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… or, no one in at the inn !!!
About 15 or so years ago my husband and I decided to visit MV in the middle of March. Why? Because we’d tried in December, gotten as far as Woods Hole and a raging blizzard prevented us from getting any further. To quell my disappointment my husband said we’d try again in a couple of months. We knew the Island would be quiet in March but didn’t realize just how quiet it would be.
We chose to stay here at the Harborside Inn in Edgartown (this is a summer picture). The Harborside is a complex of several buildings, in the winter they would keep only one building open. The building we were in is the middle of the three pictured. We were in the middle room of the top floor.
Edgartown in the winter is quiet and solitary… ok, it’s pretty much deserted. A few restaurants are open, one or two B&B’s, a few stores and not much else. Some of the shops still have displays in their darkened windows, an unfair look at their tempting wares.
We checked in and were told that after 5pm no one would be at the desk. That we could make outgoing calls but incoming calls would go to their answering machine and those messages would be delivered in the morning. This was before cell phones… the dark ages, pre-personal electronic communication devices. And we were warned that if we lost our room keys we’d literally be out in the cold.
We settled in for our first night of quiet and solitude. It eventually occured to me that there was just a little too much quiet. There were no other human noises in the building, no lights on but ours… there was only the creaking of the floors and the eerie screams of the wind against the windows. Were we the only ones at the inn, the only ones in the entire complex? Yes we were, and suddenly the quiet was deafening and the solitude was ominous. Daylight couldn’t come soon enough.
Our first full day on MV we explored the beauty of the Island in winter.. or at least I did with my camera, my husband sought shelter in the car as often as possible. After a delicious dinner we headed back to the inn for the night. The weather forecast was for a winter storm with wind gusts over 60mph. I hoped that the power wouldn’t go out.
And then I heard voices… muffled at first and then clearer. A creak. A door being closed. Water running. A laugh. Could it be, were there other people in the building ! I felt relief. That night, despite the howling winds, I slept well knowing that we were not alone. I almost felt a bond to these other guests. But in the morning there was no sign of them… no noises from their room next to ours, no creaks or voices, no nothing. Did I dream them, were they real or perhaps visitors from across time and space that previously inhabited this former whaling captain’s home ! The mind runs wild sometimes on a blustery and stormy winter night especially on an Island with a history of hauntings… especially to a person with a vivid imagination.
The snow has pretty much ended and behold, the sun was out and the sky was blue… I opened the door and took this picture…
The picture below though was the first shot I took and look what was looking back at me!
I didn’t take it with a flash but I did take it through the glass door. It made me smile… but I guess that’s what you’re supposed to do when a camera is looking at you
If you haven’t it’s not because of a lack of authors who live on the Vineyard year round or call it their summer home. Maybe it’s something in the drinking water or the inspirational atmosphere that surrounds the Vineyard but whatever it is there’s definitely creative forces there.
Perhaps one of the most well known authors who lives and writes there is David McCullough, among his mega hits are ”John Adams” “1776″ and “Truman”. William Styron author of “Sophie’s Choice” and “Confessions of Nat Turner” made his summer home on MV. As did his life long friend the late columnist and humorist Art Buchwald.
The late mystery writer Philip Craig wrote many novels about Martha’s Vineyard. Cookbook and decorating author Susan Branch also lived there, she now splits her time between the Vineyard and CA. Cynthia Riggs is another well known Vineyard author.
You’ll enjoy browsing for these and many other books in any of the Island bookstores.
Riley’s Read in Vineyard Haven is a great book store for kids.
Edgartown Books which is pictured above is staffed by friendly and informative book lovers. I love sitting in a rocking chair on their porch and browsing through my purchases.
Bunch of Grapes in Vineyard Haven is the biggest of the book stores and is also staffed by friendly and well informed book lovers. Their special ‘Vineyard table’ is chock full MV books and calendars.
The Vineyard is a perfect place to pull out a good book and lose yourself between its covers.
In 1988 my husband and I took a cruise which sailed out of Vancouver… we were very impressed by the beauty of the city and wished we had spent more time there. With the Olympics being there this year I’ve been prompted to look through some of the pictures I took of Vancouver. I can’t believe I took so few of them but that was before digital cameras and I only had a certain number of rolls of film with me.
I took this picture of Gay Head on a 28 degree day in Feb 1989. Brrr.
I took another shot and as I turned to walk back to the car my camera opened… I was concerned that all my pictures were ruined. I took the roll of film right to the camera store to be processed. Not only were all of my pictures okay but look how the last picture came out. I sort of like it.
These are my birthday gifts from the heart. These are my daughters who made them…Deb on the left, Patty on the right.
Deb and I watch TV together every night during which time she knits. For months weeks I watched her knitting this gorgeous sweater never suspecting it was for me. I was with her in Oct when she bought the merino yarn at Rhinebeck …yarn she had badly wanted the year before and didn’t get…and so the fact that she’s given this sweater to me makes it all the more special. Before I go any further I want to say that the pictures do not do justice to the colors of the wool…they are stunningly beautiful.
Look at the details… the capped sleeve, rolled shawl collar, and sand dollar buttons, which I helped pick out mind you.
From Patty, who makes beautiful pillows comes this neck roll pillow done in Vineyard fabric from Susan Branch. One corner has the Islander and the other has two of my favorite places…the Bandstand in Ocean Park and the Flying Horses … a perfect place to rest my head and dream of the Vineyard
The pillow matches this tote bag Patty made for me two years ago for my birthday. I thought she had used up all the fabric but to my surprise and delight she hadn’t. I don’t think it’s made anymore so it definitely makes these gifts one of a kind…or two of a kind !!
Deb made stew, Patty brought homemade bread sticks and for dessert…
… Deb made individual ice cream cakes and Patty made heart shaped cookies. Yum. Another perfect birthday with my family. I am blessed.
Happy milestone birthday wishes to my dearest friend …
Deb and I went to NYC recently to see two fantastic exhibits at the Discovery Times Square Expositions building.
As you enter the Titanic exhibit you’re given a boarding pass of an actual passenger … you find out at the end of the exhibit whether you survived or not. My third class passenger was Catherine Joseph, she was 24, married and mother of two small children. They all survived. Deb was Nora Hogarty, 18 who was sailing to America to join an order of nuns. She did not survive.
The exhibit was interesting, haunting and painstakingly put together. There were no pictures allowed of course, but at the replica of the grand staircase there was a photographer who would take your picture on the staircase. We very much enjoyed it…
The LEONARDO DA VINCE Workshop simply blew us away. Trying to wrap your head around the genius of Leonardo Da Vince is like trying to explain calculus to a kindergartener (or me). I knew some things about him but learned even more through the exhibit. For instance, not only was he left handed but he wrote backwards.
I was fortunate enough to have seen the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris and like many I was mesmerized by it… her eyes seem to follow you wherever you move to. At the exhibit in NYC they show how the Mona Lisa looked when it was originally painted, how vivid the colors were and how differntly it looks today. You can see a snippet of that and the Last Supper in a video by CLICKING HERE.
The TITANIC exhibit is closing Feb 28, 2010 and DA VINCE on March 14, 2010. I’m so glad we went.