Islander's Blog

Finigan’s Findings

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“You know what we say about the Nantucket winter months,” she said while picking up her dry-cleaning one windy Saturday morning. “We have January, then February, then March, March, March.” She paused to smile and say, “And then June.”

Five months into writing this column and I’ve received the gamut of comments to my “Findings.” 

There have been the goods. (You’re so upbeat! So great with your Nantucket truths! You’re just so positive!) The bads. (You need to stop viewing our island as your own personal Disneyland! This island is ruined by washashores like you!) And the downright ugly. (Here’s to hoping your tip jar stays empty. Ouch.)

Well, I guess I’ll just have to play into it with a good old negative column about what else? The one thing that none of us can control on this island. 

When you’ve got nothing to talk about, I’ve been told you can always chat about the weather. That and baseball, but I can spare myself the embarrassment of pretending to be at all sports savvy. So when it comes to Nantucket weather, I’ve found we’re all a bunch of Goldilockses. 

It’s too windy today! It’s not cool enough! There’s never any snow here! Ah, it snowed way too much last night! It’s too bright today! We haven’t seen the sun in weeks!

And when it’s “just right”? Well, that is called September and it’s the shortest month of the year. February, you don’t count. You’re like that Katy Perry song, “Hot and Cold.”

They say March came in like a lion and is going out like a lamb. But I beg to differ. I feel like the month came in like a lamb and is becoming a constant lioness force that won’t seem to leave. Last week felt like January with everyone coming back out in their turtlenecks and scarves. It pained me to see this. The evening before I had just tried on all my summer sandals to make sure they still fit right. 

The following day was hardly better. It started out with a forever bright-blue sky and that big round yellow thing up there. I peaked out my window, smiled and quickly put on my leggings and a sweatshirt for a brisk Sanford Farm walk. As I opened the door and took a few steps outside, my body was swung around the other way as I was spanked back into my house by that incessant howling of that freezing-cold thing called wind. 

I used to find the fog was the bane of my island existence, but I have to say lately it seems to be the gale-force gusts that keep getting the best of me. 

Also, while we are on the topic of Mother Nature, why do so many of these March days include every season? I swear last Thursday we had wind, hail, rain, sunshine, snow and finished the afternoon with sleet. I had to bring sunglasses, a wind breaker, a raincoat, a down jacket, Ugg boots, a hat and an umbrella in my car that day.

A few weeks ago, I realized I hadn’t really been on the beach in months. After a quick walk along Fisherman’s, I remembered why. While I was whipped in the face with sand and the freezing-cold waves were coming dangerously close to my sneakers, I found that there is nothing really enjoyable for me along the shore when my socks are soaked, my eyes are burning and my hands are iced over in my pockets.  

Alas, with everything in my mind in spring bloom, why were my car doors frozen last Thursday night?

Well, like that nice lady said to me at Holdgate’s, it looks like we’re one March down and only two Marches to go.

Wow. Now I guess I found out why it may be “hate month” out here. When you write a column like this, you sound like you need a pina colada and a vacation to somewhere that has a “saint” in it. 

And since that is no way, shape or financial form in this Finigan’s future, I guess I just will keep on hoping that the groundhog was right this year.
– Holly Finigan’s “Finigan’s Findings” appear regularly in this space and in The Inquirer and Mirror.

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