Sunday, July 28, 2013

Nantucket Memories

The view from Hinckley Lane Cliff Beach.
My daughter Michelle and her four kids (ages 18, 16, 11, and almost 2), and two special friends as well, are on their way to Nantucket. They're packed into a large van overflowing with excited passengers and lots of luggage. Imagine seven people surrounded by suitcases, beach stuff and food supplies, every electronic gadget available, and tons of things for an 18-month old.  Imagine an 18-hour or more ride to Hyannis from Sylvania, due east through Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and parts of Connecticut and Rhode Island over to Cape Cod, Massachusetts.   We used to do this every summer, plus we took along our huge Norwegian Elkhound Tryg (after Trygvie Lee, the first head of the United Nations).  Of course it's all worth it, once you get there. 

I decided not to go this year, and to plan a trip to California in the fall  to see old Toledo and Peace Corps friends.  But I'll miss Nantucket: relaxing on the ferry over from Hyannis; catching the church steeples on the horizon as we approach the island, "the Grey Lady," 30 miles out to sea.; docking in the busy harbour; driving up Cliff Road to the cottage on Hinckley Lane, passing grey shingled houses surrounded by deep blue hydrangea and wild roses. 

Last summer, July 2012.
Just thinking about it takes me back. We summered there when the kids were growing up. Vacation and family time mixed together. Still, to this day, I smell the salt air, the fresh breezes over the moors, the honeysuckle and bayberry along the lane to the beach. I hear the sound of waves crashing on the shore at Surfside and the foghorns at night.  I see the ocean from the top of the cliffs, white sails in the distance, the Jetties beach to the East, Madaket to the West.  A beautiful watercolor scene, blue and pastel, serene. I see the moon setting over the ocean, an earthly phenomenon we would rush to see after dinner, running down to the beach. 

"Nantucket's in my blood," Michelle says, "and now it's in my kids' blood, too."  She wanted to make sure of that, and she has. Nantucket memories.  They fill up your senses, live in your soul.    

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