I’m alright now, don’t nobody worry about me. So Kenny Loggins says, even though I struggle with his grammar.
We’ve just survived a big storm on the Island . . . and those in the know realize that’s a capital I on island.
Round these parts it’s a whole lot of neighbors helping neighbors, old timers remembering the blizzard of . . . I’m leaving this blank because I know that somebody is going to refute the snowfall total of whatever date I put there. The important part being neighbors here check on each other and if they need a hand, you either extend your own or offer up somebody else’s.
I tell you what, it’s a paradox.
Before we moved to Martha’s Vineyard from Syracuse, I had colleagues tell me how I’d never fit in here, how it’s virtually impossible to land a newspaper job and if you do, you’ll surely hate it. Naturally there was the economic issue. Presidents don’t typically vacation in Syracuse. All I could muster at the time is the fact that most of my friends hadn’t spent much time here beyond a vacation trip. Living here year round would be a whole other story. And so it is.
Having spent a significant amount of time in Parish, N.Y., I never thought I’d say this again, “It’s sort of different here.”
But it is. If you like New England and you like history, particularly American history from the early days and the whaling days, you will love Martha’s Vineyard.
I’m sure there are lots of people who wouldn’t even consider us an island. But I’m here to say unless you’re riding a ferry or paying a whole lotta money for a plane ticket, you’re not coming to visit. It’s an island. Period. Maybe the ferry ride is only 45 minutes, but it’s still a ferry ride.
Life here in winter is about as good as it gets, to me anyway.
Ponds freeze up. Kids go sledding. Neighbors form book clubs. Libraries teach you how to knit. Writing groups organize with real writers leading them. You can learn how to cook Indian food or buy socks made from alpaca wool. And all of this is free, or as I like to say . . . offered at nominal cost.
Like most things that are worth it, living here ain’t easy.
You have to look at working multiple jobs, paying for someone else to watch your children, living in one house in winter and in a tent on somebody’s lawn in summer. And crazy enough, at the end of the day, there are plenty of people who choose to live to here.
I know it’s not practical and I know it’s not entirely sane, but some people are just drawn here like a shellfisherman to his net.
I like to think it’s Jesus. That’s who I devote most of my crazy decisions to: he knows where I should be and he probably made it happen. I like to say: If he brought me to it, he’ll see me through it. That’s the way he rolls.