‘Tis the season

by Sue Dawson

THESE DAYS, I’ve been thinking a lot about the seasons. Days are longer and warmer this time of year. Trees and gardens have sprung back to life, grass needs to be mowed again, and island property owners are busy painting, fixing, updating, and getting ready for lots of visitors. There’s a heightened awareness, a sense that things are about to change.

I’ve always said that I love living in a place that has a seasonal economy. The summer is crowded, busy, fast-moving, exciting, stressful, and vibrant. There are TONS of things to do, and LOTS of people to do them with. All of the restaurants and stores are open for business, movie theaters are screening multiple titles each week, and the Back Door Donuts line weaves its circuitous path through the Reliable parking lot. On the downside, traffic is a problem, as are bugs, ticks, poison ivy, and certain… shall I say… attitudes.

I remember one summer when Alison and I took our two kids (then 4 and 7) up to Menemsha to have a picnic, kayak, climb on the jetties, and watch the sunset. Sarah (7) met a girl her age, and they played together all evening. As we packed our cars to head home, Sarah asked me to get her new friend’s address so they could play again. I introduced myself to the girl’s dad, who was loading his car with sandy towels and coolers (Alison was doing the same thing, halfway across the parking lot). His car had NY plates, and we talked about what he did for a living, where he lived. Then he asked where we’re from. “Here,” I said. His eyes bugged wide-open and he said “Here? You mean Martha’s Vineyard?” I nodded yes, and he followed with “Huh… you mean islanders come up here to watch the sunset too?” 

Islanders are nodding as they read this โ€“ we all have our stories. It can be stressful when visitors take over and think this temporary playground belongs to them. I know some people who won’t even come down-island (to Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, Edgartown) all summer, so they can avoid the throngs. Even so, I love when everyone comes to the island. I thrive on the energy they bring with them. 

Until I don’t.

But lucky me โ€“ as soon as I’m done with the crowds, they start to leave. Fall comes, and we mostly have the island to ourselves again. Then winter brings quiet, introspection, solitude, all the broad thoughts of exploring โ€“ travel, art, music, writing. I settle into shorter days, and enjoy the peace. 

Until I don’t.

Soon it’s time to get ready for all the people again. They come back just in time, bringing all their chaos and life with them. We turn on the charm, and create loads of events, fun, and sunsets. Just for them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

One sign of the season is that we hang Alison’s newest fine art photography on our gallery walls (you knew I’d get to this). Please come see her new work, and say hi to us. We’ll be open Monday โ€“ Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm. Or call us at 508-693-4429.


Our Advanced Mentorship student show has been taken down from the gallery walls, but their stunning photographs can still be purchased by clicking here.  

4 Responses

  1. Mark Conrad says:

    Great post as always. They always make me miss the Vineyard while I read them here in Connecticut.

  2. Ann Densmore says:

    I love your clear writing, Sue. You make me read fast to get to the funny parts!
    The โ€œUntil I donโ€™tโ€ is great. You pointed out reasons why I love the seasons. I love Harvard Square with people from
    all over the world are shopping, playing music and even dancing.. Then I love to walk the quiet streets in the late fall when the leaves have fallen, painting the streets with colours.

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