As the ferry made its way closer to the dock the kids excitedly ran up to me to tell me that they could see Nantucket. I looked around to see if any of my nieces or nephews had gathered at the end of the pier to wave us in but there was nobody there except for crew members busy at work cleaning the yachts parked in the harbor.
For those of you who don’t already know, Nantucket, nicknamed “The Grey Lady” due to the fog that tends to roll in quickly in the mornings and evenings, is an island thirty miles South of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. According to Wikipediea the original inhabitants on the island back in the 1600’s were the Wampanoag Indians, “As Europeans began to settle Cape Cod, the island became a place of refuge for regional Indians, as Nantucket was not yet settled by Europeans. The growing population of Native Americans welcomed seasonal groups of Indians who traveled to the island to fish and later harvest whales that washed up on shore.”
We walked toward town with our bags and Tucker unraveled his memories from when he was last here two years ago when he was three, “Oh yeah Mommy, I bemember that ice cream shop where somebody threw their bottle into the ocean, and I bemember this gang plank where we were pirates and I bemember the candy store in the surf shop, Force Five. Did you ever notice that there is a candy shop there?” As he chattered away we passed by the little seaside stores where I worked in my teens and I too had a flood of memories return from when I raced around the Gazebo in town with my sisters as my parents strolled around the shops, my father always handsome in his white pants and blazer and my mother secretly handing us change for the penny candy store around the corner.
Town is no longer easy to navigate with forever growing crowds and so we do our best to avoid it and reside quite happily in my mother’s little house by the sea where we spend the days body surfing at the nearby beach and where evenings are spent gathering around the antique dining table that seems to expand with all eight grandchildren, husbands, sisters and the many additional guests who drop by. And just in case the guests have any illusions of joining the family indefinitely there is a soap dish in the guest bathroom that serves as a daily reminder that all good things must come to an end with a little verse that says, “Did you say you were leaving Sunday?”
It truly is a dream for us all to be together and the children thrive as they create cities for the snails they find in their Grandmother’s incredible garden, play flashlight tag into the dark, and go for late night runs with Grandma into town for ice cream.
In the mornings there is usually someone who is up for going for a run down the never ending dirt road that parallels the beach and it is on those early morning runs where I absorb the saturated colors of the Hydrangea and inhale the salty air that brings me back to my roots and I am so grateful that I am able to return with my children and share with them this life that I had as a child.
*PS – Just in case you were wondering, yes I have stuck to my Nutritional Cleansing Program and am on Day 16 of it. More about that later…(See my Nutrition Column if you are interested in knowing more).
View from the pond near our house
My beautiful middle sister, Michele with her camera bag