“Landon, look, there it is! Can you see it?” I excitedly point out the window of the tiny Cessna puddle-jumper that commutes visitors and islanders alike to and from Boston and other airports on the mainland.
I am referring to the natural tail-like shape of the north-northeast side of the island of Nantucket. The overall shape of Nantucket is well, quintessential Nantucket. Once you see it, you never forget it. Since this is Landon’s second visit, he recognizes it immediately. Today we are lucky because there is no fog, which is rare. The island below is crystal clear and surrounded by indigo blue waters. I can easily see the breakers as they crash up onto the jetties at Great Point. The small plane banks, growing ever closer to the charming, romantic island that sits regally thirty miles out in the Atlantic Ocean, and finally towards the tiny airport that Nantucket calls its own.
The service for my grandfather is the following day, and my mom has done a beautiful job of setting up her father’s lovely, cottage-like backyard in Siasconset for the after-service celebration. The attendees are mostly older, longtime islanders. Landon and I do our best to accept well-meant condolences, but I wish the whole thing was over. I am growing weary of hearing how I haven’t been seen since I was an adorable three-year-old running around the beaches and backyards buck-naked. I can’t figure out where all these people have been, because I have been here every summer for almost twenty years, and even during some very cold, very isolated Christmases, and I don’t remember any of these elderly folks.
The sun is setting, the shadows of the great old home are beginning to cast their depth of darkness on the guests who are left to stand alone by the nearly empty bar. There is a chill in the air, and mom decides to close down the party. After the last guests amble out the backyard and through the privet hedge toward their cars, Landon and I flop down in one of the many lawn chairs and sip our fresh and tasty vodka cranberries with great sighs of relief.
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