West Tisbury

It feels so cold in the early mornings when I open the door to let the dogs out. I haven’t started making a morning fire in the wood stove yet. I guess it won’t be long now before we fill the stove at night before going up to bed and build up the fire again in the early morning. So far, it’s just been a friendly little fire in the evening to take the chill off in the house. Mike noted this morning’s temperature, 34 degrees.

We haven’t had a frost yet. The night temperatures are close, in the mid- to upper-30s. Leaves are falling quickly now, opening up the sky, filling our noses with a dry, dusty smell and crackling underfoot. I recognize that smell now as earth smell, compost in the making. Everyone becomes six years old again in the fall, shuffling and kicking up leaves, dropping down into piles of brittle softness.

The Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club has named the following West Tisbury businesses as winners of their 2010 awards: Alley’s General Store, Conroy Apothecary, State Road Restaurant, and Up-Island Automotive. Also, “Following several years of blue ribbon awards, Cronig’s Up- and Down-island, have been placed on the Hall of Fame list.” Congratulations to all of you and thanks to everyone who makes our town prettier.

Susie Goldstein is offering a unique way to enjoy your Wednesday evenings. It’s called “float-in movie night” at her Mansion House in Vineyard Haven. Watch a movie while floating around in the pool. There will be a weekly prize for the best float. There is an admission charge, so call the Mansion House Health Club at 508-693-7400. And this week’s Sunday night freebie is a Pilates class with Toni Cohen.

“Aunt Pat and Uncle Larry” send happy birthday wishes to their nephew, Zach Sylvia, on November 10. Happy birthday from the rest of us, too.

Happy Birthday wishes on November 7 to fellow artist and friend, Sandy Turner. I look forward to tea and birthday cake together and many happy years of art talk.

November 9 is Lyn Hinds’s birthday, another occasion for a celebration. We usually have a lunch together, much like the picture on the birthday card Lyn sent me, a group of lady artists at lunch together, looking like a Bonnard painting.

Saturday, November 6, at 4 pm, come to the library for a lecture by Beth Lambert on Mill Brook Pond: Exploration, Restoration, and Endless Possibilities. Come early to make pilgrim or turkey finger puppets at the all-day craft table and see the exhibition of Domingo Pagan’s photographic panoramas on the art wall.

Both animal shelters on the Island need volunteers and folks wanting to adopt the wonderful animals needing homes. Please call Lisa Hayes at Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard at 508-627-8662 or Kym Cyr at Helping Homeless Animals Shelter in Oak Bluffs at 508-221-6931. You can do a good thing for yourself and an animal who needs love.

Debbie and Eric Magnuson spent a sunny Saturday afternoon peeling apples and making cider with the English exchange students. I’m sure it was one of the highlights of their time here in town.

When I drove into Vineyard Haven the other day, I saw a familiar sign in an unfamiliar place. Vineyard Knitworks is settling in to their new home at 10 State Road, next to Educomp on the first floor. Alix and Michaela are busy setting up their displays, but they welcome drop-in visitors. They are planning a grand opening to which everyone will be invited. You will read about it here.

Don’t forget that schools, town offices, and the library will be closed on November 11 for the Veterans Day holiday.

The selectmen have rescheduled interviews with the three candidates for police chief. Friday, November 12, 7 pm, there will be an open public session at the Howes House. The selectmen will have a list of questions, after which questions will be taken from the audience. On Saturday morning at 9:30 the selectmen will conduct formal interviews in their meeting room at Town Hall. The public is invited, but will not be allowed to comment.

Living in a rural/agricultural community is pretty wonderful. We have daily pleasures of long open views of fields and gardens, often spotted with animals and sculptural (albeit useful) farm equipment.

Then there’s the food. Vegetables, eggs, fruit, meat, honey, milk, all directly at its source. The latest addition is the most delicious feta cheese made at Mermaid Farm. A walk up the hill to the barn affords visits with their newest calves and their moms. The fields are hedged with high bush blueberries and fruit trees, newly planted, but soon to become thick hedgerows. Sheep are kept to the right.

Don’t forget to step carefully over Everett’s and Kent’s toys and the tiny chicks that often dart into your path. At the top of the hill is the barn, where a refrigerator awaits, filled with glass bottles of milk, containers of yogurt, and the cheese. Then the walk down the hill, back to your car. That walk always slows down time for me, to notice colors and possible sights/sites for paintings, and reminds me to enjoy the moment. And to be grateful.