An island 30 miles out to sea, where I didn’t know a soul, sounded like a fabulous adventure and way to spend a college summer. I lined up a job with housing and took off for Nantucket, Massachusetts after my last exam. Stepping off the ferry in the pitch black of night, I remember whispering, “Jenny, what have you done?” Little did I know the greatest geographical love affair was about to begin and my life would be forever changed.
I lasted in the all Irish housing for one night and the job making sandwiches for 2 hours before quitting. Not really caring that I didn’t have a plan, I strolled up and down cobblestoned streets until passing a Help Wanted sign in a store window. Walking through chic clothes, needlepoint, smocked children’s wear and more, I met Heidi Weddendorf who hired me on the spot. Throughout the summers and Christmas Stroll that I worked at Erica Wilson Nantucket, I learned the ins and outs of brick and mortar retail. Often in the window changing displays, visiting with customers and unpacking and arranging new merchandise, my days were filled with joy. Erica Wilson and her husband, Vladimir Kagan, housed me on many occasions and chunks of time. Erica’s warm smile and huge heart paired with Vladimir’s gruff humor and joviality awarded me many many laughs and lifetime memories.
Lunch breaks were spent on Straight Wharf writing real letters to my family back home and chatting with the locals. On weekends, I biked much of the island’s paths, explored hidden gardens and beaches and made lifelong friends. Wendy Rouillard writes the truest words in one of her Barnaby Bear books, ‘A Penny for Barnaby’ ... “Please take me back to the Isle I know, a place my heart will never let go.”
In love and light always,