Monday, August 3, 2020

If You’re Lucky Enough to Be on Nantucket, You’re Lucky Enough

Early morning on Nantucket is my favorite time.  Whether the day is sunny or blanketed by a thick fog, swelteringly hot or bitter cold, I breathe in the fresh Nantucket air, revel in the melody of birds’ songs and the rhythmic rush of the waves to the shore, and I take time for myself.  The first part of my morning walk is the time I devote to making a mental list of everything I am grateful for.  Having done this for many years, I have learned that the saying that “we cannot feel thankful and unhappy at the same time” is true and that as I practice gratitude, thoughts of whatever I think I lack dissipate until all I feel is a sense of abundance.  And so each day begins.

As I walked back from Sankaty lighthouse on the cliff walk overlooking the pristine easternmost shores of the island today and contemplated the blessings we share, I saw the tagline of this blog painted onto a piece of driftwood.  

And it reminded me, once again, of how privileged we all are to spend time on this magical island thirty miles out to sea.  It reminded me of the rich history of the island, its people, its architecture, its ecosystem, its healthcare and its governance.  It reminded me that a very small island can engender a very large amount of gratitude.  And it reminded me of why I first came to Nantucket, and of why you come back to us again and again.

 Today, the State’s travel order becomes effective, adding another challenge to an already faltering Nantucket economy- especially in the hospitality sector which already faced a 3 month shutdown, an influx of new rules and a need to implement new safety and serving standards to protect our guests and staff.  The order requires that visitors to the island complete an on-line travel form and quarantine for 14 days or test negative for Covid-19 in a test taken within 72 hours of arrival unless they are coming from one of the states labeled “lower risk”.  To those of you coming from one of the 42 states that are not lower risk states who cannot get a test result in that timeframe and don’t have the luxury of staying for 14 days, we are truly sorry, will miss you and hope that you will come back to us when it is safe to do so.  The good news is that both the State of Massachusetts and the Town of Nantucket and its various departments take the health of all residents and visitors very seriously and have consistently made difficult choices in their quest to balance serious health and safety concerns with the health of the State’s and Island’s ailing businesses.

A 100% woman-owned and operated business, we are honored to be the custodians of the over 200 year old Martin House, a piece of Nantucket history, formerly a sea captain’s home and now a gracious inn making Nantucket accessible to you. 

We are grateful that, despite all the uncertainties swirling around the pandemic, you are still traveling to us when permitted to do so.  We are in this business because we love to host you.

We are indebted to and blessed by the selfless dedication of Claire, our innkeeper, and Sari, our head of housekeeping who are truly the faces of the inn, as well as our other staff.   All have gone above the call of duty and are working harder and longer to make the inn a warm and welcoming respite that complies with all CDC guidelines.

We are thankful for our own good health, and that of our families and friends, staff and guests, and are committed to taking good care of you when you visit. 

We are happy to welcome you into the Martin House, your Nantucket home, when you come.  We find your joy and relaxation infectious and your presence makes us joyful in turn.

We appreciate everything the Town and the State are doing to keep the island thriving.    Because of their insights and foresight, the island is open and adjusting to the impact of the pandemic as the community and visitors work together to flatten the curve.  The Martin House is open for business and offers many open air gathering spaces for you and your friends.   

If you are coming from one of the 8 lower risk states, please consider visiting us.  While many events are cancelled, there is still much to do while you are here.  Restaurants are open with new al fresco dining reminiscent of outdoor cafes in Paris and Italy; fishing and excursion boats and tours are running, the island’s multitude of trails and beaches and bike paths are open and offer opportunities for solitude and unprecedented beauty, and our own veranda and roof walk and serenity garden provide forums for reading and quiet times with friends.  Come home to us and make new memories.  We remain grateful for and honored by the opportunity to host you! 

Lisa Soeder, Owner (On behalf of Martin House Team)
August 1, 2020

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