During my residency on Monhegan I stayed in a delightful apartment in the upper story of The Carina House which originally had been the island Post Office. The bottom floor housed The Carina, a bustling little store run by long time Monhegan resident and former teacher Billy Paine, and his wife, the poet, Jan Bailey. Fellow Monhegan residents Raquel and Peter Boehmer bought The Carina House from textile artist Robert Semple in 1988 with a promise to him that they would keep art alive in the house somehow. Robert was getting too old to travel from his home down south to the island each summer, and Raquel came up with the idea of the residency program, calling it an "angel thought."
Robert Semple made bright, bold needlepoint tapestries, and the apartment was just as he'd left it, full of his colorful wools and handmade pillows. Also left behind was his fabulous classical record collection - he was a big Mozart fan! I very much enjoyed playing those records every day! There was no phone, no TV, no computer, and one stipulation of the residency program was no sleepover guests. After I got to The Carina House and unpacked I just sat in my chair looking out the window with a cup of tea and smiled and smiled. For the first time in a looong time, I felt entirely carefree. What a gift.
My family did come for a visit midway through my stay on the island and spent 2 nights at The Monhegan House.
- pics of The Carina House
- Martha Cook who worked at The Carina (while I was out there I was known as "Upstairs Martha" and she was "Downstairs Martha")
- Jan and Billy
- me looking out the picture window
- my family visiting (Lisbeth, Garry, me, Eben, Alec, and my parents)
I found out recently that The Carina House was sold and now the residency has moved to another location on the island. I am so grateful that I got to stay there. The Carina House has a permanant place in my heart.