Welcome. Edgartown News was born from the simple fact that I have ink and Dektol in my veins and I need to write and photograph more than I need air or food, and from my love for this little town where I grew up and raised my family, the town I have left a few times but can't quite shake for good. Here you will find wanderings and musings, photographs and commentary; the people, places, and happenings - past and present - of a small island town: my home town.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Gray and Gloomy

Monday afternoon March 30 was another gray and gloomy day - gloomy as in weather and mood - and even though it was chilly and not very inviting, I forced myself out of the house in the late afternoon. I did not venture far, well, some people would say that a walk down Plantingfield Way, into and through Sheriff's Meadow sanctuary to Eel Pond, over to North Water Street, along the harbor, and back home up Main Street, is a good hike. Not feeling very inspired, I brought the little Lumix along anyway.

Not only was my mood down in the dumps yesterday - and a long string of gray, chilly March days on the Vineyard can do that to you even in the best of circumstances - but the collective mood is being challenged at the moment, especially with the announcement yesterday that our isolation and disruption from normal activities will continue until April 30th.

We did have a reprieve from the March gray a few days ago, which I took advantage of with a little fiddling on the porch (partly in response to a request I received: "Sara, we could use a little fiddle music from your porch right about now."). Passersby are normally receptive to coming across someone sitting on a porch playing fiddle tunes, but the people who happened by the other day were especially happy to hear the music and have an opportunity to socialize (safely, as my seat on the porch is a good ten feet away from the folks on the sidewalk - far enough not to pass germs, but close enough to converse). I look forward to more of this as the weather warms up, especially since our confinement will be prolonged.

I am staying busy with yard work and house work - I may end up dead as a result of the pandemic, but at least my home and my yard will be tidy - plus working on some of the minutiae I ordinarily wouldn't have time for (adding a bow-holder to the fiddle and bouzouki stand I designed last year - it's taken a whole year of using the thing; staring at it and thinking about it to come up with a simple design for the bow holder - and it's perfect), plus spending a bit more time on this long-neglected blog; plus making videos for my Music with Sara family music program, plus organizing and working with fifty years' worth of photos; also applying myself to various fields that interest me: cameras and processing techniques, drumming, Irish music, Gregorian chant - and yes, there's no end to the number of instruments I have on hand on which I could focus and improve.

It all sounds good, but without context - friends and outside activities - it's all a bit dry and uninspired at the moment - bordering on depression - which is why my front porch will become increasingly important in the coming weeks.

A couple of live daily Masses I follow are also helpful - Bishop Barron's Word on Fire, which connects me to thousands of other Catholics world-wide and offers inspiring messages is a good one. Today's message: "We are all on our way to the cross right now." To which I say, this is certainly a Lent of all Lents. Also,  St. Paul's Harvard Square, which connects me with my off-island Catholic home-away-from-home.

So, back to Monday afternoon: The photos are not all that earth-shaking or different than others I have taken in my neighborhood, but I am trying, as well as continuing to test (and enjoy) the little Lumix.   

Edgartown News, covid-19, zombie apocalypse, looking for the light
I've always liked the rose of Sharon seed pod, and the little Lumix's macro setting worked well here (that is not always the case, to my continuing annoyance). 

Edgartown News, covid-19, zombie apocalypse, looking for the light

Edgartown News, covid-19, zombie apocalypse, looking for the light
A brief take-out-window visit with some of my family. We can still meet up for walks or bike rides, but we are all missing being in each other's homes. 

Edgartown News, covid-19, zombie apocalypse, looking for the light
The Grannis house

Edgartown News, covid-19, zombie apocalypse, looking for the light
Butler Mud Hole, with Eel Pond on the other side of the beach and Nantucket Sound in the distance.  

Edgartown News, covid-19, zombie apocalypse, looking for the light
A long path to...(normalcy?)

Edgartown News, covid-19, zombie apocalypse, looking for the light
Approaching Eel Pond

Edgartown News, covid-19, zombie apocalypse, looking for the light
The wind was strong and cold at the Eel Pond landing, straight in from the northeast.

Edgartown News, covid-19, zombie apocalypse, looking for the light
Nature's handiwork

Edgartown News, covid-19, zombie apocalypse, looking for the light
A bit of sunshine

Edgartown News, covid-19, zombie apocalypse, looking for the light
Forsythia, "spilling into a pool of daffodils." (from one of my mother's poems)

Edgartown News, covid-19, zombie apocalypse, looking for the light
When the lanterns on North Water Street turn on, around twilight, the street is transformed into a magical 19th-century theme park, although not quite authentic, as I've been told that 150 years ago, during the whaling heydays when these houses were occupied year 'round by whaling families, the streets were paved with scallop shells, laundry hung on the clothes lines, children ran in the streets, and the homes were likely not quite as pristine and perfect (museum-like?) as they are now.

