Islander's Blog

Finigan’s Findings

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“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus

I have always hated two things in my life. Mayonnaise and winter. And since I really never have to have the first one, I have learned to accept the second. But I despise cold weather. I can barely wear any of my cute clothes and I loathe spending $350 on a jacket (I don’t care that it comes with a fleece zipped in). Boots, why are you so hard to take off at the end of a long, slushy day? And snow pants? Show me one person who really looks good in them and I just might try on a pair. 

I’ve spent the last four New England winters in somewhere else’s sunshine. From Buenos Aires to the BVIs, to the South Island of New Zealand and the west side of the island of Maui, I’ve certainly been the envy of all my Boston buddies and New Hampshire family. But even the possibility of another endless summer did not stop me from the decision to stay on our tiny island of Nantucket for all four seasons, even that (gasp!) winter one.

Everyone this winter wondered how I’d fare Nantucket in the off-off season. When the sun would set before that five o’clock bell would ring, and the wind would howl more than any animal out here. Yes, it’s true. I’m solar-powered. Over the last half-decade I haven’t really seen Jack Frost, and my March attire consisted of a bikini and a beach bag slung loosely over my tanned shoulders in whatever sandy spot I’d be living in. So it’s no surprise that everyone thought a Nantucket winter would just about kill my sunny spirit.

But it hasn’t. Well, it kind of hurt my wallet and my credit line. Really? a $759 heating bill? Why is our electric bill tripling every chilly month? And $225 for those brown over-the-knee winter boots? Flip-flips and sun dresses really work much better for me.

I’m going to write something that I’m sure all you real islanders and 40-plus-year-round residents will love to beg to differ about. This Nantucket winter hasn’t really been that bad. Yikes! Did I just put that in print?

Sure, there’s that constant wind that strays the planes and keeps my thermostat up and my jackets filled with down. But I’ve counted a few days in the 40s and that really makes me think that spring is just around the corner. I also recently wore a (fake of course) fur vest out as a coat. Sure, you all looked at me funny, but the sun was really shining that day. I’ve taken a picture of the sunset at Cisco this February that rivals the beauty of the evenings I had out during my Hawaiian holidays, and every Saturday night at Lo La this winter has felt like an August one.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ll admit there’s been some vacation envy in me. When I see those pictures of bathing beauties in Boca. And those Australian friends of mine along the sandy shores that I set foot on a few Februarys ago. And my girlfriends that come bACK with that Bahamian tan which makes me cringe with jealousy when the only “sun” on my face is from a chilly walk at Sanford Farm. 

But then I take a step back and think, how lucky am I? I get to live on an island that others only dream about going to. I get to let my (UGG-covered) toes touch the sand whenever I drive out to Surfside. I hardly ever have to see snow, let alone ever shovel out my car. Oh, and if I need that “vacation” feel? I have a rum runner and pretend like I’m on another tropic island during a crowded night at the bar. 

And that’s when I look at my roommate and we smile. Both rookies on the rock for our first winter, but thinking, while some of you may call March “hate month,” we’ve flourished from an ever-warming feeling in Nantucket. And there it is, Camus . . . An invincible Holly.
– Holly Finigan’s “Finigan’s Findings” appears regularly in this space and periodically in The Inquirer and Mirror

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