Posts Tagged ‘Martha’s Vineyard’

Let’s take a break from the sturm and drang of politics shall we? Do people ask you where you would most like to live if you had nothing else to consider in the world? Let’s just say you won the Lottery and you have no grandchildren. No ties to any coast at all. Which is not my case, but this is a hypothetical.

Well this week I’ve been reminded of my favorite place because our dear friends came from the Berkshires for a visit. When the Bride was little, we would pack up our cars and take the ferry from Woods Hole to Martha’s Vineyard for a whole month every Spring. Lee is probably my bestest friend, a wild and wonderful woman! She was an Ass’t DA when we first met, at a ballet class, and then opened a private practice in family law. She went to the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Princeton, so we would kid around and say we went to different schools together.

At the Rocker’s Bris in August of 1984, she singlehandedly filled my living room with tall, glorious gladiolas!

Her husband Al is retired and Lee is starting to think about retirement too, though she is a bit younger. And they were smart years ago to buy an investment property in Vineyard Haven; although we always rented a cottage on the wild side of Gay Head, a place that dropped off red clay cliffs to a rocky shore and held center stage in my dreams for many years.

This is the place where I imprinted ruggedly beautiful seascapes and rambling rose bushes on the Bride’s baby brain. We would dig up clams on Menemsha Pond in Chilmark and eat them slathered in butter. Lee would bake bread every morning, then we would visit the fish market to plan our dinner. We would ride on the historic Flying Horses Carousel in Oak Bluffs, an old and established Black community on the island. The Bride would reach to catch the brass ring, and our dogs would want to jump up and catch it too.

We flew on clam shell roads with the wind in our hair, our bikes with fat tires, taking showers outside that could never entirely wash away the sand.

So yes, there is no other place I love more than The Vineyard! And our President is taking his last vacay there as Commander in Chief.

On the island, Mr. Obama is expected to play a lot of golf and read a pile of books, if his past vacations here are any guide. He may attend a party or two given by friends who also vacation here, but for the most part the Obamas tend to keep to themselves. Mr. Obama is an avid sports fan, and with the Olympics playing on TV, he may have even more reason to remain in his rented house. After so many years of having the president and his family as summer guests, residents here have lost much of the excitement they once showed for presidential visits. The island is a haven for moguls and movie stars, and the Obamas have become part of the scenery.  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/07/us/politics/obama-arrives-in-marthas-vineyard-for-two-week-vacation.html?_r=0

I’m sure he can relax this August, knowing the lead Madame Secretary has secured in the race to the White House; knowing his legacy will be assured. Jobs numbers are good, the market seems to be progressing. Maybe he will play some golf and eat a few lobster rolls? Walk into town for some ice cream?

Sometimes I would run into Carly Simon in town and pretend I didn’t know who she was…because that’s what people did before cell phones and selfies. I hope people leave the Obamas alone. I hope they can actually find a little peace on this island paradise. I’d like to turn off all the political punditry for the next few months.

Cause I haven’t got time for the pain…  this was us in 1981. Menemsha Family 20160808



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They say you can’t go home again, not once you’ve left and established a separate life, an adult life. But today I tasted a real poppyseed strudel at the City Market, the kind my Slovac foster mother Nell used to make, and it brought me right back there, to Victory Gardens.

I tried making it once. I had to buy a new peppermill to grind the teeny poppy seeds, since there was nothing else I could think of in the 70s to do the trick. My attempt failed miserably and I just assumed you’d have to go to Czechoslovakia to find a poppyseed grinder. Julia Child lived around the corner in Cambridge, MA and I almost stopped her in the street to ask her how I might duplicate this luscious European pastry, but I guess I didn’t have the nerve. If only we had Twitter!

This week has brought back many memories. The Bride was just two years old when we started bringing her out to Martha’s Vineyard. We’d pack up the car and caravan with the dogs and our BFFs Lee and Al to a little, old, grey clapboard house at the wild end of the island, Gay Head. We’d dig for clams and bake bread. We’d ride our beach bikes past the dunes and watch fishermen docking with the day’s catch. We’d shower outside after an afternoon at Menemsha Pond, and pick ticks off the dogs in the evening. In short, it was always a delightful Spring.

Being with the Love Bug now reminds me of that toddler sense of wonder, the kind I experienced on the Vineyard with her mama. She looks for our neighbors’ horses, she sings to herself in the car, she bravely goes down a water slide twice! We run in the backyard to pick blackberries. When she takes a bite of a ripe peach, I see that same joy. Like a picture I have of the bride sitting at our Gay Head table with lobster, clams and butter all over her face and hair.

Sandy sheets and ballon animals from the City Market dance on my laundry line of time.

The Bride waiting for the ferry

The Bride waiting for the ferry

And sometimes I feel like I have gone home again.

The Bug with a blackberry stained mouth

The Bug with a blackberry stained mouth


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