Town Column : West Tisbury
I walked into our dining room early this morning, to the scent of hyacinths, deep blue and fragrant, warmed by the sun. They are arranged in baskets across the dining table. They look so beautiful on the blue paisley printed tablecloth and their fragrance makes me smile.
Also making me smile is the joyful birth of a granddaughter to my friend, Prudy Whiting. Isla Jane Solon was born Tuesday, March 11, a little after 1 pm. All of our wishes for a blessed and happy life go to Davis and Gina and Isla Jane. Welcome to West Tisbury.
Events like this make me feel very lucky to have lived in the same place long enough to remember Davis as a little boy, what feels like not that long ago. This nostalgia really hit me on Saturday when I attended the West Tisbury School play, "Into the Woods Jr." So many people live transient lives where they don't see, on a daily basis, children growing up to resemble their parents or grandparents, long known and observed as we are all aging together. So many children don't look off the stage to see the audience filled with generations of people who have loved them forever. We are truly lucky to live in this town, to honor its traditions, and to make up its strengths.
Nostalgia aside, the play was fabulous. Stephen Sondheim's lyrics are so clever and his music melodic, syncopated, jazzy. The cast was everything they needed to be. I loved the scenery, the dancing and singing, the acting so sophisticated. It was just the thing to brighten up a rainy afternoon. "Thanks" to the director, Jordan Winderl, and to all the parents and kids for a wonderful performance.
I guess it was a nostalgic weekend all around. Friday night, Mike and I joined a group of friends to celebrate the occasion of our niece and goddaughter, Laura Kimball, having been adopted ten years ago and coming into our lives. Laura's mom, Julie, was the hostess. Laura's older sister, Lisa Kimball, came from Washington D.C. The rest of the party was made up of Laura's friends and teachers and her collection of ersatz aunts and uncles, family friends, who love her and welcomed her into our hearts. I remember borrowing a tape from the library, "How to Speak Chinese," and listening to it while I painted in my studio the winter before Laura was due to arrive in March. Arrive she did, speaking no English (and the tapes really never taught me Chinese), an eight-year-old child transported from one world to an unfamiliar and inexplicable new one. As I looked at the poised and confident young woman sitting on my left at the dinner table, talking and laughing as easily as her American-born friends, planning for college after she graduates from the regional high school in June, I couldn't be more proud or grateful.
The West Tisbury Fire Department was well represented Saturday at a daylong class on Firefighting Foams, hosted by the Edgartown Fire Department. Attending from West Tisbury were Chief Manny Estrella, Greg Pachico, Kenny Mastromonaco, John Cotterill, Peter Pate, Brin Schaffner, Jesse Oliver, Eric Medieros, and Mike Hull. It was quite an interesting day and I heard all about it over our drinks that evening. Mike was very excited about the various weights and mixes, which are the most efficacious, as well as advice about how to monitor the flow better (clogging up hoses when using the heaviest foams has been a problem for both of West Tisbury's pumpers). Being married to a fireman is never boring.
Katherine Long and Tom Vogl were busy preparing for a visit from Tom's son, Willy Yee, and maybe one, maybe two, maybe neither of Willy's daughters. Some combination was expected to arrive for the weekend and Katherine was getting the house ready and planning her most wonderful meals.
Devon and Blake Hearn were surrounded by lots of relatives for a joint birthday celebration on Saturday. Since the children's birthdays are a week apart, the family tradition is to meet the weekend in between. Mark and Renee Hearn hosted the party at their home in Abington.
Bea Phear wants to remind everyone to attend the Town Hall Forum next Wednesday evening, March 26, 7 pm, at the Howes House. It will be an opportunity for all of us to ask questions and look at the plans before Town Meeting.
Town residents are also invited to meet all the candidates running for town offices at an informal social evening at the Cleaveland House, Thursday, March 27, at 7 pm. No speeches, just wine and hors d'oeuvres.
Park and Rec has invited interactive storyteller David Coffin to perform at the West Tisbury School on Saturday, March 29, at 1 pm. A member of Nantucket's famous whaling family, David Coffin will sing sea shanties and share stories of whaling adventures. Admission is $1 for children; $3 for adults.
Last Monday afternoon, Leslie Baker and I bundled up ourselves, packed up our supplies, and headed off for our first outdoor painting expedition of the new year. I had been at Linda Hearn's house Sunday afternoon and admired the structure and shapes in Linda's garden, especially with the afternoon light behind it. We both came home with a good start and definitely enjoyed the few undisturbed hours in front of our easels. There's nothing better for one's spirit than focusing on a painting.
Talley was with us and she enjoyed visiting Linda, who was working in her greenhouse, and discovering all the new smells along Town Cove. She pretty much keeps me in sight, so I don't have to worry about her while I'm working.
On our way home, I had to stop at the library to sign something for Beth. When we drove into the library parking lot, looking out the car window was my adult Talley, but looking in was a puppy practicing her leash walking with her mistress. It was like looking at my own puppy as she was almost five years ago. Of course, I had to meet her. Her name is Breezy and she is also a lab/golden retriever cross. Really, really, really cute. Nostalgia, once again.