16 May 2017

Nantucket Homecoming

The inimitable Mr. Jon Bon Jovi reminds us why our hearts are full when we return home. He sums it up this way: “It doesn’t matter where you are, doesn’t matter where you go, if it’s a million miles away or just a mile up the road; take it in, take it with you when you go; who says you can’t go home?” Life has necessitated some extensive time away from home this winter – some for fun, some definitely not so fun. Regardless, upon returning last week I was welcomed to our neighborhood by the scene in the photo and it felt as if all of Nantucket and Mother Nature herself had prepared a welcome home parade.
Part of my winter travels took me all the way home in recent weeks – to the tiny town in Iowa where I was born and raised. It’s been awhile seen I’ve been back. A few things have changed, many have remained exactly the same as when I was a child. It’s funny how a place…a community…a house…help shape who we were, who we are now and who we and our kids and grandkids will become. I was shocked to see how small my grandmother’s 5 room house looked and even more shocked to recall how she and my grandfather used to host upwards of 40 people for holidays in that little house because they believed no one should dine alone on a holiday. I was reminded also that she gets credit for modeling for me what a “community dinner” is all about.
Nantucket is not unlike the community where I grew up. Some things change…many (thankfully) remain exactly the same. I get nostalgic this time of year as it was 24 years ago next weekend when my husband and I “washed ashore” for a 4-day vacation and determined we wanted to call this far away island home. Like many before and after us, that originally meant “summer home” for awhile, until the magnetic pull of a charmed life drew us here full time seven years ago. There is something wholly unexplainable that happens when the Grey Lady casts her spell. But once you’ve been here – once you’ve spent time strolling the beaches, wandering up the cobblestone streets, sitting on a bench watching the ferries come and go – you get it. And you feel at home.
Other travels this winter took us to France to celebrate 31 years of marriage. The French say “welcome home” this way – “Bienvenue à la maison.” Which literally means, “welcome to the house.” As much as Nantucket is famous for its natural beauty, there is something very special about spending time in a home on the island…your own or that of a friend or family member. The opportunity to gather around a dining table, listen to the birds while sipping coffee on the patio, read a book while relaxing in the hammock on the porch or play a rousing game of croquet on the lawn, help remind us that “home” truly is where our loved ones are.
Why not welcome your friends and family “home” to Nantucket this summer? If you live here, plan a few backyard barbeques or clambakes. If you plan to rent for a few weeks…or purchase your very own Nantucket home…invite some friends and family along to discover what the Nantucket magic is all about. And if you’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing the island, treat your family to a place where many before have discovered “home.”
You’re Welcome!

Shellie Dunlap

Related Posts
  • 12 Mar 2013 Missing Nantucket Off Island After a busy hustle bustle tourist season on Nantucket and a winter wrought with one storm after the next many of the local residents – particularly those in service related industries – look forward to a few coveted days of rest and relaxation. I had the opportunity to “get away from it all” for a... Continue Reading
  • 23 Apr 2013 Hey Nantucket, What’s Up Dock? The empty docks at the Great Harbor Yacht Club last week were a picture perfect representation of the island’s eager anticipation of spring. While we all enjoy the rest and reprieve that comes with a few months of an “empty nest” Nantucket residents eagerly look forward to that moment when the island awakens from its... Continue Reading