Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Nantucket Dreamin'

Today's inspirational visuals are of Nantucket Island. I admit I have never yet been to Nantucket. My parents, for some reason, were into Block Island instead. Block Island is definitely nice, in fact, I've been told it's quite similar to Nantucket. But still, Nantucket is where I want to take a summer trip this year.
I Love the ocean, the beach, the atmosphere of a small, vacation oriented island. The pace of life is slow and no one expects for you to hurry.

There is something calming about the sound of the waves and the smell of the water. And the breeze makes sleeping by the ocean in summer so comfortable.

This is an aerial view of the Island. It's quite small, isn't it? I think it's bigger than Block Island though. I've always wanted a black Vespa to drive in the summer. I'd drive it to the clinic and the grocery store, even. As long as it wasn't raining, I'd drive it anywhere. I love those things, and they're way better than a car on gas mileage.
I thought that maybe I should learn just a little bit about the place before I decided I had to visit. Makes sense, right? So I thought I would share what I learned with my few devoted readers, just in case anyone cares, or is perhaps planning a Nantucket vacation.
Nantucket is, without a doubt, a summer destination. There are, certainly, a small number of year-round residents who enjoy the quiet, isolated winter months. Just about ten thousand people live there through the winter, a population that swells to over fifty thousand come summer. According to recent census information, there are only about four hundred students attending the high school in Nantucket. That's about the size of my high school, back in the day. And let me vouch for the fact that it is quite a small number of kids. It gets pretty cozy pretty fast. It's really expensive to live on the island, as you can imagine any island would be. Simply due to the fact that everything, and I mean basically everything, has to be shipped in by boat or plane, the prices are quite a bit higher than they would be on the mainland just thirty miles away. Therefore, the majority of actual residents are quite wealthy. There are a good number of celebrities who own homes on the island. I hope I can even afford a hotel there for a long weekend.
I've always been fascinated by history, mostly the history of people and the way they settled the land, one people always displacing another and then claiming ownership. And it is no different with Nantucket. Not surprisingly, Nantucket was mainly populated by Wampanoag Indians until the English began to sail by, taking notice, around the early 1600's. Traditionally, it seems as if the Wampanoag and similar local tribes spent just the summer months on the island, doing a lot of fishing and eventually harvesting whales that washed up on shore, then returning to the mainland for the winter. But as the mainland, around Cape Cod, became more, and more densely populated by Europeans the Indians began to make Nantucket a more permanent home in order to flee the unwanted influx of immigrants. They lived mostly undisturbed, in relative peace, until around 1641 when Nantucket was sold to Thomas Mayhew and his son by English authorities. It was about this time, similar to neighboring Martha's Vineyard, that this area south of Boston became a popular hub for fishing and whaling.
The real population boom apparently came around 1659, when Mayhew sold his interests in Nantucket to nine original investors. This is when sea merchants and whalers truly began to invade the island, displacing the native populations once again. Nantucket then remained a major port until the 1850's. Decline occurred due to a convergence of circumstances, some of which affected just the island, and others which took a toll on industries across the country. First, there was the "Great Fire" of 1846 which was so destructive due to all the whale oil and lumber. The fire managed to burn the main town and about 36 acres, causing a great many people to lose their homes and leave the island poverty stricken. Then, according to sources, the harbor began to silt up, making it impossible for large whaling ships to enter the harbor. That and the development of the railroad, made mainland ports the more logical choice.
Without the draw of the fishing industry, there was little to bring new settlers to the island. And it remained a rather isolated and dreary place to visit until sometime in the 1950's when investors began to see some potential in the island. With Martha's Vineyard being a model both of what could be done and what not to do, investors began to create a vacationland for wealthy New Englanders. And that is what it remains as today, a high class destination for super rich summer vacationers and the college students who serve them. With the occasional middle-class blemish like myself, trying to imagine, just for the weekend, what it would be like to be privileged.
So there it is. My speedy, probably somewhat inaccurate version of the History of Nantucket.
Anyhow, now that I have placed in the world something positive and happy for people to think about for the day, I can feel somewhat satisfied. I have a ton of crap to get done today. Turns out, the clinic in CT decided it would be okay for me to receive my host dose there afterall. I think, really, it was my counselor, and my clinic that was trying to create an uncomfortable situation for me in order to persuade me that marijuana smoking is bad. Well, screw them. They are not going to bully me into doing something I really don't want to do. I don't think it's wrong to smoke weed. Like Jeannie mentioned, it is not much different than having a drink of wine. And they don't make me take a breathalyzer everyday. They don't withhold take-homes to people who admit to drinking occasionally. Honestly, I equate smoking weed with smoking cigarettes. Once people smoke weed regularly, that is about how affected they are by smoking. I don't smoke tobacco, but the few times I have I got so sick and dizzy I wanted to puke. I actually have puked from tobacco on three occasions. And I would not be able to drive after smoking a cigarette. If I insisted on building a tolerance for it though, I'd be able to drive just fine. Same with weed for habitual smokers. I think that the clinics should only test for heroin, cocaine, and benzos, because those are the drugs that can have fatal interactions with methadone. And I think that after a certain amount of time, say five years, of testing negative for those drugs, they should just stop wasting money on tests unless behavioral signs show that something is off with a particular patient. Anyhow, I could go on and on about this particular subject. But I really don't have the time right now. And I wanted to devote an entire post to urine testing at methadone clinics. So for now, I think I'll leave you with what I've got here so far.

1 comment:

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I never got much out of marajuana smoking, but to each his/her own. I did enjoy hashish. A LOT. Luckily, it is not easy to find.

I'm too Irish. I'll stick with the booze. It's legal and easy to find.

Nantucket looks fab.

Love you Nellie Nell.

VV is the shit

VV is the shit
We all have to love VV