Isle of Springs Column: Family milestones, Labor Day picnic and more

Tue, 09/14/2021 - 10:30am

Time is marching on as we move well into September. Labor Day weekend the parking lot was full, but by the Tuesday after, the number of cars was reduced by two-thirds. Reflecting on the summer it began unseasonably hot and dry, progressed to record-setting rainy (22 days of rain in the afternoon in July) and wrapped up with some beautiful sunny typical “Maine days.” Interspersed were several tropical cyclones which brushed by bringing more rain than wind. Last week, Larry left at least 4.5 inches of rain. He had been preceded by Ana, Elsa, Grace, Henri and Ida to name a few. Yet, from this writer’s view the summer with our Covid-19 guidelines in play, was a welcome respite from that of 2020.

Happy passages have included the births of Luna Ortolano, Lilah Harper, and Susanna Thomas, the joyous wedding of Betsy Morrell and Brad Booth, the first 100th birthday party (as far as we know) which was celebrated for gracious Islander, Edna Stoddard, and our new Island cottage owners, Debby and Alan Polackwich.

On the beautiful Saturday of Labor Day weekend, the Morrell family, in true Morrell tradition, hosted their annual Labor Day Picnic on the Farmhouse grounds. The numbers who attended were an all-time high. We were all delighted to see the hostess with the most, Eleanor Morrell along with her four children, Sandy Rooney, Debbie Polackwich, Jim Morrell and Betsy Morrell and Eleanor’s sister, Betsy Niven. The Farmhouse picnic is a much-appreciated end-of-the-season gift to all Islanders. Thank you to all the Morrells who make it happen!

This has also been the summer of first-time Sunday Service leaders. We welcomed David Stoddard, Anna Miller, and over the final three Sundays Arthur Norton, Bruce Welty and Kate Rydell respectively. Arthur stepped in on a particularly rainy evening to fill an empty spot with some of his memories of growing up on the Island plus wonderful piano playing of traditional hymns. Bruce reminded us about his much-missed dad, Jim Welty, a committed Islander who hailed from the mid-west, but so loved the IOS. Kate Rydell described going through old cartons in the Rydell cottage attic and coming across boxes filled with family history including lovely poems written by her great-grandmother, Nan Rydell, and family photographs.As part of the service she showed photos that had been taken on the IOS between the 1920’s into the 1990’s or later. This poem, which seems so relevant to us in 2021, was read by Kate on our last Sunday and 36 years ago on July 28, 1985 by her great-grandmother.

“Thoughts,” By Nan Rydell

In a world of diverse ideas,

Should we know the answers, though

When and where and how we ask

No one answers, no one knows.

Voices babble, Listen! Listen!

“I am right and he is wrong.

This is the way to do it!”

Ring the echoes eons long.


What are ethics? What are standards?

Are they man-made or divine?

Shall our earth go on eternal,

Hunting, seeking its design?

Will we know in years yet unknown,

How to answer, how to act?

May the Lord have mercy on us,

May we learn the truth and fact.

What’s on tap for 2022? There’s a very good chance that Casino will have a replacement piano of the one that has served us so well over 30+ years. Stay tuned! Perhaps there will be a social event to celebrate a new one. The NeKrangan II Committee has begun planning for next year’s exhibit, “Life between the Tides: The Intertidal Zone.” If anyone has a background in marine biology, an interest in helping to get the exhibit off the ground, or items for us to put on display, please let me know. Also, those who would like an “Island Women 2020” album, the link is on the Island Marketplace. And finally, by next summer plans for a new pier will likely be floated.

As we all return to our off-season lives, we are reminded of the words sung at the last August Sunday Service, “I’ll be with you till we meet again.”