We don’t shut down our island house for the winter, as we get down here as much as possible in the wonderfully quiet season. Having lived in the North East long enough to have acquired Yankee sensibilities, I resist leaving the heat on as long as possible. Which led to me finding myself last week carefully watching temperatures and forecasts, and working myself into a serious fret about freezing pipes, and no amount of reassurance could convince me that the daytime warmth would make that impossible. All of which led to my trusty spaniel Batman and I taking the Friday night ferry to the island, and leaving the island again on the noon Saturday boat, with the island house storm safe, and my mind at ease. Pennywise and pound foolish comes to mind, but it was an adventure, and any excuse to come to the island is usually a good one….
As I drove back up 495, the raindrops started acquiring texture, and then turned to snow just before my exit. I got back home just before three in the afternoon, and congratulated myself on my excellent timing. The snow was starting in earnest, and I had accomplished my goal just in time.
Except that I had been worried about the wrong house!! Around five o’clock in the afternoon, I started getting nervous about the power going out, so we started preparing. We filled some buckets of water, and started spiking the heat to give us a little more to lose. Just a little after six pm on Saturday, the power went out.
Without power, we have no light, heat, internet, or water. At first, it’s an adventure. Soon a roaring fire was in the fireplace, and we stayed pretty cozy that first night. But it didn’t take too long before that sense of adventure was replaced with weariness and just plain cold. I’d go to work each day, warming up, taking a shower in the fitness room (I had to ask directions, I hope my doctor never reads this). Then I’d return home at night to the dark and cold. At least it wasn’t January, so the house didn’t get below 48 (at least not yet), but 48 is pretty bone chilling for the long run! It really wears on you, and by Wednesday afternoon, after four days with no power in sight, we made a run for the island.
So back down 495 we went, four dogs, a parrot, and a husband with me this time. No rain or snow in the air, running from a storm rather than to a storm. The man behind the ticket office counter asked if I wanted a round trip ticket, and I said I didn’t know when we’d be going back. He smiled and said, “New Hampshire?” Nope, Central Massachusetts. Lots of people had been fleeing to the Vineyard from the aftermath of this October storm.
As I write this at noon on Thursday, November 3, our other house remains without power, almost five days after the storm. The house I had been so worried about never lost power.
Vineyard Haven. Well named.