The enduring beam of Sankaty Head Light stripes the walls of my Nantucket bedroom every six seconds while I try to sleep. For 18 summers we’ve rented this home from the Ryans and have long since become Christmas card buddies. In March, the lady of the house was struck and killed in a horrific car crash. Though we’ve never met, I feel her everywhere.We start looking ahead to our island vacation while this little house is still in our rearview mirror as we pull away to the steamship that begins our journey back home. But this year, I struggle with our arrival.The spindly sparse window boxes and vacant flower pot hangers are the first piercing reminder that Jane is gone. And while my heart caves for Kevin and their four daughters, I know I have to find that elusive balance between grief and gratitude.
For my part, I still hear the familiar peal of my own mom’s laughter echoing in this summer house from all the years she indulged the kids with Scrabble and Frog Juice to give me some time. And the patient teasing of my dear big brother who played countless games of Go Fish and Checkers no matter who it appeared was cheating.
So here we are at this cherished place that brings us joy beyond measure – but also where the void loss leaves is gaping.We’ll continue to distill the memories, elongate the days to make them last. Because we know that every wave that comes in, retreats. Every day has promise, then turns its back and slips away.
There is no truer place than an island– standing only by some whim of fate, allowed a capricious foothold among the clamor for who knows how long. An island makes you change your perspective, change your mind, and your direction – the very air pushes you around.At this writing, a silvery mist sweeps in over the moors soaking everything in its path. Fat Wholesale beads
of fog press against the window screen. It’s probably too late for the towels on the line. And my Husky for that matter.
It’s been an indoor kind of day —which feels like molasses compared to the sun-charged days of biking, paddleboarding and surfing waist-high waves. I need days like this. For reading, and writing, and chowder. But the children have reached their boredom capacity and are now lounging around me on Jane’s quilt, hip-deep in various stages of requests, desires, and dreams.
"It's been kind of difficult being a small business in this economy. The town had a really hard time recovering after Irene," said local business owner Veronica Abbott. "I think we all had this hope that it would be really fast for everything to bounce back and everybody to come here to vacation. Even to ride the coattails of Irene, that it would put us on the map and people would know about us. It kind of didn't happen."Abbott owns the jewelry-making shop, Beadz Needs. It is a small shop with all kinds of materials that can be used for making bracelets, necklaces, earrings and other projects.Abbott said that since Irene, she's seen a lot of businesses in the area close, which has been bad for other businesses. She said at one point, the destruction made Wilmington look like a ghost town.
The most recent efforts by the new Vermont Downtown Program group, Wilmington Works, are aimed at providing assistance to the town and the Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce, which will include creating a cohesive marketing campaign for the Chamber and the downtown businesses to attract more visitors.
Also, Garden Girl Skin Care of Needham, natural skincare and bath and body products free of parabens, sulfates, petroleum products and phthalates; Natural Pressings of Canton, pressed flower cards and jet jewelry; Drawings of Flowers of Watertown, drawings, prints, note cards, bookmarks; Beadcraft Etc. of Watertown, necklaces and earrings made from unusual turquoise beads
including taqua from South American and handmade African beads.
Also, the Beantown Tales of Chestnut Hill, a collection of children’s books to empower children to make key changes in their society concerning the environment, human kindness and animal friendliness; and Barbara Trainer of West Roxbury, eclectic necklaces, earrings and bracelets composed of hand-blown glass, metals (including sterling, gold-plated and copper), as well as raw amber, labradorite, jade, resin and other materials.
Guests are invited to bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic lunch in the gardens. Bring your own food or purchase food from one of our food vendors. Guests may also want to spend time exploring or touring the many lush gardens of Elm Bank, including the New England Trial Garden, Weezie’s Children’s Garden, the historic Italianate Garden and the innovative Chef’s Vegetable Garden.Jeremy Shank of Salem won one of the biggest races of his driving career Saturday, the Shipwreck Beads Northwest Modified Nationals in Elma, Wash.Shank started the main event in ninth spot and quickly moved up to third place, where he would run most of the race.
After battling for the lead the second half of the race by taking the low line around the 3/8-mile dirt oval, Shank got by Kyle Casson for second when Casson wrecked following a restart with 10 laps to go in the 40-lap main event.Shank set sail for leading Nick Trenchard and worked his way past him on the low side coming out of turn four with four laps to go and set sail for the $2,500 victory.In Friday’s Race of Champions, Shank came from the 15th starting position to place third behind winning Casson. Shank qualified eighth Friday and placed third and fourth in his heat races.