April 21, 2023
So I need to update this “About Me” page. After 18 wonderful years in Maine, I made the decision to make the move to Charleston, SC, while I still could make the move gracefully. I turned 78 in March of this year. I wanted to be near my two sons and their families. I’ve always known that I would know when it was time to move near them, and after the Covid years, I just knew it was time.
My family here immediately went into full moving mode with me–along with so many of my friends in Maine who helped me so much as I downsized and chose what to bring with me. I put my beautiful Maine house on the market in early October, and new owners closed on it in late December. Meanwhile, my family and a family friend and realtor here found me a new house in a new development in Mt. Pleasant, SC, which is only 15 minutes or less from Isle of Palms where both sons live. And my two sons flew into Portland, Maine, and drove me to Isle of Palms in mid-December 2022.
I changed the name of this blog to “My Low Country Adventure,” and I’ve been happily getting to know my new geography–and sharing that new journey on this blog. I’m still sewing, gardening, cooking, and exploring all that life has to offer. Best of all, I’m enjoying lots and lots of quality time with all in my two families here–and with the extended kin and friendship networks here in the Deep South.
I’m currently without a beloved dog companion, and that feels ok for now. I’m emotionally not up to losing another beloved pet to a paralyzing back injury or to having to rehome a new puppy who was too sick and too little to make such a long move–all of which is detailed on the blog. And right now I’m enjoying the freedom of being able to meet family on the spur of any moment without worrying about a dog left at home.
I’m fully settled here now, and I love my new home, which holds all the sewing space I need or would want. My new gardens are limited in scope, so I can manage them without stress. And I’ve found places to source healthy food, including the raw dairy on which I thrive.
As near as I can determine, I started this blog in April 2010. So this year would mark its 13th year. Thanks to all who read and follow this blog. I am grateful t you all.
June 10, 2020
I moved to Mid-Coast Maine in June 2004. This year, 2020, begins my 17th year in Maine, which brings me great joy as it has been glorious to be living in a rural area. My husband John and I had wanted to have an adventure, after having lived in the Washington, DC, area for almost forty years.
I study systems of cultural power and earned a PhD in Cultural Studies from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Prior to the PhD, I earned an MFA, Creative Writing, and an MA, literature. I taught at GMU as an adjunct while going to school myself.
I am passionate about finding, cooking, and eating locally sourced, nutrient-dense, organic foods; about creating and supporting local markets; about supporting local farmers; and about living in a way that supports community.
My two sons and their families left the Washington, DC, area in order to live simpler lives. They moved to Charleston, SC, which is another state that recognizes the worth of good food, local markets, and farmers.
My series of essays called Tipping Points is my effort to share my own journey of reading, research, and discovery. The first essay tells you why I started reading and writing these essays. I hope reading them will help you understand what I did not understand when I moved to Maine. I hope that you will see that while I often am writing about the environment and food and health issues, what lies underneath these subjects is a critique of corporatism and of how so many sectors of the economy that used to be for the public good have been colonized by industry for profit.
All of these essays but the ones on soy have been published in our local paper, The Herald Gazette, which has been amazingly supportive of my work. (This paper is now The Camden Herald and has a new owner.) One of the tenants of the kind of Cultural Studies I practice is that one must work locally to effect change. And, of course, there is the bumper sticker aphorism: Be the Change You Want. With that in mind, I became a member of the Camden Lions Club about three years ago—because its members do local work in our community.
I am also a passionate quilter and, since coming to Maine, I have more time to knit. I am trying on this blog to revive the practice of making things with one’s own hands. So, you will see, in addition to recipes and discussions of healthy foods and food practices, lots of socks and rugs and the like. Except for socks, which I adore making, or the rugs, which we have needed, I practice a Zen way of relating to work: You can have the work, but not the fruit of the work. Thus, I try to give away much of what I make. Or, recently, to save quilts for my seven grandchildren to have when they begin to set up their own homes.
I garden as much as I can in the very limited space I have as my home sits in the middle of a hill. I used to try to grow and put up as much food as I could in the summer. But John died on January 7, 2013, of a very aggressive form of prostate cancer, so there is just me to cook for and feed now. The veggie garden is now planted with herbs and fruit: strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. It gives me great pleasure to see family members grazing fruit plants that are loaded with ripe fruit.
I have belonged to a Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) farm, Hope’s Edge, for at least 15 years, so I have plenty of fresh clean food in the summer. And, in March 2010, John and I got a chicken house and 6 chickens. I let them go after a winter with lots of snow that kept the chickens inside their small coop for way too many months. I miss them still.
My life in Maine has been rich and fulfilling—and a testimony to what is possible after one “retires.”
2 thoughts on “About Me”
Hi Louisa…I have recently begun following your blog and enjoy it very much. At the end of next week, my husband and I will be bringing our 13 year old granddaughter to Charleston and Savannah, for a visit. I was wondering if you have a recommendation of where to take her for an antebellum mansion visit in the Charleston area? We would like to avoid the most “touristy” ones! We will be staying near old town Charleston, and only there for 3 nights, so we would like to visit one that is not too far away from there.
Hi there. Thanks for the kind words about my blog. You will have a wonderful time in Charleston–there is so much to see. The best plantation which still has a mansion intact that you can tour and working grounds is Middleton Place–but it is 15 miles north of Charleston and is big, so will take a half day at least. My DIL who grew up in Charleston loves Cypress Gardens–but it, too, is out of town, but it is on my list to see. I don’t know if there is a manor house intact. Closer to you is McLeod Plantation, which features the Gullah Geechee culture–and it is on my list of places to visit. I can’t tell if there is a manor house or an overseers house from the website or the flyer that I picked up on my trip to the airport. There are two historic houses you can tour in Charleston itself–and that might be interesting. Boone Plantation is more touristy I think–and the original manor house burned. What is there now was built in 1932. But…apparently they do a lot of history there, but I have not yet been. The gardens might be pretty, but I don’t know. Have a wonderful time!