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Pumpkins and Fall Flowers herald the arrival of October

AUTUMN COMES TO NANTUCKET

The Coming of Fall And Anticipating Winter

AUTUMN HAS ARRIVED ON NANTUCKET

Memorial Day Weekend brought many visitors to the Island including my family.  It was the final weekend of summer.  Despite a storm or two, September has generally been warm and lovely, but it is clear that October is here now.  Cold winds and big waves ushered in a change in seasons.  Pumpkins grace almost every store on Main Street and most houses throughout the Island.  Children are busy finding Halloween costumes and preparing for the big parade down Main Street.  Trees are changing color, and in the next couple of weeks stores and restaurants will begin to close only to reopen for Stroll and then close once again for the season.

Soon it will be winter.  Already I am wearing a heavy coat. I used to hate winter, but now I am actually looking forward to it. In Nantucket, winter is a great season, and I love it.  I love the way the Island slows down.  People entertain, there is great music, art, and drama.  One could find something wonderful to do every night of the week. Now there will be ample parking spaces down town, the stores will have sales, and I will have fires in the fireplace every night.  Hot apple cider will replace lemonade, and wonderful tiny Nantucket scallops will be available. Hearty slow cooked meals will be the new norm.  I will have lots of dinner parties.  I will write and paint and take art lessons, and work at the Food Pantry.  I am so blessed to live in Nantucket—and I count my blessings every day.  

The change of seasons invites reflection, a catalogue of new experiences, thoughts about coming life events, and the winter season.  My friend, John Nordquist, often said, “Oh Pat, sometimes you are just all about you.”  True to Nordquist proclamation, this post is largely “all about me.” 

I just finished my acting debut.  Only on Nantucket would I be able to try out for a play and get a part. I have never acted before.  Nantucket, however, embraces you, and gives you opportunities that would never happen anywhere else. It was a play that I truly love--Love, Loss, and What I Wore by Nora Ephron and her sister Delia--and that was the sole reason that I had the courage to try out.  This was an amazing experience.  I was in the company of three professional actors, and the rest of the cast except for one were experienced actors. All of them were amazing, kind, and generous in spirit.  The director, Laura Byrne, was wonderful--gentle, wise, and talented. In the process of rehearsing and performing, we became a tight and caring group. I made friends that I hope to keep for life.  Now I hope that I can get small parts in other plays! The acting bug has bitten, but even if I don't act again, The Nantucket Theater Workshop is fabulous.  I try to go to every play they do, and I am never disappointed. 

As we rehearsed for the play, we began to tell our own stories.  The play touched each of us and evoked our own memories of love, loss, and what we wore. When I am back on-Island in November, I want to have a dinner and writing night.  I will invite all the women I know to come and write their own vignettes.  I hope that this will become a book entitled Love, Loss, and What I Wore on Nantucket.   You don’t need to be a writer to participate.  You just need to have a story or stories that you want to tell.  Email me if you would like to be part of this group (patjones268[email protected]).  Even if you can’t come to dinner, you can send me your stories, and I will include them in the book.

I will be off-Island for a while in October and November. On October 18, I am having back surgery.  I am both excited and frightened.  I have been having trouble with my back for about nine months, and I have tried everything—three shots of steroids—lots of physical therapy—and first and second opinions from surgeons.  There is no guarantee that this surgery will work—but I am willing to take the chance.  I am having the surgery in Providence, Rhode Island, but I had all the preliminary work done on the Island.  I can’t begin to express my gratitude for Dr. Lepore and Nantucket Hospital.  When I want to the hospital to see about an appointment to get all the blood work, radiology, etc. done, they said “Come on in—We will do it now.”  And they did every test I needed with care, graciousness, and skill.  Next was a trip to Dr. Lepore’s office.  They had just moved, and things were chaotic.  Furthermore Dr. Lepore is fully booked until November.  Still, they made room for me to complete the medical requirements.  Dr. Lepore is amazing, and the whole crew there is equally wonderful.  We are so lucky to have them on Nantucket.

When I am off-Island, even for just a few days, I miss Nantucket.  It is home, and I am happiest when I am there.  I have always loved travel, but lately, I am content to see the ocean every day, and walk on the changing beach.  Autumn is lovely, and winter will be beautiful as well.

I would love to hear from you.  How do you feel about fall and winter on the Island?  Do you have stories to tell?