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aerial image of Nantucket

Disequalibrium

Do you ever wake up in the morning when you’re in a new place and have a few moments of disequilibrium?  Aka, Where the hell am I? Better than who the hell am I? It’s happened to me for a few days now, until the answer quickly resonates, Nantucket, baby!  The slight crack in the curtains tells me it’s a sunny day and in a minute I surrender to the knowledge that I’m happy to be here.  My husband departed for a fishing date very early and I have hours to just screw around and do as I please.

Nantucket beach rose

The Long -Awaited Return

I’m still not entirely certain how I feel about coming back here.  Several decades ago, most years we spent the early weeks of summer here, in a tiny cottage we rented for the relatively affordable sum of $100 a week.  Then, my kids were babies and very young.  Now, I’m a Californian and life is just different.  Returning after all this time is like anticipating a visit with an old long lost friend.  Will you still be connected with each other? The familiarity I feel here with the landscape is welcome. I still know my way around (mostly). The flowers are glorious and in full June bloom. The town is pristine.  The traffic is heavy. Silly women in straw hats trimmed with white ribbons walk around toting lightship baskets handbags that cost several hundreds of dollars each.  I’ve never cared much for status symbols.

‘Sconset rose covered cottage

sumptuous hydrangeas

The Charms of New England

Much is overlooked or forgiven because the island of Nantucket is New England at its most beautiful.  Yes, there’s been lots of new building since we were last here, but it’s mostly houses out of town hidden by the lush plant growth and not in town itself.  Over half of the island has been preserved and is in conservation!  Quite an accomplishment. The old architecture in town is colonial architecture at its finest.  I used to fantasize about living in one of the antique ship captain’s homes.  Now, my taste is more down to earth; I’d prefer a beach shack!  Who wants to be encumbered by a large house? Fortunately I am different than I was 40 years ago.  The island, not so much.  Timelessness is part of the appeal.

The Tourist Trap

“If you’re fond of sand dunes and salty air, quaint little villages here and there,” crooned Patti Page at her most saccharine in the 1960’s with her hit song Old Cape Cod.  I found myself singing it today.  uh-oh.

For a few minutes I looked too long at dish towels with stupid sayings on them, wondering whether I wanted to buy one.  I made myself exit the store.  Too many spouting whale motifs.  It’s hard to walk on cobblestones.  It felt as if I were laying on a heating pad, as the cool breeze kept me from cooking, for an hour today at a local beach.  I remember this warm fuzzy feeling, although I seldom indulge anymore for the obvious reason.  The sun felt better than ever!  Hey, at 80, I should be able to go a little crazy sometimes, don’t you think?

 

Dianne Vapnek

Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.

2 Comments

  • Linda Mason says:

    That Patti Page song, I remember that! A love song to a place, not many of those! Other songs I recall….Don’t know what they’re doing but they’re having fun behind the Green Door, Canadian Sunset and Number 54, the House with the Bamboo Door! Thanks for the great writing.

  • MARTIN RINGEL says:

    JUST ANOTHER LOVELY POST AND THANKS FOR SHARING THE BEAUTY OF YOUR STAY WITH PICTURES AND YOUR THOUGHTS.
    I TOO WAS A BIG FAN OF NANTUCKET. IT MUST BE AT LEAST 50 YEARS SINCE I HAVE BEEN THERE. I ENJOYED SEEING ALL THE SMALL COTTAGES AND BLOSSOMING FLOWERS.

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