Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Three Months

Yesterday at approximately 10:15pm, marked our 3 month anniversary of living on Nantucket. My husband, Peter, my 15 year old son, Parker, my 9 year-old bulldog, Abigail, and our two sibling 8 year old cats, Minerva and Sirius (named in the midst of Harry Potter fever) stepped foot off the Ferry and onto Nantucket at 10:15pm (we took the 8:00pm ferry from Hyannis). When I bought the ticket I realized that it was the first time I had ever made a one-way only car reservation.

I have personally been coming to Nantucket since 1965 when I was 11 years old. My family had been renting summer cottages in Chatham on the Cape for several years and we're introduced to the joys of Nantucket at some point in the early 60's during a weekend visit to a friend's place. We happily rented on Nantucket though the summer of 1980 when my Aunt Jane (my Dad's sister), in a fit of disgust over the rickety outdoor shower we were all forced to use in our family's latest rental,  convinced my Dad to seriously consider buying a house which he did in early 1981... our house on Surfside Road. That summer I met my future husband at the Atlantic Cafe (the notes he passed to my cousin Pam and I via the friendly bartender, Spider are framed and hanging in our bathroom). We were married in that Surfside house on May 29th, 1983.

Fast forward 12 years to 1995. My Mom and Dad decided to build a house on a less busy section of Nantucket (after their beloved Springer Spaniel, Winnie was almost hit by a car on the increasingly busy Surfside road) and ended up having the same man who built their Surfside Road house (Steve Kotalac), build another home for them on Ridge Lane, Fishers Landing, Madaket. My parents spent their first night there on November 24th, 1995, coincidentally, the night that Parker was born. Parker's first visit to Nantucket was when he was 5 weeks old and we celebrated New Years Eve on the island (the first of many trips up the steeple of the Unitarian Church to ring in the New Year.... this trip was made in a snuggly on his mother's chest... he slept soundly through the entire event).

Fast forward 15 more years and here we are.. Nantucket is now our permanent home. Parker is a sophomore at Nantucket High School (his first public school experience.. he's doing very well academically and quite well otherwise as well, trying his hand on the Sailing Club this Fall and joining the Veritas staff (high school newspaper). Peter is happily retired and seems to be born to it....cheerfully making lists of things to do and puttering around the house to his heart's content. I am semi-retired so far.... looking for a part time job that I can enjoy but not finding one yet. Peter and I are volunteering regularly (3-4 times per week) at the local MSPCA - he's the Cat man, and I walk the dogs. I am also tutoring in the library's English as a Second Language program.... I have a young woman from El Salvador as my first "tutee".

Peter's and my biggest worry was how Parker would handle the transition.... so far he is doing wonderfully.... big relief! I remember when we dropped him off for his first day at the high school back on September 6th. When Parker left us in the car and walked off into the huge (to us) new school by himself, Peter turned to me and said; "I feel like I'm going to throw up".

After 3 months we are definitely enjoying our life here. Things that have surprised us (sometimes a little, sometimes more so) are (in no order of importance):

* The summer crowds!.... Yikes! August was an eye-opener! We have mostly been renting out the house in the summer and coming for long weekends off season when it is MUCH less crowded. What a relief when Labor Day rolled around ---- it made a noticeable difference. And actually this year, the crowds died down during the week before Labor Day because of Hurricane Irene (which actually basically missed us and did much more damage on the mainland)

* The humidity!...This seems like a no-brainer..... Obviously we expected some moisture living on an island and our house so close to the ocean... but.... it is WET.... we invested in a small dehumidifier (25 pints) and have been rotating it in the downstairs bedrooms... it easily fills up within 24 hours ....

* The wind!..... rain or shine there is almost always some degree of windiness on our little island. During this past October Nor'easter, winds got up to 70mph. It's getting to the point where I am so used to the sound of wind that it sounds weird when there is no wind (which doesn't happen very often)

I hope to use this blog just to record and reflect upon my life here on Nantucket Island. If people choose to read it... well that would be nice.... I enjoy writing and hope that others can get some enjoyment from what I write as well.... I am new to the world of blogging... just thought it would be a fun way to journal and might inspire me to keep at it too!


  1. S. - Welcome to blogging. Have fun with it. - S.

  2. My heart is warmed when I think of you living right here with me on "the Cape and the Islands". Although the reality is: so near, and yet so far away . . . Part of that is the Ocean - la mer, in French. Part is my . . . ma mere. I just finished watching movie - French, with English sub-titles, called "I've Loved You So Long". This accounts for French being on my mind. I wonder how you would like it, Susan. It is about two sisters, played by Kristen Scott Thomas, and Elsa Zylberstein. I've never heard of Elsa. She was lovely. Do you think her name may hold her back? Kristen is the actress in The English Patient. One of my favorite movies. Oh, wait. This is YOUR blog. I guess if I want to chat about my life, I should start my own blog. So, I recommend this movie for a windy winter night when Parker is studying, Peter is snoring, and you wonder what it might feel like to suddenly discover your sister.

  3. Thanks for you comment and movie recommendation Mahsh! Peter and I watched a lovely movie tonight as well.. "Wordplay" about the contestants in a national crossword tournament.... a gem of a movie. I had seen it before with Marion but this was a first time for Peter who loved it....

    I can imagine that a blog by you would be fascinatingly fun to read! But if you'd rather just post some autobiographical comments on my blog.... why that's just fine by me!!!