Letter from the Vineyard 16 Dec 2019 Thoughts on Christmas in Edgartown and a few on history…

Letter from the Vineyard

December 16, 2019

Christmas in Edgartown with thoughts on history’s lessons…

In the mornings, I drink, usually, a cup of Irish Breakfast tea and look out the sliding doors to the woods outside.  Many mornings are Vineyard gray and, sometimes, Vineyard brilliant as it is as I write these words, wind blowing, bending barren branches of once verdant trees. And most mornings, somewhere in the process of consuming my tea and the usually dreadful news, I feel come across me a wave of happiness, as just happened, happy I am alive, sitting on a couch, looking at trees, having defied gravity one more time, climbing out of bed to insert myself into the life of the universe one more day.

I have reached a place in life where I am grateful for each good, healthy day I have on this planet, taking, hopefully, none for granted.

Saturday was the second day of the “Christmas in Edgartown “celebration; at eleven there was a parade down Main Street, somewhat truncated by the rainy weather which prevented bands from marching though Santa was there, riding joyfully atop a nearly hundred-year-old fire engine.


            Edgartown Books is dressed up as gaily as I could manage; one of the people who liked our Facebook photo of author Jean Stone signing copies of her newest series of Vineyard books, said the store looked festive.  Thank you.


I worked hard at it, making it up as I went along, adding things until Thursday, when I decided the storefront simply would not be okay unless I strung garlands over the windows.

Enter, garlands.


Feeling festive after the day, I decided to go across the street to Alchemy to sit at the bar, have a drink, maybe a bite but, when I walked in, the place was overflowing, and I thought about just going home but decided as I was walking to my car to stroll over to the magnificent Charlotte Inn, have a martini in their very English evocative surroundings – think private English club in Kensington.  When I first walked in, it reminded me of a hotel across from Kensington Palace where I stayed in the aughts, when on a consulting assignment.

Sipping a martini in one of the parlors, two women entered, asked me if they could occupy the chairs by the fire?  I smiled; it was not my room and said, of course.  They ordered wine, then seemed to see me for the first time, really, and one said, oh my gosh you sold me a book today!  Which started a lovely conversation with two former college roommates off for a weekend together before the holidays, before going to another room for dinner.  The moment filled me with smiles.

Sunday was another lovely bookstore day, not as busy, though still full of “Christmas in Edgartown” visitors winding down the weekend and locals ginning up their Christmas shopping.

I will be in the store until Saturday and then off to New Orleans for Christmas, spent with my friend of longest standing, Sarah, her husband, Jim, their son Kevin, his wife, Michelle.  Restaurant reservations are popping up in my email; it will be hard not to return without a weight gain.


Meanwhile, in the real world, away from soft island life, the president will be impeached by Congress. There will be a trial in the Senate, virtually guaranteed to acquit him.

The Democrats will likely not heed the lessons offered by this week’s UK election.  Democrats, to their detriment, rarely learn lessons offered them.

It is time, I suspect, to read Cicero, study the rise of Caesar and catalog the mistakes leading to the end of the Republic and rise of Imperium.

Those singular rulers rode an upward trajectory; if we come to that, ours will likely ride a fall.











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