Tuesday, November 1, 2011
A Vineyard Haven at The Oak House
I am blessed in ways that are often too many to count. There are moments, relatively brief, that I forget that. However, it is impossible to forget that for long. The remarkable people that populate my life remind me with gestures both great and small. Without fail, when I feel weak, there are friends who have carried me, on their shoulders, if necessary. I have no explanation for the state of grace in which I find myself. I feel overwhelmed and undeserving of such goodness.
At home, the electricity is off for the fourth day. I made a snap decision not to return on Sunday as planned because my house does not have heat. It was one of the 125,000 households hard hit by the unexpected snow storm in October. Eighteen inches of heavy snow coated trees still laden with autumn leaves. The weight of the branches was too much. As the branches came down, so too, did the electric wires in their way.
The fallout was far-reaching. Cell-towers were overloaded, phone service delivered by cable was not available. Communications were spotty to nonexistent. My son was invited to join another family to go stay in Boston until electricity was restored. I felt guilty leaving my husband to cope with the house and animals, but I know that I would not do much to help even if I returned. Further, I knew he would worry about me.
First, my sister and her husband, then my childhood friend and her husband - with whom I was staying - suggested I stay on Martha’s Vineyard until I could return to a warm, lighted home. I appreciated both offers, but chose to stay at my friend’s, The Oak House, because I was already established and cozy here. I am ensconced in a fourteen bedroom Victorian home overlooking the ocean. I move between the Library, where I sleep, the sitting room and the kitchen mostly. I mount the stairs to the nether regions only to sink deep into the bathtub with a seemingly unending supply of hot water.
When I walk outside, I see familiar images from my earliest childhood. The bandstand, the Steamship Authority, Sunset Lake, Circuit Ave.. They hold memories, they bring joy. On the Island, I visit with my Island family and friends and feel uplifted by their presence in my life. With the strength I find at this Vineyard haven, I find that I can turn my face determinedly in the direction of a future that is warm and illuminated and filled with love.