Only last night
I got a text from Katie saying…
“Miss driving with you. And Ted”
Ted Meinelt was a very special person
for both of us.
So, to keep his memory alive
Katie and I began a tradition
of going on…Ted Drives.
There are no rules,
plenty of snacks,
sometimes bags of knitting,
and always an unexpected adventure.
We started out by honoring Ted’s unique
knowledge of the island and its’ history
by taking each other to places off the beaten tracks.
Katie took me on a walking tour of
the MV African-American Heritage Trail sites
in and around Oak Bluffs.
I took her into the creepy
corners of the old Marine Hospital
before it began renovation to become the home
for the MV Museum.
Like Ted had done for us
being both Muse and Mentor
we were in search of subjects to paint
and island stories to learn.
We are both older
and braver now
and our explorations
have become a bit more challenging.
On one of our trips last October
we got out the map
and decided to head for a spot
on the northern shore.
It was a dark and stormy day.
One of those island days when
there is no space between the sky and the sea
and the clouds sit right down on the road in front of you.
Our first destination was to find
the hidden coves of Lake Tashmoo.
Now the road out there is
a sandy trail of solid ruts
some of which could easily
have swallowed small children
I’m talking 16 wheel drive.
Narrow enough in spots that
we were pulling our elbows in
even though the windows were closed.
This goes on for what feels like
three months but eventually you do come to a clearing
and then the backs of a scattering of houses
whose fronts face the ocean…
and then this.
From the town beach
looking back across the choppy lake
and deep into a thick bank of fog.
Though later in the day,
when we followed yet another very long
and spiderweb lined trail,
we were pleased to arrive at a
wide open grassy plain filled with sunshine…
the only bright spot on Lake Tashmoo beach
was the happy smile
of my navigator.
Next time Katie…
it’s your turn to drive.