It took a baffled outsider, my then new (now ex) husband, to open the family’s eyes to what we’d forever ignored: the rusted window locks, the soft spot on the porch deck, the pancake turner with the handle broken off, and so on.

Shelley Christiansen


I grew up in an old carriage house in an historic part of Marshfield. I remember as a child thinking back to what it must have been like with carriages in the rooms – like a car dealership with vehicles indoors.

Nicki Miller


The woman standing behind me in the checkout line at Cronig’s Market looked so familiar. I knew her from somewhere, but which somewhere? An office in Edgartown? Conroy’s pharmacy? An Aquinnah party?

Damn. Any second now she might say, “Hi, Niki, how are you?” and I would be left to respond with a gaping hole in the middle of the phrase where her name should be: “Fine, _____, and how are you?”

Niki Patton


Today I went to my mother’s house and completed the final tasks of closing up for the season: blankets folded into the chest with moth balls, lawn chairs and garbage cans stowed inside, and furniture covered with old sheets. The house sits on a bluff at the edge of Cape Pogue Pond and, despite all the recent building on the island, the view is essentially the same as it was fifty years ago when my family built the house for summer vacations.

Margaret Knight


You are building a house. Or more likely, you are paying people to build it for you. These people are doing a tremendous job. Everything they’ve done on it is gorgeous. You can’t wait to live in it.

But you have to. Wait, I mean. For a long time. Because the terrible truth about building a house – and this is equally true of renovating, remodeling, or building an addition – is that it always takes longer than you think it will. No, that’s not the terrible truth. That’s just the truth, period.

Nicole Galland


When I was a teacher, sometimes all it took to start the day off right was to receive a written excuse from home regarding a recent absence or tardiness.One gray winter morning early in the year, Billy* came rushing into my classroom an hour late. He blushed as he handed me a note from his mother, grabbed his books, and hurried off to his math class. I opened the note written on a piece of Billy’s notebook paper, and read:

Shirley Mayhew


When I first set foot on the Vineyard, some twenty years ago, a feeling of aaah, home went through me, though I hadn’t ever been here.

Linda Black


Pond grasses glow a soft umber. Roadside milkweed is fat with juice. Nomadic geese have set up camp in Ocean Park. And visitors bearing packages have come a-tapping at my door.

“We’re leaving today.”

“Already? Awww.”

“I knooooww. It seems like summer just started.”

Shelley Christiansen