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You open the door and we hear the water and the wind through the silvery birch leaves. We are settling in to the pace of Island life.

We bump into each other for the first couple days. It is harder for you to slow down than me. I am content to cook, to read, to write. The day flies by with barely enough time for a walk, a bike ride, a shower, or for just sitting.

I didn’t think we would ever be back to this place, and here we are lying on the futon couches with their denim covers worn in like a good pair of blue jeans. I’m glad the new owners wanted them.

When we arrived and drove down the familiar winding roads through the woods, I felt like George Bailey at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life. Hello ferry dock! Hello little post office! Hello Red Cup Coffee and Fair Isle Books! I could kiss you! Oh hello Dave’s Garage! Hello everybody! I love you! I didn’t know how much until I thought it was gone. It was like seeing everything and everyone in technicolor.

I hear Sam’s feet, (clip clip clip, I should have been more diligent cutting his toenails) circling around the hardwood floor, and then the shake of his head as his ears flap against his fur. He’s probably considering where to lay down. It’s not easy with arthritis in his rear legs so he chooses carefully.

Poor Sam is trying to ditch Fannie, You say. And it’s not working. She’s following him everywhere.

It’s often mayhem these days with our new puppy. I disappear to let you handle it. And you do.

There’s a moment of silence then. I hear it. The silence. The peace.

Just two days ago I had seen your elbow in the kitchen out of my periphery, then the fluff of red fur right before the pottery bowls hit the floor. No! I yelled. Not the cabin pottery!

You stepped back holding three plates in one hand, and a puppy in the other as I felt my emotions implode.

Noooooooo, I said again, creating a melodic phrase out of two letters. They were from the Island! Why can’t you be more careful!

I’m sorry, You said. The cookie container slipped off the plate and knocked the bowls off the shelf.

What are you doing getting plates with a puppy in your arms?! I continued my tirade over a simple accident not exactly sure why I was so upset except that I wanted to hold onto the memories that the bowls represented.

And now here we are at the place I didn’t want to lose. The new owners let us come. What of this life?

The water is high and has made a beach once again. We take turns walking Fannie while Sam snoozes and Mary meows from the screened-in porch. But we haven’t walked it yet together. Tomorrow?

You came here for me. You know I love it. And I love you. I will write that on the beach, and whisper it in your ear, and maybe for now, just for this moment, I will write it down.

P.S. I love you

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