West Tisbury

Wet snowflakes are blowing past my windows as I’m settled on the sofa writing my column. The snow on the ground is in clumps, broken by last night’s rain, littered with heavy branches that fell during the night. I have heard there were many homes without power, but our lights flickered and mostly stayed on. The wood stove kept us toasty warm.

The big news in town was the house fire on Pond Road Christmas night. What a horrible end to any day, let alone a special celebratory one. Our firemen were called out about 10:15 pm. They, and fire departments from across the Island, were out all night. The flames were already through the roof when they arrived, leaving no possibility of saving the structure, only preventing it from spreading to nearby woods and homes. Next-door-neighbors Joyce and Alan Brigish opened their home to EMTs, who set up an emergency medical rehab for firefighters. Thanks to them and to all the fire departments who helped.

My heart goes out to the Salem family, who lost their home and their dog in the fire. They have returned to their home in Lincoln.

West Tisbury was paged to return to the scene the following morning, as smoke and smoldering embers needed to be wet down. A series of accidents kept firemen and rescue personnel out almost till dinner time Sunday night.

Looking at the high winds and broken tree limbs this morning, Mike commented that they were lucky not to be fighting the fire under those conditions.

We had a pleasantly uneventful Christmas Day after our big family Christmas Eve dinner. The dogs let us sleep in, giving us some much-needed rest and time for Santa to get to our house. We took them to Lucy Vincent for a romp on a mostly deserted beach. As we were leaving, canines Polly, Sadie, and Fletcher were arriving with their folks. Then we went to Sue and Jared’s for a late brunch and more time with our family.

There is some kind of cold/flu bug going around town. We lost three guests Christmas Eve. By Christmas Day, two more had caught it. Everyone sounds horrible, so my advice is to keep washing your hands and cover your mouth when you cough to avoid spreading germs around. And air out your house for half an hour or so every day.

Artist/metal sculptor/documentary film-maker Michael Craughwell will screen videos and talk about his career making the world’s longest (8’5″) and heaviest (54 pounds) swords. The program is this Friday, Dec.31, 1 pm, at the West Tisbury Library. You can look on youtube.com/michaelcthulhu, cracked.com, or gamespy.com to see a bit of what Michael does.

Community suppers begin at the West Tisbury Church next Wednesday, Jan. 5, and continue through the end of March. Serving begins at 5:30. You are welcome, but not required, to bring a side dish to share.

I was sad to hear that Eleanor Pearlson died on December 22. She was quite a grand lady. My condolences to her family and to all who knew her.

I have never been prouder to be a resident of this Island than when I read Kerry Alley and Lorraine Clark’s essay about Red Stocking in last week’s paper. They stated the true heart of Red Stocking and Martha’s Vineyard, and the spirit of giving a wonderful Christmas to every child. Thank you both for having good sense and good hearts.

As we approach the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, let’s make our resolutions and hope for a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year for every one of us. Happy New Year.