit that defines this region.
One day I found myself in Caribou, Maine, known as the coldest spot in a state that does not fear cold. There, a woman told me a story that had been passed down through her family like an heirloom. The date was February 13, 1861. It was 36 degrees below zero with a vicious wind, she said, when a mailman named Bubar was preparing for his rounds. He trekked by snowshoe 12 miles to the town of Presque Isle, collected his load of mail, and started back. When the wind forced him to stop, he cut down a cedar tree and kept a fire going all night to stay alive. “The next day,” the woman said proudly, “he brought the mail.” In my career I have gotten to know many Bubars — tenacious people who do not flinch in the face of adversity.
Every day I hear a new story about how people are helping neighbors, looking after each other. Caring. In our hallways here, we talk about how we can continue to be useful and even put a smile on our readers’ faces, even as we look after each other. We will stay connected with you today, tomorrow, weeks from now. New England is not going away. We are not going away. Tomorrow is spring.
Let us know in your comments and messages what more we can do for you. And remember: Every time we hear from you, it keeps us going.
Let’s all be part of a community looking out for each other.