Last night I was treated to a wonderful evening in Madaket, a remote area of Nantucket with a boat load of history. My wonderful hostess, a new photographer friend, and I took a slow walk through “town” on the way to the beach just in time for a picturesque sunset. This is the first time since I have arrived on the island that I fully understood why the local painters choose the specific colors chosen for their beach landscapes sold all over the island. It’s real! Their choices are totally accurate. I now feel guilty for thinking they were sweetened like sherbet to their increase sales. What their paintings can’t convey with complete specificity is how it feels to be there. The water was crisp, the sand soft, the sky perfection and the breeze refreshing. I couldn’t help wondering, “Where am I”? If this is what heaven is like, fan-tastic.
As the sun ducked behind the clouds on it’s way to warm the other side of the continent for a bit, we took a slow walk home through the tiny historic beachside cottages who’s very existence is threatened by the elements year round. There were homes being restored, homes who had made it through this past winter solely because they had been relocated away from the ocean and of course the homes that are just far enough away from the water that they feign complete safety for yet another season. Then there was the house that I couldn’t help but get excited about. “The crooked house” as they call it here, turns out to be the former home of Mr. Rogers. As a puppet artist, I could go on about the importance of Mr. Rogers in the children’s entertainment industry, never mind my own life. But I don’t have to. He was Mr. Rogers and he lived in a crooked house. ‘Nough said.
As we crossed back over the small wooden bridge and up the hill to my friend’s family’s home, our now almost empty wine glasses safely in hand, we crossed the property of Madaket Millie, a local legend. It turns out that Millie was famous for virtually never leaving the island and for being an honorary member of the Coast Guard. She was also famous for being a bit insane. The stories about her scaring the local children are both amazing and hilarious. I grew up on a street with two “crazy ladies”, “the crazy lady on the corner” and “the crazy lady in the white house”. But our crazy ladies weren’t openly carrying a shotgun. So there’s that. I’m guessing that there’s that and about a million other facts or fictions regarding Millie that I now want to learn about.
Back at my host’s home a beautiful table full of fresh homemade hors d’oeuvres were waiting for us as well as some other local artists who came to visit. What a great surprise! Fresh baked kale chips softened by the ocean breeze, delicious cheese, fruit and the family’s special dip. Now these are my kind of people. What could be better than sitting on a deck on the edge of the water on a cool summer evening with new friends sharing stories and laughs and delicious food? What could be better than celebrating life? I’ll tell you. Dinner.
We wrapped the evening up dining at a local institution aptly named, Millie’s. I smiled at the picture of at the picture of Millie and Mr. Roger’s on the wall as we ascended the staircase to our table. Feeling like the luckiest girl alive, I was then served what would be one of the most delicious meals I have had since I arrived on Nantucket, scallop tacos. Yes, they put scallops in tacos. As my brother would say, “Holy sweet baby Jesus, thank you”. Enjoying those magically delicious tacos in the company of such beautiful people is the only thing that could have made the already spectacular evening perfection. Well done, Madaket. Well done.