It started and ended with a boathouse in Maine..


E. B White in a boathouse, Allen Cove, Maine 1976
Photograph by Jill Krementz

Do you ever wonder how you get through the day..when you haven't even left the house? You might call me the Queen of Distraction. Are you that person too? You start doing one thing and before you know it you have started an endless number of tasks...and haven't finished a single one. Then you wonder what  possessed you and who is going to clean up the mess you just made? Why you of course.

If only...you had not woken up thinking of E. B. White and your favourite photo of him typing away in a boathouse in Maine. You want to find the photo and start by scrolling through your 19,606 photos on your Pinterest boards thinking..."where did I put that photo?". You realise that it is really stupid to have so many Pinterest boards (125), you should delete some of them. But which ones? Do you really need a board devoted to Bears? You think...YES and then wonder when you had time to pin 19, 606 photos???

You never do find the photo and have to resort to Google. You wonder what the point is of having Pinterest if you can not find a simple photo. Always best to blame it on Pinterest, could not possibly have anything to do with your organizational skills.

Bingo..you find it (above), even better that you found this one because you love the words of E. B. White..

"I arise in the morning torn between a desire 
to improve the world and a desire 
to enjoy the world, this makes it hard to plan the day."


You share the photo with friends because you know they will "get it" and you move on with your day. 

You start the day by searching for a book you can no longer remember the name of (mistake #1). If you hadn't gone looking for the book you would not have started dusting all the books on the bookshelf (mistake #2) and then taking all the books out of the bookcase (mistake #3) and categorizing them by country (mistake #4). 

You then think...while you are at it..you might as well take out the gazillions of magazines, stacked and stuffed into the bottom shelf of the bookcase (mistake #5). It is time to let go.

You forget that there is a reason why you stacked and stuffed them all into the abyss of that bottom shelf. Before you know it, you have divided and conquered the magazines (mistake #6) and then you think...maybe I will keep them. Exhausted, you now realise you need a break.

Over lunch you start reading the book of books, Wandering Through Vietnamese Culture, all 1023 pages of it  (mistake #7). You think it will be at least ten years before you finish it. You then start to wonder where all your books on Vietnam are hiding (mistake #8)..which sends you on a mad search until they are all found and neatly stacked, close at hand by your reading chair..with all the magazines and coffee table books you left scattered on the floor before lunch. Did you even finish lunch??

Before you know it you are sitting on the floor, the world around you, in books and magazines, reading an October 2012 issue of Down East magazine (no mistake)...wondering what it would be like to live in a boathouse in Maine. You flip through and there it is, Memorandum written in October 1941..."A list of the things the writer ought to do on his own farm along the coast of Maine". by E.B.WHITE! You  are totally beside yourself and being a New Englander...appreciate that Maine charm, so you can not help giggling along. He listed all the things he ought to do...and before he knows it, the day is done and he has not accomplished anything. I get that.

Excerpts from One Man's Meat by E. B. White

I ought to find out who it is that is shooting coot down in the cove today, just to satisfy my own curiosity. 

And I should stop in and pay the Reverend Mr. Smith for the gravel I got a month or two ago and ask him if he has seen a bear. 

I ought to fix up the pigpen down there in the barn cellar and sweeten it up with a coat of whitening, so that I can get the pig indoors.

I also should take the green chair to Eliot Sweet so that he an put in some little buttons that keep coming out all the time. 

He finishes...

"I've been spending a lot of time here typing, and I see it is four o'clock already and almost dark, so I had better get going. Specially since I ought to get a haircut while I am at it."

Still laughing, because the exact same thing has happened to you (it's four o'clock) you turn to Amazon Kindle (knowing the chance of finding E.B. White books in Vietnam is next to nil) because you want to read more.

Along the way you discover Martha White, granddaughter of E. B. White, who is on a "literary mission to attract a new audience to the delights of her grandfather's witticisms, aphorisms, and notable wisdom especially about the state he loved: Maine."  Reading that reminds you that Mr. H always wanted to live in Maine and you chose New Hampshire. You wonder what E. B. White would have to say about that. You still love New Hampshire. 

Your day is ending just as it started, but even better because you have purchased the book, Essays of E. B. White. No matter that you can not remember the book that started you on this folly. You have ended the day as you began it, thinking of E. B. White..and now you know why. You were meant to buy a new book. 

You just wish he was here to help put away all the other books and magazines still sitting on your floor! But one thing is for certain, you are not tossing that Down East magazine!


Written by E. B. White

with William Strunk Jr.  1920 
4th edition, 1999
One Man's Meat (1944) 
Edited by Martha White 
Edited by Rebecca M Dale




And now onto you...
how do you fare with this list?


Me..#1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10
Might have to throw in #9 after writing this post!

Have a great day/evening everyone!!!
:)

Jeanne xx


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