The winter is the most curious season on Nantucket. By that, I mean everyone seems to ask (with speculative contempt,) “What’s THAT like? Is it awful?” Some islanders respond with a dismissive, “Its classified information,” but I will let you in on the secret. The winter in Nantucket is not easy. It takes a certain constitution to not just survive, but to thrive during the long and bleak months of the off-season. If you have what it takes, these winter days are calm, introspective, and serene. Strong bonds are made and one’s sanity is tested. There are certainly days you want to pull your hair out, but a winter anywhere in New England can have that effect at times. The population hovers just over 10,000, but it feels like 100. The supermarket is the social gathering place, it seems (everyone must eat.) If you go in for a loaf of bread in February, you’ll come out an hour later with a brown bag full of gossip and a sense of connectedness restored. There are many dinner parties and movie nights; the bar scene is depressed, but heavy drinking is not; local politics become important again; and Mother Nature rules supreme. Ferries and flights are very limited in the winter, so if you have plans to leave island, be prepared to miss the boat if the winds are high. Contrary to what you may think, the weather is quite temperate. It rarely snows, but when it does, there is no place more placid than this historic island trapped in time.