Saturday, December 31, 2011

#311: New Year's Eve

I don't know about the rest of the island
but I'm figuring out the chords to some old hymns
for worship tomorrow. 
New Year's Eve is a chance to
drink in the riches of music and lyrics.
Try this verse of John Newton's:
See the streams of living waters,
springing from eternal love,
well supply thy sons and daughters,
and all fear of want remove;
who can faint while such a river
ever flows their thirst to assuage?
grace which, like the Lord, the giver,
never fails from age to age.

Worship is so easy with words like that.
Here's hoping for your thirst
to be assuaged in the New Year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

#310: Winter

The Gulf Stream swings by Nantucket
so we don't get as much cold or snow as America.
We do still have winter.
David and I took a walk through
Tupancy Links Conservation Lands.
The brush is richly brown and red.
It looks warm but there's a cold, stiff breeze
off the ocean.

White capped waves erode the dunes.

Houses huddle together for company.
Sadly, 80 percent of them are empty,
a downside of being a resort island.

Those of us still here enjoy the sunsets
and the companionship of the other 20 percent.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

#309: Cisco Sunset

The end of the road, where more than one
island kid has driven off the edge onto the beach:
Then called home for a tow from dad,

 Always our Father is there to rescue us,

 Even when the trouble is our own fault.

Above the rough seas and threatening clouds,
a sliver of moon.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

#308: Frost Predicted

It's supposed to get down to
20 degrees tonight. 
Time to enjoy the last fresh salad:

With nasturtium blossoms and greens from the garden:

And cranberries gleaned from the bogs:

Or not, depending on if that's now considered thievery.
Islanders have traditional harvesting spots--for berries or
shellfish or whatever else the land has to offer, which
have become private property over the years.
Most landowners don't mind but some can get
downright obstreperous about it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

#307: Snow. Really.

As Martie pointed out  in Saturday's comment,
it rarely snows on Nantucket in time for Christmas.
This is unacceptable to a girl from Chicago.
When I was a kid we shovelled snow up over our heads
just to get out the driveway.
My kids didn't believe me until they saw the pictures.
Here's the solution:

The snow pile left by the Zamboni 
behind the ice rink.


David's snowball pitch!

Snow for the tossing,
and yes, this one got me.

No reason for a washashore to 
miss out on her Christmas Day snowball
fight because of the Ocean Effect
(10 degrees warmer in winter and
10 degrees cooler in summer than
the mainland).
Thank you, Nantucket Ice.

Monday, December 26, 2011

#306: Christmas Eve Red Ticket Drawing

What were you doing Christmas Eve?
If you were on Nantucket you may have been 
in this crowd:
 Looking down Main Street...

Looking up Main Street...
Every year the Chamber of Commerce has a 
Red Ticket Drawing.
You get a Red Ticket any time you spend $25
at a participating store.
I got 19 tickets this year as both On Island Gas and
the Grand Union were giving out tickets.
I'm neither a big shopper nor a big fan of this event.
Every year I whine about how it focuses on
the wrong god.
This year I took all my tickets and:
Paper-clipped one each to a gospel of John
(John was one of Jesus' friends
 who wrote a biography about Him)
I gave them away before the drawing.

Patty Rottmeier, Honorary Mayor Of Nantucket,
draws the winning $5000 ticket.
None of my tickets won
 (I had copied down the numbers so I'd know).
 It may be that someone who took one of my tickets
 will meet the King born this day.
There's the real treasure.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

#304: Between

The woods near our house are home
to a large colony of turkey vultures.
They live between land and sky.
I love to watch them ride the thermals,
so effortless, so beautiful.
Yet up close...yuck, songless, baldheaded carrion eaters.
What a contrast between nearby and soaring high!

Another between, a scallop opener in our shanty,
his knife between the muscle and the shell.
There is no way to convey in a still picture how fast 
a good shucker can be.

One more... 
The Killens' floating Christmas tree, which
always reminds me of Bruce Killen, who died before his time.
We live between time and eternity,
never knowing when we'll be called home.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

#303: Graham Cracker Houses

So, I'm not a fan of gingerbread.
I love making little graham cracker houses with kids.
Especially the decorating with candy part.
Here's the basic construction,
I use Joy of Cooking's Royal Icing,
building the houses the day before on Chinet plates.

The candy, LOTS of candy,
gets set out in individual bowls.
Frosting bowls get tongue depressors
(from the drugstore) for spreaders.

Did I say lots of candy?
Some kids open the roof of their house and fill it right up.
The objective here is to have over-the-top,
 eye popping abundance.
Christmas is all about undeserved generosity.
God Himself, giving up His glory for creatures
who ignore and reject Him.
Who DOES that???

The table is soon a sticky disaster.

A whole town's worth of houses.
 Each as sweet and unique as the
kids who made them.

Minimarshmallow smoke rises
from a Reeses Peanut Buttercup chimney.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

#302: DIY Mittens and Hats

One of the best Take it or Leave it finds
is a shrunken sweater.
They make excellent hats and mittens.

The hat, made by his sister, is from the body of the sweater.
It has two pockets and folds over for extra warmth.

Or unfolds for a Rasta look,
 which fits under your bike helmet.
I don't know what he keeps in the pockets.

The gloves are sleeves, reversed, folded over,
 given a few stitches to make a thumb slot.

They can be rolled down for warmth or slid up
for free hands.

Or knelt on when the ground is cold.
Or when you can't help but sink to your knees 
in thankfulness and praise to God 
for His bounty:
from the dump as well as from the earth.

Monday, December 19, 2011

#301: Daikon and Turnip Harvest

It's happened.
A week till Christmas and
Nantucket has her first hard frost.
Ice crystals on the lichens on the garden fence.

 Time to put away the outdoor projects:

And harvest the turnips and daikon radishes:

The frost sparkles on the turnips:

 A generous harvest in a bright winter sun:

Lord, we are truly thankful. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

#300: Sermon Haiku #24: Luke 2

Poultry Communion
Forgot to bring it upstairs
Sorry, Pastor Rich

Have you considered
The real story of Christmas?
What really happened?

God came in person
Entering the world Himself
full of grace and truth

Never could have imagined
God as a baby

Mary's newborn boy
Spoke all things into being
Couldn't even talk

Molecule linker
Hydrogen to oxygen
Needing mother's milk

Ten billion trillion
Stars shine in the universe
He knows all their names
But not yet His own

Caesar Augustus 
thought he ruled the world, but no,
look to the manger
The shepherds were right
to come, fall down, and worship
God made flesh, for us

Friday, December 16, 2011

#298: Nantucket Atheneum

Atheneum: an institute for the promotion of learning
That's what Nantucket's got.
Impressive, huh?
The Atheneum is the heart of downtown.
As homeschoolers, my kids practically
 grew up here. 
There are not only over 44000 books
but also DVDs (no video store on island,
just the Redbox), guest speakers,
and Homeschool support group.
We have been known to follow some rather obscure
rabbit trails seeking knowledge,
our librarians always knew how to find what we needed.

Our biggest thrill was the day we went over the 50 book
limit on our card and the librarian overrode it.
Thanks, Atheneum, you are a treasure
well worth our support.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

#297: Jetties Beach Unpeopled

Here's the beach in December:
The stones are still warm but no children perch there,
awaiting rides.

The gulls remain. What do they eat when there
are no sandwiches to steal?

Scallops. We harvest the muscle but the gulls
get the rest.

Nantucket takes care of her own.

I wish I could convey the sounds and powerful smell
of this tremendous pile.
Not to worry, it will all be gone by summer.
And the gulls will return to their thieving ways.
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