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“This is the most beautiful campground we have ever seen. It’s a lovely spot.” The young woman gave Marianna a hug, and stepped into her car, shepherded by her husband. He closed the passenger door, then turned to Marianna. “Fabulous spot for our honeymoon. We thank you.” He walked around to the driver’s side of the car, got in, started the engine, and drove up the hill to the gate. Marianna waved as they drove away.

She envied the young bride’s happiness, evident throughout their three night stay, but I love not being a passenger, and not having a man speak for me, she thought. The night they arrived, Marianna cooked a lobster dinner for them in her kitchen. They’d appreciated it, but then the groom told his wife she’d need to learn to cook lobster.

“I can show both you of,” Marianna had said.

“No, I stay out of the kitchen,” said the groom. “We’re kind of old-fashioned that way.” The bride just smiled. I give it three years, Marianna had said to herself. But she had to admit the couple seemed close. During their stay they had hiked together, gone swimming, and spent a couple of afternoons sitting on the beach, just reading.

Marianna watched until their car disappeared around the first curve of the mountain, into the bright red and yellow leaves. She thought she heard another car coming, and waited, but the sound faded. She had no reservations for today, and while a paying guest or two would be appreciated, she was hoping to spend the next few hours fixing the well pump. Two weeks ago she had replaced a defective main breaker that left half the sites without electricity, and now none of the sites had water.

“If it’s not one thing, it’s another,” she said, as she started walking up the hill to the well shed. The shed was at the highest point on her land. Before going in, she turned to look down across the empty campground and out to the open ocean. After two years she still found the view breathtaking.

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