We just love the 2012 Vineyard Seadogs Calendar, available here. Says calendar creator and wildlife photographer Lisa Vanderhoop:
“The cover dog this year is Ensign, an adorable little Border Terrier. He is owned by Ben and Maria Batsch who captain and run Maurice Templesman’s yacht the Relemar during the summer months here on the Vineyard. Maurice just adores Ensign and can be seen walking the little guy everyday during the summer in Menemsha.”
Buy calendars ($16) and other artwork at vineyardseadogs.com. Part of the proceeds from the calendars will go the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard!
The light went out long ago at Seamond Ponsart Roberts’ lighthouse home on Cuttyhunk Island, but memories of her childhood Christmases still sparkle. Like other children of lighthouse keepers sprinkled around remote Cape and Island outposts in the 1940s, she grew up without running water, electricity, or neighbors. She describes the keeper’s house at the west end of the island as “the end of the world,” a place where “visitors were very, very welcome.” Beginning every October, she scanned the sky for the red plane bearing the most welcome visitor of all: the Flying Santa, hero to lighthouse children from Maine to Long Island.
The Chatham School Affair
by Thomas H. Cook
Travel back to the 1920s as the narrator recounts a life-changing year of love and murder in a mystery that takes place in Chatham when an all-boys school hires Elizabeth Channing, the school’s first, and last, art teacher. “It was first published in 1997, but remains one of my best-selling ‘local flavor’ books,” says Mark Leach of Now Voyager Bookstore and Gallery in Provincetown. Read more…
For Provincetown and even beyond, it’s definitely a symbol that Thanksgiving is here. It’s always the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The lights always go on at 6 p.m., and it’s always kind of a surprise to see who’s going to light the monument.
It’s definitely a time when the town is hopping. We probably had over 1,200 people at last year’s lighting event. Little by little, it becomes big—the museum fills and the crowd swells outdoors. Unfortunately, the weather’s always a little unpredictable. Sometimes it’s a little cold.
We’ve had rain and we’ve had snow. Last year was pretty good—it was blustery, but people enjoyed it. It’s a very brief ceremony. We don’t hold them out for long speeches. And as we say, there’s plenty of room in our 10,000-square-foot museum for people to warm up.
There are 19 strands of light and they each have 166 lights on them. The trivia is that it totals 3,154 lights. They’re all hand-put-in and hand-taken-out every year—Carlos Silva has done it for many, many years now. And they take a fair amount of abuse up here in the winds.
Clearly, the best seat is right up here [on High Pole Hill]. It’s kind of an unprecedented view, and you’re up here with a thousand of your closest friends. It can be seen from afar—people can watch from downtown—but the real treat, I think, is up here on the grounds of the monument.
People sometimes come dressed up as pilgrims—the whole garb. One time we actually had two people that had gotten married here talk all of their family into coming as pilgrims.
I think it symbolizes the beginning of winter. It marks that change of the seasons, when those of us that live on the Cape kind of reclaim the Cape. The lighting certainly brings tourism in, but it’s a chance for residents of Cape Cod to assemble and have a moment of cheer before the Thanksgiving holidays. It’s preparation for everyone, to know that winter’s coming. It’s a bright moment.
Visit www.pilgrim-monument.org for more information about Share the Light 2011.
The gentle clickety-clack rocking while passengers take in panoramic views of cranberry bogs, salt marshes, and quaint Cape Cod villages transports riders on the Cape Cod Central Railroad holiday excursions to a world far removed from the season’s hustle and bustle. From elegant dinners and dramatic murder mysteries to magical rides on the North Pole Express, travelers of all ages can ramble on Cape Cod’s generations-old tracks and experience the romance of the rails.
On the Thanksgiving Dinner Train, departing from Hyannis at 1 p.m. on Nov. 24, the passing scenery of hidden Cape Cod creates a captivating setting as the train makes its way toward the canal and over the railroad bridge, before returning to Hyannis three hours later. Bring an appetite: A leisurely five-course meal featuring a choice of traditional turkey, pistachio-encrusted salmon, herb-encrusted tenderloin crevette, or vegetarian roast vegetable manicotti is served onboard.
