Hello everyone, Lily here. I will be sharing this column with Peter for awhile; he and I will trade off writing it from week-to-week. I am pleased as well as a bit nervous to be taking on some of the responsibility. Since I moved to Chappy, I have known three different writers for the column: Peter, Margaret Knight, and Brad Woodger. All three of these writers have a deep and multi-generational relationship with Chappaquiddick. Having only lived on this little island for six years now, I am a wash-a-shore, a newbie. It will be years before I know Chappy in the way that these past column-writers know Chappy. Yet, in my short time here, I have developed the deep love for this island that so many of us feel – summer visitors and year-rounders alike. I hope to convey some of that love here in this column.

Fifteen years ago, my family moved from Georgia into a house outside Edgartown for my dad’s job; he was a newspaper man and was hired to be the editor at the Gazette. When my parents told me we were headed to Martha’s Vineyard, I remember saying “great, I love California!” Clearly, I had a lot to learn about the Island.

From early on, my family developed a special relationship with Chappaquiddick. Many Sunday afternoons were spent at Wasque, which then had wide, sweeping dunes, a swan pond, and a long boardwalk from the parking lot to the beach. When my dad passed away suddenly in 2008, the trustees let us host his memorial service out there. A big, white tent went up, flags fluttered in a blue October sky, and 200 people gathered behind the dunes to share stories, drink sweet iced tea, and eat fried chicken and fruit pies, his favorites. Weeks later, my family scattered his ashes at Wasque on a beach that is now dramatically different.

Four years after my dad passed, I was granted a lease at the old Marshall Farm property to begin Slip Away Farm. A double rainbow appeared over Brine’s Pond the week we moved in, welcoming us to Chappy. We began growing our vegetables that year, selling them as we still do, in Chappaquiddick’s original one-room schoolhouse dating back to the 1800s.

And so, here we are, six years in to living and farming on Chappy and I still feel a bit like a newcomer.

But recently I have deepened my roots here even further. Last fall my husband and I, along with help from my mom, were able to purchase a home on Chappy. It is at the end of a dirt road, tucked in among the scrub oaks and only a short jaunt down a well-worn path to my vegetable field at Wasque Farm. Two weeks after moving in, Ian and I were married in a thick fog at East Beach, as passing derby fishermen cheered us on.

In December I gave birth to a little girl, Juna, a Chaqqaquiddicker through and through. My labor involved a 4 a.m. Chappy ferry ride with Brad at the helm. Becca was there captaining for Juna’s first ferry ride home a few days later. Since her birth, we have been introducing her to all of our treasured Chappy spots. There are many of them and they continue to grow from season to season. I love imagining spending a lifetime discovering and rediscovering these spots with our daughter.

As I have been thinking about writing this column, I have been trying to put my finger on exactly what makes this place feel so special for all different types of people. I know why I love it: the community, the varied swimming spots, the quiet trails. But why do you love it? If you have a moment, please send me an e-mail with some of your thoughts. Perhaps I will include them in a future column. You can reach me at slipawayfarm@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you again the week after next.