Another piece of my childhood disappeared this weekend. It was a small piece, tucked away mostly in memory. But still such a part of my life. During the storm that struck the coast of Maine this past weekend the winds struck with such force that the islands in the midcoast region were hard hit. There were plenty of trees down and as usual the power went out. The power outages have become a common thing even though the islands that I speak about are connected to the mainland through a series of bridges. When I talked to my father he was matter of fact. He's ridden out many of storms and some of them were atop a huge dry dock structure used to rehab Navy ships and submarines. I've also mentioned before that he's a former Coastie who spent his time on lightships and icebreakers off the New England coast. He's seen his share of storms. But this one made him tired. The biggest casualty was something that most wouldn't have even known existed. It was a long garage like structure that sat on the hill behind my grandparent's house. My guess would be that my grandfather probably built it in the forties when he returned with my grandmother to the harbor. It may have even preexisted it by being an outbuilding for what was a large summer hotel that sat further on the ledge. But to me it was Grampy's workshop. Sometimes I would go with him and he would let me dig through coffee cans filled with nuts and screws. He had all manner of tools in there, mostly dusty and forlorn. But it was there that he spent his time putter and creating. For me, the creative escape is the pages of a story. For my grandfather it was usually puttering around at fixing a small tractor engine or building his greenhouse. He was an avid gardener. When I was little that shop seemed to be huge, with rafters that stretched miles above my head. But I haven't been in it since long before he passed and he's been passed about 15 years. During the storm an ancient tree came down to settle on top of it. According to my father he fears it's totalled. He believes that the only way the walls still stand is from the bracing of the tree within. For me, this is almost as if I'm mourning him again. I always could believe that he was there puttering in his workshop if only I had looked. Maybe he is. But I still miss him. It's funny that something so simplistic as a well-worn structure can bring back fresh grief. Maybe if I try hard enough... when I go to sleep tonight I will return in my dreams to being that little girl who ran up the path to see Grampy putting away in his shop.

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