On Dec. 2, 3, and 4, the Sandwich Chamber of Commerce sponsors seven trips for children and families aboard the North Pole Express as part of its Holly Days festivities. During the 45-minute ride from Sandwich to West Barnstable—Cape Cod’s North Pole—Santa strolls through the train and his helpers read The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. When they arrive at the North Pole, volunteer elves and reindeers greet the children at a tent where they enjoy hot chocolate and cookies and have their picture taken before returning to Sandwich station. “The children firmly believe they have been to the North Pole and back,” says Dede Kiely, Cape Cod Central Railroad vice president for sales and marketing. All children receive a bell as a memento of their trip.
Grown-ups have their own fun on the Murder Mystery Train, which takes place on Dec. 10, from 6 to 9 p.m. Costumed cast members from the Cape Cod Cabaret mingle with guests during a five-course dinner as they try to solve a Dickens-themed murder. “It has a good plot and festive holiday music,” Kiely says. “And usually, someone gets decked in the halls.” For information and reservations on the dinner trains, visit www.capetrain.com or call (508) 771-3800. To reserve a seat on the North Pole Express, visit www.sandwichchamber.com.
“Have you had any fun lately?” That is what my brother Connor had the nerve to ask me when we sat down for lunch together. His question gave me cause for pause. I needed a little time to think about what fun means to me nowadays. Operating a small publishing company amidst the economic conditions of recent years has been, shall we say, pre-occupying. So, I thought about his question. Read more…
Most women of the Victorian era rarely traveled or knew the hardships of life at sea. Yet at age 22, just three years after her marriage, Hannah Rebecca Burgess had crossed the equator 11 times, helped her husband transport cargo from ports all over the world, and had learned to navigate clipper ships. Looking back, what is perhaps most remarkable about Hannah Rebecca Burgess is how she made the story of her life a lasting part of Sandwich history. Read more…
Salley Mavor’s studio is an alternate universe in miniature: seedpods become sleek Tom Thumb-sized boats, acorns morph into tiny hats, and wooden coat toggles serve as bedposts. Inhabiting these magical wee worlds are elfin figures who play, work, and romp through nature, all crafted by Mavor, ultimately to become illustrations in her children’s books. “I create these worlds,” Mavor says.
Last December, my husband and I braved the cold wind on the ferry to Nantucket, bound for the Festival of Trees at the Nantucket Historical Association… and hoping to do a little last-minute shopping.
When we landed at the dock, my eyes were drawn to the harbor, where low winter sunlight sparkled. This is one of my favorite sights on the Cape, even though it only happens when the light hits the ocean at a lower, more dramatic angle.
I am always a little sad that friends who cherish these seaside places rarely get to see this spectacular winter light show transforming the ocean into a mesmerizing mosiac of light and shadow. The sight seems a perfect metaphor to me of how nature shapes the seasons of your life. Even though I spent my childhood on Mount Hope Bay and then grew up in a Long Island Sound town, I don’t remember the enchantment of winter light on the Bay or Long Island Sound. Maybe the clarity of such moments comes easier when you are older and the world has expanded beyond your own small pond.
My husband snapped this photo by the harbor and then we explored Nantucket’s holiday fiesta. Every shop seemed to overflow with sparkly decorations and surprises, and I filled my camera with shots of festive trees, wreaths, and window boxes decorating every street. We had some hot chocolate and then headed to our room at the Jared Coffin house. Soon the sun went down… and I thought, how different night is on an island in December, than on a bright summer evening. But no less beautiful.
In this issue, we share some of our favorite winter wonders on the Cape and Islands—from our cover story on savoring the Cape’s quiet season to the marvelous Flying Santas story tracing generous volunteer Santas bringing Christmas magic to lighthouse-bound children—a heart-warming holiday tradition that has happened on the Cape and Islands since 1929.
The happiest of holidays—
- Posted in Philanthropy
It may seem like a strange idea to plant trees, shrubs, and perennials in the autumn, just when Mother Nature is slowing down and about to take a long nap. But the truth is that planting in September and October is often a very smart idea on the Cape and Islands because the soil is still warm from the summer sun, air and water temperatures have moderated, and water levels in the soil are neither too great—as is often the case in New England springs—nor at hot summertime lows.