Edgartown News, covid-19, zombie apocalypse, looking for the light

Edgartown News, covid-19, zombie apocalypse, looking for the light
Memorial Wharf

Edgartown News, covid-19, zombie apocalypse, looking for the light
(above) It's hard to imagine that this harbor will ever be wall-to-wall boats again.
(below) Now is the safest time - ever - to bicycle through Edgartown.
Edgartown News, covid-19, zombie apocalypse, looking for the light

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Gasoline, Daffodils, and Surf

Today's meandering took me through Vineyard Haven, along North Road to Menemsha (where I was surprised, but not really, to find a parking lot half-full), then, with a vague idea of visiting Lobsterville Beach, found myself instead pulling in to Squibnocket (I can rarely drive past Squibnocket without turning in; old habits and loves die hard), where the surf was a delightful 3-4' and breaking beautifully off of the muscle bed - my old stomping grounds. Two surfers were out and getting good rides, and a few surfers were in the parking lot in various stages of either getting ready to go in, or finishing up a session. I was tickled by the smiles and waves I got as I drove in - prompted, I'm sure, by the fact that I was driving my van with the surf racks on top. Seeing the waves and the surfers - oh, and it was a beautiful sunny day, too, with very little wind - made me wish two things: one, that I had brought my big camera with my long lenses (I have dedicated myself for the past two months to using the Lumix only, partly to completely and deeply learn the thing, and partly because it's so light and handy and I'm sick of carrying all the heavy stuff); and my second wish was that I had a wet suit and could do a little spring surfing.


gasoline, daffodils, and surf
I've photographed this old gas pump on North Road I don't know how many times - with daffodils, covered with snow, and everything in between. I've never found out what the story is on this defunct side-of-the-road gas pump. Was it a gas station once upon a time? Was it a private pump for a farmer? You can't see the price anymore, but, as I remember, its last sale was at .49/gallon.
gasoline, daffodils, and surf
What is the word for this? Irony? Dichotomy? Incongruity? I'll settle for charming.
gasoline, daffodils, and surf

gasoline, daffodils, and surf
I couldn't resist telling this surfer that I was one of the original surfers here in 1968. I could imagine his thoughts: "Good for you Grandma, get back in your rocking chair."
gasoline, daffodils, and surf

gasoline, daffodils, and surf

gasoline, daffodils, and surf

gasoline, daffodils, and surf

gasoline, daffodils, and surf
(Below) South Road, Chilmark. Many Vineyarders make a point of up-island daffodil tours at this time of year to "see the yellow."
gasoline, daffodils, and surf

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Polly Hill Divertissement

Let's face it, everything is a diversion at this point; a distraction from the grim reality that has plagued our world at this time. A walk around Polly Hill Arboretum was my second such distraction and time-filler for today. I really can't complain because some people are being held captive in far less beautiful environments. Since this is the third blog post for today I'll let the photos speak for themselves. Tomorrow we will be one day closer to normal.

polly hill arboretum, corona virus, trees,

polly hill arboretum, corona virus, trees,

polly hill arboretum, corona virus, trees,

polly hill arboretum, corona virus, trees,


polly hill arboretum, corona virus, trees,

polly hill arboretum, corona virus, trees,

polly hill arboretum, corona virus, trees,
This flower is called Lenten Rose - perfect, since it blooms during Lent and it's the same color as the priest's vestments on Laetare Sunday (fourth Sunday in Lent).
polly hill arboretum, corona virus, trees,

polly hill arboretum, corona virus, trees,

polly hill arboretum, corona virus, trees,

polly hill arboretum, corona virus, trees,

polly hill arboretum, corona virus, trees,

polly hill arboretum, corona virus, trees,

polly hill arboretum, corona virus, trees,

polly hill arboretum, corona virus, trees,

polly hill arboretum, corona virus, trees,

polly hill arboretum, corona virus, trees,

West Chop Wanderings

I took advantage of a trip to pick up contact lenses at my eye doctor's office today - actually from a cooler on his porch - to take a quick stroll on the beach at the West Chop Beach Club, with one eye open for beach glass (to no avail). The wind was whipping off the water from the northeast, causing me to not linger, but it was a pleasant sojourn. I was surprised to discover that the little Lumix handled seagulls a-flight with aplomb.

west chop, seagulls, beach walking, corona virus martha's vineyard

west chop, seagulls, beach walking, corona virus martha's vineyard

west chop, seagulls, beach walking, corona virus martha's vineyard

west chop, seagulls, beach walking, corona virus martha's vineyard

west chop, seagulls, beach walking, corona virus martha's vineyard

The State of Things

We are now in full-blown stay-at-home mode. Yes, we can go out for a walk - thank God. We do expect the streets to be quiet this time of year, but this is beyond the beyond - eerie, surreal. God save us all.

corona virus, edgartown streets, lonely streets, lock down, social distancing
Main Street, looking west, late afternoon.
corona virus, edgartown streets, lonely streets, lock down, social distancing
Main Street, downtown.
corona virus, edgartown streets, lonely streets, lock down, social distancing
Court house parking lot.
corona virus, edgartown streets, lonely streets, lock down, social distancing
Downtown - a new way of interacting: six feet apart.
corona virus, edgartown streets, lonely streets, lock down, social distancing
Winter Street
corona virus, edgartown streets, lonely streets, lock down, social distancing

corona virus, edgartown streets, lonely streets, lock down, social distancing
Plantingfield Way
corona virus, edgartown streets, lonely streets, lock down, social distancing
                                             Main Street, downtown Edgartown.