Every year I say the same thing to my husband, “I’d love to take a vacation . . . on Martha’s Vineyard.”

Up-Island for sure. Gay Head, maybe. No wait, Chilmark. Definitely Chilmark. A little cabin. I don’t even need a view. Close to the road so I can just jump on my bike, jump in the car and get where I’m going without the long bumpy ride to the main road.

During the summer when I am rushing from Cronig’s to Shirley’s to the Mansion House and driving around in circles trying to find a parking space and I see couples sauntering down the street eating ice cream cones, I yearn to be one of them.

Forty-five years ago when we just rented here we never missed a day at the beach. We woke early to pack sweatshirts, make sandwiches, grab the kids and off to Lucy Vincent Beach we went for a day of sun and fun.

What in the world happens when you actually live here? There is always a little job niggling that you have to do before you play. With me its not the work ethic. I don’t have one. Although my husband has it in spades. He’s going to clean the shed. He’s gonna stack the woodpile, he’s gonna clear brush, he’s gonna replace breakpads, he’s gonna rebuild the stone wall outside the kitchen. No way can we go to the beach today, this perfect hot yellow sun day, this ocean has never been this warm day, this day that all our friends are meeting to hang out and talk and laugh and swim all day.

It’s almost as if I think the weeks are infinite and summer will never end. Time is never moving forward. It’s always now! So what difference does it make when I take this vacation?

Two of my friends have serious cancer and are dying. I just finished a bout of shingles and even though I had the perspective of knowing was temporary and this too would pass, I was on my couch listless and miserable.

So the day after Labor Day, finally having gained my health back, knowing I had to go buy one ingredient for a recipe I was making, I got into my car and as I was leaving, I said to my husband, “I’ll be back but I don’t know when.”

I then proceeded to drive slowly and mindfully along my favorite section of the whole Island. I started on Middle Road, filled with dappled sunlight, and the leaves swaying to the music of the wind. There was not a car in sight. Honestly, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

I took roads I never turned down, routes I never saw. I circled back a few times, passed the store without going in, saw the sale sign at Fiddlehead and wanted to stop but couldn’t. I just kept going, breathing in the exquisite beauty of this Island where I am so blessed to live.

After about an hour of conjugating the color green (chartreuse green, olive green, evergreen, forest green, pear green, spruce green, lime green, emerald green) and gasping for more air to take all this beauty in, I drove home.

My husband greeted me in the driveway. “Where’d ya go?” he asked.

“On vacation,” I answered.

Nancy Slonim Aronie is the author of Writing from the Heart (Hyperion) and the founder of the Chilmark Writing Workshop on Martha’s Vineyard.