"The sheer force of nature's assaults, like the storm unleashed last weekend, are always sobering. But at dawn on Monday morning, the sound and fury were gone and a benign sun shone from a clear blue sky...."
The above was the opening paragraph of an old Chilmark column written in The Times by Jackie Sexton, a most elegant writer and much-missed friend. It described perfectly my observations this morning, following this past weekend of high winds and over three inches of rain.
I found the clipping in a pile of papers on my desk during my latest cleaning/organizing foray. It was one of the few things that survived. Recipes I'll probably never make, clippings of poems, and articles well-written or of something that caught my fancy at the time, old letters, directions to unremembered places, craft projects that looked appealing, postcards of art openings, and photos of pristine rooms, almost monastic in their simplicity, in which I will never live. Most of it's gone, tossed into the woodstove, none of it important.
Last week's cleaning project, begun with such enthusiasm, has hopelessly stalled. Hard to go on to new things when bathrooms need to be cleaned and rugs vacuumed, even though I just did it a week ago.
Meanwhile, Mike and I have been busy preparing for the arrival of our new golden retriever. The perimeter of our property is gaily strung with orange surveyor's tape. Orange and white flags, too. That marks the electric fence. Her collar is charged and ready.
Nanuk arrived on Saturday. She moved easily from Edgartown, where she was much-loved by a woman Mike and I have enjoyed getting to know, who has moved to an assisted-living home and unable to take her dog. Now Nanuk is our dog, attached at the hammer loop to Mike. It was love at first sight.
We had been forewarned that Nanuk had a bad habit of chewing woodwork and doors when left alone. So, along with the fence, Mike has encased the lower half of our doors and some of the woodwork in plexiglas and extra pieces of wood covering the trim. He did his customary beautiful job, cutting out door knobs and the cat flap. Unfortunately, he only covered the inside doors, not the storm, now chewed around the edges.
On the big issues, we have a lovely new companion and our home has always felt just right with two dogs. Nanuk and Talley are playing and sleeping together. Grace is coping. Mike's truck now has two occupants, as it should be. She is perfect in the truck and at work. Perfect, too, in my husband's eyes. He has been sad too long without a golden companion.
We thought we might change her name, but we have thought of her and called her Nanuk for a couple of months now. So far, she's just who she is, our new dog. Any suggestions, anyone?
I had an email from Beth Serusa, who is opening a new bath shop in Oak Bluffs after selling her handmade wares at the Artisan's Festival all summer. All-natural vegan soaps, body lotions, sea salt scrubs, and shower gels will compose the stock of Simply Soaps: A Vineyard Bath Company. The address is 55 Circuit Avenue. Beth will host an opening party this Saturday, November 5, from 11:30 am to 6 pm. Drop in to see what she is doing and to wish her well. You may also look at her website: simplysoapsmv.com.
To follow the dog theme of this column, besides knowing Beth from around town, she used to work at the MSPCA in Edgartown. She and Jen Morgan found my darling Tallulah, for which I am ever grateful. So I am doubly glad to support Beth in her new venture.
While you are out of town, the Martha's Vineyard Museum in Edgartown is open free on Saturdays all winter for Island residents. Hours are 10 am to 4 pm. The current exhibition is Out of the Depths: Martha's Vineyard Shipwrecks.
Vineyard Knitworks in Vineyard Haven, formerly of West Tisbury, announces new winter hours. They are open Monday through Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm, closed Sundays.
Close to home, the West Tisbury Church is having a Fall Clean-up Day on Saturday, from 9 am to 1 pm. Please bring your rakes, garden gloves, and tools to help tidy up the yard and garden beds. If you prefer to work inside, windows need washing. Bring your own bottle of ammonia.
The church is also participating in a Mission Food Drive to feed the hungry on our Island. Bags will be handed out at Sunday morning service, to be filled for the Island Food Pantry. Requested items are: tuna, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, sugar, and cereal. Dates are 11/1/11 through 11/11/11. The goal is to fill 111 bags.
Or just enjoy the good weather. We'll be out walking our dogs. Plural.