As I mentioned in an earlier post, the first thing you see as you enter Nantucket Harbor is the Brant Point lighthouse, which dates to 1746 and is the second oldest lighthouse in America. One of the neat things about living here during the winter is seeing it nautically decorated for Christmas with the Coast Guard’s crossing of oars in the center of a festooned wreath, reminding one and all of this faraway isle’s maritime heritage.

As we soon learned upon our arrival here nearly two months ago, “washashores” is the official term used to describe folks like us who move here from “America,” as off-island is referred to by locals. And while we may be washashores we have enjoyed a very warm welcome. Indeed, one of the pleasant surprises about life here is how friendly the people generally are, an attribute I think results from braving winters together on a secluded island.

In Walden, Thoreau observed, “At length the winter set in good earnest ... and the wind began to howl around the house as if it had not had permission to do so till then . . . I withdrew yet farther into my shell, and endeavored to keep a bright fire both within my house and within my breast.” While we don’t have a fireplace here like we did in Florida [go figure] today is the warmest first day of winter on record here, at a balmy 55 degrees!

In closing, I leave you with the observation of Moby Dick author Herman Melville: “Nantucket! Take out your map and look at it. See what a real corner of the world it occupies; how it stands there, away off shore, more lonely than a lighthouse. Look at it: a mere hillock, and elbow of sand; all beach, without a background.” And home to washashores.