On an Isolated Rock, We Watch the Misery at Home

Brant Point lighthouse, Nantucket, MA
Brant Point lighthouse, Nantucket, MA. photo by Mary Gilman.
We have been in an isolated bubble on an island, far from the Massachusetts coast. We peek into those cold windows and feel guilty, here in our heated and luxurious surroundings, while we read about our friends and family who are without electricity and heat. It makes this trip bittersweet.

We are on assignment, writing a travel article about visiting Nantucket off season. We planned this way before any of the preposterous forecasts would accurately predict massive snowfall in October in our Valley. We skimmed over the water on Saturday morning on the fast ferry before the snow fell, and could only watch with horror as the trees started cracking and the power was cut off to so many of our beloved people back home on Saturday night.

It is remarkably different during this crisis… because there are so many ways we are hooked into their day to day, minute by minute struggles. On Facebook, we read about people who opened up their houses when the had power, offering coffee and hot showers to all comers. Then this same women lost power again and had to rescind her kindness. Other friends fired up generators and managed that way…my daughter packed up the kids and drove east to her mother’s house in Mansfield, where hot showers and lights blazed.

The people on Nantucket this weekend were uniformly friendly, and we got a good lesson in the history of the island and its whaling legacy at the Whaling Museum. We met a gregarious bartender who poured us samples of all of the beers created at the Cisco Brewing Company on the island. We were squired around in a top of the line hybrid BMW 7 series sedan by a cheerful valet named Victor, who was heading to his second job of the year, as a doorman at Park City Utah starting this week.

Now that our stay here at the White Elephant is coming to an end…we don’t want to go back to cold dark houses…so we will stay over in Brewster for the night. Hopefully we will time our return with the power coming back.