Farewell to Spring

Mixed emotions at the beginning of summer.

If the tulips in my garden are to be believed, spring is now over, and summer has begun.  I follow the ritual of digging up the tulips at the end of their bloom, and replanting them in the fall, dividing the ones that are ready and then awaiting their bloom the next spring.  It creates bookends for the seasons, and this weekend, the first round of tulips were installed in their box to be kept in the cool dark through the summer. 

Hiding for the summer is a very tempting thought.  With the crowds and the traffic, we are certainly getting a reminder of what is to come this summer on this Memorial Day weekend.  We rode the VTA bus rather than try to find a parking place in Edgartown…  On the way to picking up the mail at the OB post office, there was a ten car backup to make a right turn to get over to Ocean Park to park the car.  Suddenly, it is summer.

But there have also been some positive portents of summer…  The first barefoot walk on the beach…  My toes tried the water, but instantly dismissed the thought of a swim – it’s not THAT warm yet!  A nice dinner out and visit with family returning for the summer…  Vineyard Haven harbor’s moorings are filling with boats and our own little catboat awaits her summer adventures, ready for the season.  Flowers in the water from a Memorial day ceremony…  Walking through Edgartown, the town is alive and ready for the summer crowds.  The family sweet tooth has visited both Mad Martha’s and Murdick’s (and is committed to dieting next week).

So the summer begins, and with it many of the island’s best experiences.  It’s time to adjust our habits to accommodate the crowds, and get out and play in the sun.  Yet when I negotiate the crowded sidewalks in Edgartown, I remember the cold February night when we saw the skunk sauntering down the same sidewalk unchallenged.  I look for him again tonight, but he is nowhere to be found.  He’s hiding for the summer, too, I suspect, looking for the quiet places, and waiting for the next quiet season, when he, too, can run free.

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Maggie Dempsey May 30, 2011 at 02:27 AM
I feel the same way, Maureen. Mixed emotions... of course the summer season brings in the much needed boost to the island economy, but I always feel a little like my privacy is being invaded. Formerly deserted places are now bustling with people... I now have to pick my way carefully through the crowd to navigate to the cash register at Alley's and Five Corners is a complete nightmare. Though glad that I am that beautiful weather is upon us, I'm a little bristled by having to suddenly share it with thousands of others who did not weather the long, cold winter to finally enjoy this summer bliss.
David Whitmon May 30, 2011 at 02:34 PM
Maureen and Maggie. I totally agree with both of you. I for one am having a bit of a hard time accommodating to the masses of people. Especially those with a false sense of entitlement. I'll try not to growl to much. Damn. I'm all out of Holy Basil
Maggie Dempsey May 30, 2011 at 05:31 PM
David, not far from my house on South Road yesterday, I was driving and a caravan of cars, with mostly New York license plates, decided they had the right of way to my side of the road... to pass a nervous looking family on bicycles going the opposite direction. When I gave them an aggravated look, they just gave me back this aggressive shrug, as if to say "Get out of the way! Both sides of the double yellow are mine when there's a sunset in Menemsha to catch" All I could think of was the enduring bicycle debate here on Patch, and how irked I am to have to now pull out of the drive and immediately be launched headlong into the rushed, and often rude, summer crowd.
David Whitmon May 30, 2011 at 08:33 PM
Maggie. It's insane out there. As far as I know, Massachusetts is the only State that has written into law the word "WAIT." As in a motorist has to "WAIT" until it is safe before passing a cyclist. Running oncoming traffic off the road is definitely not safe but I see it all the time, dozens of times an hour at peak. I live in Deer Run next to the High School. When I ride my yellow (Human Powered) Velomobile into OB on Barnes Rd I can hit well over 40 mph (if I wish to do so) passing the causeway. I will crest the next hill at 25 to 30 mph and will be hitting those speeds all the way to County Rd. I have no problem with folks passing me in a no passing zone even when I'm doing the speed limit, if, and this is a big IF, it's safe to do so. The problem is that motorists will pass me in the opposite lane, going around blind curves and approaching the crest of a hill. Their nuts. Last I heard, only Superman has X-Ray vision.
Maureen Leland May 30, 2011 at 09:32 PM
I'm consoling myself with remembering that the next few weeks before the Fourth are quieter than this weekend. And hoping that isn't a false memory!! I feel guilty resenting all the traffic and congestion, as Maggie says, it is vital to the economy. But I do miss the quiet... Maybe by this evening it will quiet down? I've noticed a lot more air traffic overhead, too, this weekend... Is it October yet?


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