28 Jul 2015

Nantucket Donut Duty

Remember the scene from the 1950’s sitcom “I Love Lucy” where Lucy and Ethel try their hand at being assembly line workers in a chocolate factory? Initially, the job seems like a breeze as they carefully wrap each chocolate on the belt, but chaos quickly ensues as they fall behind in their efforts and the chocolates begin piling up. Their hilarious antics to manage the madness, from stuffing morsels in their mouths and down their shirts, to scooping piles of them into their hats, left us all laughing out loud at the silliness of it all.

As my husband and I stood in line outside the Downyflake last week, I had visions of their kitchen looking a bit like Lucy’s chocolate factory as they scrambled to keep the trays of donuts coming out to meet the demand of the loyal summer patrons. Morning donut duty is a family tradition for many on the island. There’s something about those decadent sugar, chocolate and coconut sensations that entice even the late risers to jump out of bed to go vie for a place in line. My husband always says he’s envious of anyone who has a product that people literally line up around the block to get a piece of. Those Downyflake folks are his summer heroes.

There are other places on the island where lines form because of family traditions. A frothy cappuccino from The Bean – absolutely! A Black Eyed Susan’s breakfast – of course! Dinner at Lola 41 – a must! 2 scoops of chocolate mint in a waffle cone from The Juice Bar – duh! We patiently wait our turn at these and so many other places because we want a unique and memorable piece of Nantucket. We don’t want to leave this place or let our summer draw to a close without knowing we’ve experienced all the best the island has to offer.

I think it’s easy in a magical place like Nantucket to find the patience to wait in line for a few special treats we can’t get anywhere else…partly because we know there’s so much of the island that does not require us to wait. There’s no line to sit on the sandy beaches or dive in the expansive ocean. No wait required to walk along the Sconset Bluff at sunrise or stroll along Madaket beach as the sun sets. No patience necessary to throw your fishing line in the water at Cisco in the evening or sail your catboat in the harbor in the afternoon. There are multiple opportunities for relaxation and enjoyment that don’t require money or stress…they are Nantucket’s gift to us.

If you’re on Nantucket for a week or a lifetime, be sure you take advantage of the many hidden treasures the island has to offer. Search for turtles in Madaket, take a walk through acres of beautiful conservation land at Sanford Farms or climb all 100 steps inside the Congregational Church to be wowed by the 360 view of Nantucket. If you happen to be one of the 1% who has never experienced the euphoric sugar buzz that comes from the little round sensations at the Downyflake, go join the throngs of fellow Nantucket fans who are willing to wait for the pleasure.

Get in line.

Shellie Dunlap

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