I had to do some soul searching this month. Martha’s Vineyard seemed to be over-run with people who I haven’t seen in 6+ years – it gave me pause as I realized that, while they are all living in different cities, doing different jobs and living very different lives than they were when I last saw them, my life here on the Vineyard is pretty much the same as it was when they left. I’m in the same job, married to the same man, hanging in more or less the same places with many of the same folks as I was 6 years ago. In fact, this past week saw my 9 year anniversary working at the Colonial Inn.
At first this made me feel a little sad – ‘Gosh my life is so boring’ and then I realized – ‘Hey, I live on Martha’s Vineyard! Predictability is our strength!’. Don’t you love it when you visit and the same person is there to check you in at the Inn as you remember from your last stay? You get the same waitress in your favorite restaurant (and the restaurant is still there with your favorite dish still on the menu!). It feels good to know that you can go to your favorite coffee shop, your favorite store and favorite beach and it will be just the way you remember it. This is why so many people come to Martha’s Vineyard every year, and have done for many years – you feel right back at home! I LOVE when a family checks in at the Inn who first stayed with us as honeymooners and now they are bringing their kids on their first visit to the Vineyard. Then we see the kids grow up, heck, we even recruit some as staff eventually!
I love the fact that so many of our guests greet us as old friends. We sit down for a coffee and catch up on the year’s happenings, how the kids and dogs are and what books we have all been reading. The familiarity and comfort are what make this place great. Go on, I dare you to watch Jaws and not spend your time pointing out locations that look just as familiar to viewers now as they did when the movie was released in 1974.
More than that, I love that I go into the coffee shop and they ask how my visit with my mom was, I go to the bank and they ask how the dog is doing and predictably I go to a bar where everybody knows my name. I’m at home, Scottish by birth but on Martha’s Vineyard on purpose. I don’t want to be another face in the crowd, a cubicle dweller in the city. I like my familiar, less dramatic life. Martha’s Vineyard is a bit like your favorite faded jeans – sure you’ve changed a little over the years, there’s a bit more (or less) of you than before, the shape is a little different but it still fits! Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes there’s a little extra glitter here, or a new style there but essentially, in the heart of it all, the Vineyard is just the same as it ever was and it is great!