With Chaos On Its Way, Let's Remember The Good Things This Island Provides

Grant Sanders •

To the editor,

We live with a rather warped and twisted view of the world here on Nantucket. I'm reminded of a recent real estate sale that generated a lot of comments online - 99 percent of them negative. Money makes us cranky. We all feverishly chase the dollar but grumble about it at the same time. And the negativity seems to be peaking early this year. Not a good sign.

Wealth, or even financial security and comfort for a lot of us, seems like an unattainable goal. Housing issues and the pressures of running a business here don't help. Soon, the mega-yachts are going to fill the boat basin and it won't be long before every available parking spot on the island will be taken up by an expensive car with out-of-state plates (and when they leave those spots they most likely will be driving the wrong way down main street and end up getting more negative comments online).

As we gear up for another busy summer and the (often challenging) tourists who spend more money in a week than some of us make in a year that come with it, I want to remind my friends out there that there are so many good things on Nantucket that are completely free to all.

— I've always felt that getting in the water on a regular basis has kept me happy for many years.

Trails — Our amazing walking trails and open spaces are a gift to this island. My dog and I are constantly astounded at how few humans we see on our favorite trails. The Conservation Foundation and the Land Bank have maps online.

Free music
— There are free performances at children's beach throughout the summer. There's a world-class Symphony Orchestra from Boston, the Boston Civic Symphony performing a free graduation day concert June 17 at 4 p.m. at the Nantucket High School (details at nantucketmusic.org), and there are several entertaining street performers downtown on any given night. I'm one of them, and I would just as soon have a friendly nod or a thumbs-up as a crumpled up $20 in my guitar case. Sing-alongs - optional. Slightly intoxicated sing-alongs - mandatory.

Free kids activities
— The Atheneum and other organizations offer several options. I heard a rumor there is a cool, new cat puppet who has joined the Nanpuppets lineup at the free shows outside the Weezie Library.

Free art — If one plays their cards right in the summer, they can move from gallery to gallery, see some amazing artist's work, and fill up on free cubes of cheese and plastic cups of Pinot Grigio. Free supper. Nice.

I'm probably just scratching the surface on the free things that are out there. I'm hoping this serves as a reminder to my neighbors to breathe and take a little time - for free - to enjoy life this summer despite the craziness that we know is on its way.

Grant Sanders

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