A Visit to a Place I Once Felt Like I Owned

This weekend I’m headed for a destination that once was a big part of my life. For forty-five years, Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard was where our family spent their vacations, then for the last eight years or so it became my workplace.

I used to go to the island about ten times a year, visiting customers for my clothing business, and the last time I set foot there was with a friend who put us up on his boat in Edgartown harbor in 2010. Sadly, our family house is now gone, and on that little dead-end street, Cummings Way, sits a mansion five times the size of the small cottage my grandmother bought in 1952 for $8000.

It’s bittersweet to have lost a love like MV–anyone who goes there regularly knows how sublime those evenings can be, sitting up on the porch looking out at the ocean, drinks tinkling in glasses, the serene light of evening settling in. But this trip, I won’t have a home, we’ll be staying in a newly remodeled inn called the Dockside Inn in Oak Bluffs.

We will get a chance to paddle kayaks, and meet some of the people making fantastic food there using local ingredients. We will sit on the lobster pots outside of Larsen’s Fish Market in Menemsha and suck down steamers. We will ride our bikes on the paths and visit a hidden little beach down harbor in Edgartown. I know the place so well, I can’t wait to get back.

But I must set aside my nostalgia, because what was then was then, and we’re lucky to be able to get out there for a romantic getaway. I’ll visit the old street, yes, and maybe be sad for a moment….but I promise not to dwell on ancient times since the future is more important than the past.