Ryder Ziebarth

Columnist: 
Ryder Ziebarth

Nantucket Lullaby

 Last night, I opened all four windows in my bedroom to the crisp September night, tree frogs and crickets still in concert below, temperatures paused at 56 degrees.  There are two sets of single pane French doors, just five feet tall, under the east-facing eaves on the second floor of the room in this old house, and  two more windows on the west wall. Not  a huge space, just generous enough to feel like a summer porch or a tree house,  when everything is wide open.

Loving Nancy Thayer's Books

I was perusing the shelves of Mitchell’s Bookstore on an August evening while vacationing on Nantucket in the late 70’s when the proprietor, Mimi Beman, pulled a copy of Stepping -- a new book by Nancy Thayer, from a display shelf and handed it to me.  Mimi knew and remembered her customers’ reading taste whether you lived on-Island year ‘round or simply “washed ashore” for a few weeks every year, and my literary palate was wide ranging.  “Try Stepping,” she said. “ New author.”

Garden Visit Etiquette

It’s late spring, and as a lifelong gardener, and currently, the first vice-president of the Garden Club of Somerset Hills and the chairman of its Garden History and Design committee, this time of year--full of beautiful blooms-- brings both delight and dread.  From mid-May to mid-June, when my peonies bowl me over with their glorious shades of coral-reds and pale pinks, and the Wisteria drips elegantly from its arbor like so many amethysts from a bracelet, my phone rings off the hook with requests to ‘take a quick peek” at my flowerbeds.

Nantucket Dream Weaving, Part II

A fascination with Nantucket Baskets culminates in a collection, a basket weaver and a true Nantucketer.

Nantucket Dream Weaving, part I

The first time I held a Nantucket Lightship basket in my hands was as a college student in 1975, while visiting the Island for the first time on a  December weekend.  A college classmate and  native Nantucketer wanted to show me his childhood home where, on a spit of sand floating miles out on the Atlantic Ocean, he was raised until he was ten years old.

Survival at Sea

With winds at 70 knots, seas at 60 feet, eighty-four crew members of World War II T2 oil tankers the Pendleton and the Fort Mercer prayed for a miracle in the early morning hours of February 18th, 1952. The 10,000-ton tankers independently split just aft of their bridges by the relentless pounding walls of icy water and gale force winds and drifted further by the minute into the abysmal blackness of the North Atlantic, their dismembered carcasses barely afloat.

Nantucket Blues

 


Ryder Ziebarth
September 26, 2012
Nantucket Blues

Atlantic House--for Sconset's Sake

Once a week, in the early morning from their home in Hong Kong, the owners of the familiar rose covered Greek revival house in Sconset poured their cups of English Breakfast tea and waited for Skype to connect them to  Nantucket.

Simultaneously, on the other side of the globe, a legion of contractors, architects and designers poured their cups of Chamomile or Sleepytime while waiting for their American clients from China to appear on their screens.

Two Grey Ladies and a Sandy-Haired Blond

Tired from unloading suitcases, fishing gear and coolers of food from two  cars to one tiny Nantucket rental cottage, I cringed when my 19 year old daughter, Lizzie, begged me to stop organizing.
“Come with me to put my  kayak into  Polpis Harbor, Mom. This nice weather won’t last forever,” she said.” You can do your ‘ship- shape’ thing tomorrow.

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