Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I was looking for some pictures of roses on the internet and I came across this picture by Linda Lee called "Nantucket Roses". It surprised me and I stopped and sat for a bit - this picture took me back to many days of my childhood when my family spent part of every summer on Nantucket.

We rented a cottage in a beautiful, quiet area called Siasconset. There were three lanes of grey-shingled, weather-beaten cottages, many with little pink roses growing haphazardly up the walls and across the roof and white picket fences out front. The three lanes met and ended at a church and an old-fashioned candy store. My sister and I were thrilled that we were allowed to walk down to the store and sit at the counter by ourselves and order ice cream cones or sodas or buy candy or get dad the local paper. Mind you, at home we weren't allowed to go anywhere without an adult! Every summer we met several other children to play with and we used to gather on the large lawn in between the cottages in the early evenings to play softball, croquet or tag. Earlier in the day, after a late breakfast we would cross the large green lawn and head down the long flight of rickety steps to the beach. This was the ocean or what we called the 'big-waves" beach! We only walked along the edge getting our feet wet, cheering my parents when they went in swimming, diving into the waves and sometimes coming up with a large clam shell which they used for ashtrays in those days. In the afternoon we drove out to the quiet saltwater pond where my sister and I spent hours in the water swimming and playing.

On rainy or overcast days we drove 20 minutes into the town and walked the cobble-stone streets, stopping in the stores to browse, agonizing over which souvenir to buy and worrying that our new rope bracelet wouldn't shrink enough in the salt water! Some afternoons when we had had enough sun and swimming, as a special treat, my mom would take us into town to see a movie. I remember I saw the Goodbye Girl at the Nantucket Theater. I think I was 12 and my mother was so worried that I was too young for the movie but I suffered no irreperable harm from any of the scenes! lol One night a week the small communty center in Siasconset showed several cartoon movies and served popcorn. Other nights we sat out under the stars roasting marshmallows, playing tag or reading. The 4th of July celebration was always the highlight of the summer. During the day there were games and contests and picnicking and at night, a huge fireworks display. I loved fireworks! There was never a TV in the cottage and we didn't miss it. But we always missed Nantucket when it was time to go home.

Wow, that was quite a trip down memory lane! lol I think Nantucket is still a wonderful island but it was very different when I was a child, quieter, more simple, safer. I'm glad I had the chance to spend those summers there with my family. To this day, many things remind me of Nantucket especially grey-shingled cottages and little pink roses.



  1. Such pretty roses, I have not yet traveled to Nantucket - however your story makes me feel as though I have.

  2. What a great memory to have! That is so great.... I love it when somthing you see takes you back - or something you hear like an old song - or something you smell like apple pie....

  3. What an awesome, vivid childhood memory! I would love to visit there one day, as I've heard such lovely things about that area. And though I've never been, that picture above seems to solidify exactly what I think Nantucket would be like!

  4. Hi Amy,
    What a beautifully written memory that touched my heart for so many vignettes of your childhood summer days on Nantucket remind me of mine at my grandparents' cottage in Maine.
    Am so glad that you shared that!