We wait so patiently, don’t we? We find all sorts of ways to enjoy winter–snow sports, cozy inns, reading by the fire, bragging about snow tires and wood piles–because we either do that or be miserable, or join the snowbirds. So we wait. And spring comes. Café tables appear like welcome blossoms; we put away the fleeces, find the shorts. Then the blackflies try to intimidate us back indoors, but we don’t give in. Because we waited; we’ve earned short sleeves. We slap the flies dead. Slap again. Then suddenly, one day, we know real summer. No more 80 degrees one day, snow squalls the next; the heat makes itself at home. We have more lakes and seacoast here than anywhere I’ve known, and it all beckons. That first summer evening after work, when you go to the lake and jump in and feel the cool water slowly warm as you kick to the dock … Every minute of the wait was worth it, wasn’t it?
We wanted to capture that sense of summer and put it into these pages so that you can feel it wherever you are, and whenever you want. Every pocket of New England can claim its own piece of summer’s heart. The sea touches five of our six states (and Vermont has those sunsets over water and waves hitting the shore covered nicely, thanks to Lake Champlain), but the Maine coast enters into the mythic with the fog, the beaches, the bays, the sailboats, the light dancing on the meadows. If you’ve been there, you know what I mean. And if you haven’t, follow along with photographer Richard Schultz as he looks for the mystery of summer not just in the landscape but in the people who live there (“Maine Coastal Odyssey”).
Maybe because I lived in Maine for 10 years, I didn’t need coaxing to highlight still more of the state in this summer issue. We’ll show you a sea trail that lets boaters and kayakers camp on primitive islands (“Follow the Blue Watery Road,” p. 42); lobster recipes you’ll turn to again and again (“After the Catch,” p. 64); and even some lobster-trap trivia (“Up Close”).
You’ll also want to explore a Rhode Island house where tidepools are a child’s playground (“Cliff and Cove,” p. 50); a family celebration (“The Day of the Pomodorata“) that will surely entice you to bite into a ripe tomato; and a Vermont town that has discovered that its future lies in what has always been there–its soil (“Hardwick and the New Frontier of Food”). Plus, on the 35th anniversary of Jaws, we explore why sharks are becoming a surprising tourist attraction on the Cape and Islands (“Feeding Frenzy”). The best part? You can take all of these great stories to the park or the beach, sink into a chair, and let the day settle around you.