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When I think of getting ready for Christmas there are a few favorite and special things that come to mind.
First thing out is our ‘family’ Santa. CLICK HERE to find out why he reminds me so much of my dad !!
Christmas music is always a good way to get into the spirit and one of my favorite CD’s was put together just for me two years ago by my daughter Deb. CLICK HEREto find out more about this special collection.
Memories of my one and only childhood Christmas spent on the Vineyard with my godparents can be found by CLICKING HERE.
Now it’s off to deck the halls and tra-la-la-la-la.
With Thanksgiving coming up I want to thank my mother (she’s on the right) for bringing Martha’s Vineyard into my life and the lives of my family. Little did she know when she set me down on this beach in Oak Bluffs for the first time what an important and life defining occasion it was. CLICK HERE for more about my mom.
Same beach Oct 2010.
My entire family has been to MV with me at one time or another but never all of us at the same time. That’s okay though as the Vineyard is a different experience depending on who I’m there with. Or if I’m with no one at all… and that’s nice too.
Passing the Vineyard to new generations is a tradition for lots of families and mine is no different. Here at State Beach in Oak Bluffs in the early evening one May is my daughter Deb and her dog Chappy.
My daughter Patty and son-in-law Mike at Aquinnah… actually on a beach in the summer.
In 1996 the next generation appears. My grandchildren Tiffany and Tyler at Edgartown lighthouse during their first trip to the Vineyard. It was the month of May, not swimming weather but good for collecting shells and rocks and seeing the ocean for the first time.
Thank you Mom.
Happy birthday America.
(to find out what is special about the flag second from the right on the bottom… CLICK HERE for Through Jersey Eyes)
To my recollection there is only one time in my life that I spent Christmas on the Vineyard. I was probably around 5 or 6 and my mother and I went to MV to be with my godparents.
Edward and Gertrude Norris (Nana and Pop) were my godparents. They lived part of the year in their house in Oak Bluffs which is where I spent my childhood summers. The other part of the year they lived in Newark, NJ downstairs in the same house we lived in. They were the most important people in my life besides my parents. They never had children of their own and they thought of us as their family. I’m not sure of the actual connection to them except that Nana was my grandmother’s best friend when she moved to the Vineyard. When my mother graduated from high school on MV she moved to Newark, NJ to live with them and to find work.
And so one Christmas when Nana and Pop were elderly, having health problems and living year round on the Vineyard and missing us my mother decided she and I should go and spend Christmas with them. I was too young to realize this might be the last Christmas for one or both of them, all I knew was that I was going to wake up Christmas morning ON THE VINEYARD. How great would that be. The only glitch was that my dad couldn’t get off work to come with us but he insisted we go. Talk about being torn.
I seem to remember there was a dusting of snow on Christmas morning… even if there wasn’t, it’s my memory and I can enhance it a tad if need be. There were presents… one in particular I remember because I asked for it every year. A nurses kit. It was a white square box with a red cross on the side. Inside were band-aids, gauze bandages, a wooden thermomenter and a stethescope, a name tag… and the most important article.. a nurses cap. I spent the most of the morning bandaging people up whether they wanted to be or not.
All of a sudden I heard a faint knock on the front door !! I ran to open it and let out a shriek… it was my dad standing there with a big smile and a shirt box. A shirt box !! Yes indeed that’s all he had with him. No suitcase. No duffle bag. Just a shirt box with a couple of clean shirts and other essentials inside it. He liked to travel light.
It turned out to be one of the most wonderful Christmases of my childhood.
A few years ago I found this letter that my Pop had written to me for my 6th birthday. After Nana died he pretty much lived alone except for the two summer months we spent with him. I loved to listen to his stories of working on the steamships in Massachusetts and later being a bank guard in NJ. Pop couldn’t walk without the aid of a cane and even then couldn’t walk far, certainly no further than the front or back yard. Almost everyday we’d have our lunch together under a tree in the backyard and then in the evening we’d listen to the radio together. He liked programs like ‘The Shadow’ which scared the bejeebers out of me and made it hard for me to walk down the dark and seemingly endlessly long hall to my upstairs bedroom. The hardest part of my summers was saying good-bye to him… I wouldn’t cry in front of him but the tears spilled out of my eyes the moment we left the house. I still find it sad and emotional to leave the Vineyard and I’m sure those moments from long ago have a bearing on it.
I am blessed to have the memories of that one Christmas on Martha’s Vineyard and of Nana and Pop, two people who were such an important part of my life.
A smattering of pictures from 1993, 2001 and 2005, the three times I’ve been to the Christmas In Edgartown weekends.