It’s that time of year when we purposefully reflect on all those things for which we are grateful. Personally, my list is long. As a community, we all share in the good fortune that comes with living in our lovely hamlet.Think for a moment about our beautiful Flying Point Beach. At any time of year, I find it easy to summon feelings of gratitude if I take in the sea air and look around at this beautiful place. And getting there, too, with the stunning view across Mecox Bay whether there are paddlers or iceboaters gliding across, just underlines the stunning beauty of the area.
We should be grateful to the community organizations—and the people behind them—such as the Water Mill Community Club, which was founded on the spirit of giving and that it takes a village to define a community. Throughout the year, this organization that holds one amazing fundraiser each year—A Taste of Water Mill—manages to organize many fun events for families, provide scholarships to graduating high school seniors, and maintain the fields, the Burnett Field House, the tennis house and courts, a playground and the historic Community House.
You may not realize it when you drive past the windmill on the hamlet green and the war memorial there that it’s the Water Mill Village Improvement Association that is responsible for its upkeep. Maintaining a historic structure like the windmill is a huge undertaking and somehow this group manages to scrape up the money to do it, along with keeping the green mowed and the flagpole in good working order. Someone from the WMVIA also sees to it that Old Glory is raised every morning and taken down every night.
There are very few communities that can boast about having a museum with a working water mill. We can and we should be grateful to be able to do so. A hardworking board, volunteers and generous donors keep this museum operating and in good repair, which, like the windmill, is no small task. Whenever possible, the historic integrity of the building is maintained and, in recent years, the board has worked to restore some of the museum to its original form, hiring experts with the right know-how to do the renovations.
The folks at the Water Mill Post Office, Ruby in particular, always make the dull task of buying stamps or shipping packages worth the stop.
No doubt there are dozens of businesses in the area that quietly give to local charities when asked but two, in particular, come to mind: The Water Mill Fuel Complex (Dave Hawke and Evans Edson) and the Hampton Coffee Company (Jason and Theresa Belkin). Have you been to a fundraiser where you’ve not seen a Shell gas card or a basket of coffee? I don’t think I have.
We all should be grateful for the emergency service providers—EMTs, ambulance drivers and firefighters—in Southampton and Bridgehampton for responding any time of day or night when called.
By and large, students within our hamlet’s borders attend Southampton School District and we should give thanks for the many wonderful teachers who make learning fun and interesting and help inspire our kids to be who they grow to be. And were it not for the generosity of the taxpayers we wouldn’t have the breadth of offerings our schools currently boast.
Water Mill does not have its own library but we are lucky to be able to access the wonderful Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton. A quiet oasis in a bustling village, its resources seems endless, plus it has a wonderful gallery, programs for kids, teens and adults and a lovely meeting space for those who might need it. With the modern library system, we can also access the Hampton Library in Bridgehampton and even the newly expanded and renovated John Jermain Library in Sag Harbor, or any library we choose.
I am sure you, as am I, are grateful for incredible neighbors in Water Mill. On either side of my house, I could not have custom-ordered more wonderful people to live near. The Wittenbergs to the north side always have a kind word and, I suspect, are the elves that leave an overflowing bag of Christmas goodies on our porch every year. The Aldriches to the south have done more for me than any neighbor should.
This is also a good time to give Charlie Corwith, who I would guess belongs in that category mentioned above that includes Dave and Jason, a big shout-out for sending his nephew to my rescue recently when I could not get the lug nut to the wheel locks off when I was changing a flat tire recently.
Personally, my list is too long to include here but my gratitude shortlist includes all the people who give so much of themselves to ensure my special son gets the care he needs, including Renato, his caregiver, his teachers, bus driver and aides; my son Jack for being curious, kind and generous; my oldest son for taking the time to pick up the phone to call me from time to time, and his dad, my ex-husband, who remains my good friend; and my husband Tim for his brilliance, creativity and uncanny ability to know when meatballs from La Parmigiana and a bottle of wine is the thing to bring home to fix a bad day.
Finally, I am grateful to have had the joy of writing Grist for the Mill for more than 20 years. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know our community and the incredible people who live here.