Category Archives: postaweek2012

#481: A year of Nantucket beaches

End of the year contemplative post.
Regrets, blessings, resolutions to do better.
How about some pretty pictures instead?
One per month, never before published:
January: Surfside Beach

February: Easy Street boat basin
March: Sphagnum Peat Moss in Squam Swamp
I know it’s not the ocean but I was craving green
after a long grey winter.
April: Nantucket Sound from the ferry.
May: Sunset over Surfside

June: Straight Wharf in the fog
July: Water Tower beach
I know you can’t see the water,
it’s just over that dune,
but isn’t this one plucky kid?

August: Grey skies at the Grey Lady fast ferry dock.
September: Tom Nevers, County Fair

October: Madaket Harbor
Opening Day, Family Scalloping

November: Nor’easter a week after Hurricane Sandy
Sandy didn’t bother us a bit but
the nor’easter sent waves into the streets.
this is Broad Street, looking towards the harbor.
Sandy did give us some churning surf.
Standing in the wind, hearing the roar of the waves,
stung by sand, this verse comes to mind:
The seas have lifted up, Lord,
The seas have lifted up their voice;
The seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
Mightier than the breakers of the sea–
The Lord on high is mighty.
December: Easy Street boat basin
Mighty in love,
to come to us as a baby,
then to pour out His life
 so we might come to Him.

#477: Eco-wrapping with t-shirts

Surprise! You, too, can wrap presents stress-free.
True confession, I am wrapping-impaired.
Let’s just say tape and scissors and paper and I
are not a good combination.
Even before I knew those colored papers didn’t recycle,
I hated wrapping and I hated how wasteful it all was.
Oh sure, you can try to flatten and save for next year,
like my mother-in-law always did.
But who wants to be the paper police on Christmas?
T-shirts are the answer.
You know you have at least half a dozen
of these stuck in a drawer.
Race shirts, charity events, kids’ teams…
all year we get t-shirts we’ll never wear.
Well, here’s their redemption:
Cut off the sleeves and neck.
Cut off the hem on the bottom.

Sew up that hem on your machine.
What? You don’t keep your sewing machine out?
OK, you can cut 2″ slits an inch apart all around the bottom,
then tie them together but it’ll take you longer.

Pop in the present, tie the loops and voila!
The gift tags are cut up college catalogs.
Nice shiny paper, punch a hole and tie it on.

A big box requires more fabric.
If the giftee is a Red Sox fan, leave this side out.
Otherwise, sew the bottom, flip inside out,
tuck in the box and tie.

This is what you do with the arms.

Sew a bit of the hem on the short edge.
Insert gift and tie. Easy smeasy.
The rosettes on top are simple: just twist.
See the ribbons? There’s your bottom hems.
That biggest box has an XXL t-shirt just wrapped around it.
No cutting or taping, just tie and tuck.
Merry Eco-Christmas.

#474: Delicate Plants

Nantucket’s climate has grown milder
over the years but we are still too far north 
for delicate plants to winter over outside.
So, David built a greenhouse.
A home for the banana plant and 
California poppies
For the tiny asparagus.
Two more years and the roots will be ready for the garden.

For the David Austen roses,
budding in December!

For the corn salad, so we can have 
leafy greens all winter. Mmmm.
Not for the cat. 
Who knows what havoc he could wreak?

There’s also a plant nursery in the house.
Green things in the winter are soul food.
Especially the Mandevilla,
joyous red in the grey season.

#469: Nantucket Bake Shop, Off-season

Before I lived on Nantucket, I summered here.
My parents moved to the island
while I was in college.
I’d come home summers and work.
Many mornings I’d wake up to my dad
yelling, “Whale eyes! Get ’em while they’re fresh.
Mmmmm, nice crusty outsides, and so tender inside…”
And we’d all pile downstairs to gobble down
the latest box of donut holes from the Bake Shop.
Summer meant Bake Shop,
when they closed, the last remnants of summer
were done.
A long, gray, whales’ eye-less winter
stretched before us…
This year, they’re moving for good.
I made sure to get one last batch of treats
for my grandson at Thanksgiving.
Here’s the kid-sized bench out front.
My kids and now my grandkid have sat here.
How many bakeries have lace curtains
and a place to enjoy the morning sun?
We’ll miss you, Maggie and Jay.
We can’t wait to check out your new location
next summer…

#457: Renewal

30 days of thanks: Day 11
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
that sends the frozen ground-swell under it,
and spills the upper boulders in the sun,
and makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
(find the whole poem here)
I’ve been thinking about giving thanks,
not just for easy things but for all things:
The Second Law of Thermodynamics is perhaps
a consequence of the Fall.
Entropy increases, heat drops to cold,
storms wash scallops up onto the beach 
and flood houses,
walls fall down.
What was made to be joy and goodness
and light has become shadowed.
So where is the thankfulness?
I see it here:
Replacing mortar at the Pacific Bank
at the top of Main Street.
Yes, that’s my son, he loves stonework.
Today, I am thankful for those who repair,
and replace, and comfort in the shadow.
For neighbors fixing walls,
for dozens of folk putting the seed scallops back
in deep water,
for hundreds sending aid to New York.

#442: duck silhouette

A quiet evening walk along the harbor.
Starting at the boat basin

The duck pond beside Washington Street,
from the walking path side.
I used to bring my kids here to toss bread
to the ducks. Until the ducks got too aggressive.
I like them better this way.

 Ducks in silhouette.
The path is so quiet but right next to the road.
The island is full of these quiet side paths. 

The tunnel back to civilization.

#439: Island Happy

Happy times on Nantucket:
Susan’s perfect find at the Take it or Leave it.
Does your town have one of these?
Ours is at the dump.
David’s annual indulgence,
a rented convertible to go to the county fair
(which is only 8 miles out of town).
Timothy+ sprinkler=happy.
Bobbing in the surf.
And my happy time,
watching the sunrise with a cup of coffee,
and David.

From the rising of the sun,
until its going down,
the Lord’s name is to be praised.

#434: Solitary

There are a lot of opportunities
for solitude on this island,
even in the summer, 
when our population quintuples.
Fishing the surf.
Early morning, near Sankaty Lighthouse.

Along the wharf,
past artists’ studios,
in the fog.

Walking with a stick
 in the woods.
Even vacationing in Ireland
with your daughter,
solitude can be found.

 Until you turn around 
and face the photographer; 
then poof it’s gone.

#423: Sky and Sea

Island dwellers notice the sky.
If only because we need to know what’s coming,
Calm seas reflecting cloudy skies:
Old pilings, perhaps from the whaling era,
gradually merge into the beach.
The Congregational Church tower lights up 
an otherwise stormy sky.

Even cobbles underfoot reflect the grey light,
edges softened by decades of drivers.

#421: Something’s wrong in my Nantucket Garden

Something is wrong in the garden.
There aren’t as many potatoes as last year.
 Here;s the culprit. Colorado potato beetles.
They eat the eggplant too.
We kept ahead of the squash bugs…

But this vine borer gutted a zucchini plant.
Vigilance is the price of vegetables.
If you’re not going to poison,
you have to check for bugs and kill them daily.
It wasn’t like this in the Garden of Eden,
and it won’t be in the
Celestial City.
Come soon, Lord Jesus.