Hi! This is Philip again. I gave my house to a friend for a couple of weeks. Some of our readers may know Michael. He is a musician and sometimes participates in the Ocrafolk Festival. Among other instruments, he plays the didgeridoo (from Wikipedia -- "The didgeridoo [or didjeridu] is a wind instrument of the Indigenous Australians of northern Australia. It is sometimes described as a natural wooden trumpet or 'drone pipe.' Musicologists classify it as an aerophone."). Anyway, he and Fiddler Dave spent many hours in my house creating music together and practicing (for an upcoming album?? I'm not really sure.).
While Michael was here I went to visit Lou Ann. Even though we were in the cold and snowy mid-west, we got out quite a lot and had a wonderful time (both Lou Ann and I enjoy walking so we joined an early morning hike with a naturalist in a nearby state park, and bundled up many an evening to walk through the quiet streets of her little town). We also filled our days and evenings with pot luck dinners, swimming (Lou Ann gifted me with a YMCA membership so I'd swim for a half hour most days while she was at work), visits with family & friends, an evening at the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, line dancing (we did pretty well, thank you), a day at the circus ( wish Lachlan could have joined us!), and other activities (reading & writing were high on the list).
I arrived home Monday afternoon (by way of Swan Quarter, since the bridges on Hwy 12 are being replaced) and led an NCCAT seminar on a Ghost & History Walk last night. I hope they had as much fun as I did.
I haven't had time to check out the bridge replacement project yet (actually there is no way to get down there unless I can find my way from the beach and across the dunes to the road), but I'll give a report as soon as I learn anything. But everything seems to be humming along fine. Mail is getting delivered courtesy of the National Park Service, the UPS truck is making it through the soft sand, and I've seen the Dare Building truck in the village.
But it is quiet this time of the year. When I drove off the Swan Quarter ferry it seemed like a ghost town -- no cars in the parking lots, no pedestrians, no bicyclists....just quiet. It reminded me of the Ocracoke of fifty years ago, or the Ocracoke just before a hurricane. Not a bad place to be, actually.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is inspired by an April, 1942 article about the island in The State magazine. You can read it here.