We have finally had a killer frost, surprisingly late in this mild fall. The ground was streaked with frozen stripes, trees and vines sparkling in the sun, as ice crystals coated everything when I awoke Sunday morning. Heartbreakingly beautiful. By mid-morning it had all melted, and temperatures have climbed ever since. Glowing colors remain, however. Frost-purple and blue gave way to more typical autumn oranges and reds, as leaves overhead and underfoot cling to their stems and our dog's fur.
Mike has been working at Carlo D'Antonio and Nancy Dole's place. He came home with a sheetrock bucket filled with dahlias of every color and shape, picked just before the frost. They made beautiful bouquets throughout our house. Thanks, Nancy, for such a lovely gift.
Nanuk has proved to be as perfect a dog as we could wish for. She has now gone to work with Mike for a whole week, riding happily in his truck on the dog bed he built for her, staying close by while he's working, playing with whatever dogs she encounters during the day, and being a generally amiable and satisfactory companion. She doesn't like being tethered at work and has chewed through her tether a couple of times. Not a problem, as she just stays by the truck like she is supposed to.
Thanks to everyone who called with suggestions for a new name for her. We have referred to her as Nanuk for so long now that it feels like her name. Mike has written it on her collar. Nanuk Hull.
There will be a reading of Arnold Rabin's new play, "Quartet for a Queen," at the Howes House, Saturday, Nov. 12, at 6:30 pm. Leslie J. Stark will direct the cast of Vineyard performers. The play is about the succession of Mary Tudor, eldest daughter of Henry VIII, a Catholic queen in now-Protestant England, her marriage to Philip II of Spain, the elaborate state wedding and the wedding night.
Sunday, Nov. 13, the Vineyard Sinfonietta will play a Pops concert, songs from the 1930s on up, at the Howes House, from 3 to 4 pm. Martha Hudson, soprano, Edith Yoder, flute, and Chris Seidl, drums, are the featured performers, along with the string accompaniment of Sinfonietta musicians. Heidi Schultz called to tell me about the concert, adding that the audience is encouraged to join in the singing or just to sit and listen to the music. The concert is free, but donations are welcome.
The above program is timed to allow concertgoers to get to the other end of the driveway for the West Tisbury Library's Annual Community Poetry Reading, at 4 pm. Readers of their own or a favorite poem, or devotees who prefer to listen, are all invited. The event also marks the beginning of the nomination process for West Tisbury's 2012 Poet Laureate.
Monday Night Movies at the library continue, showing a classic, "The Passion of Joan of Arc," as part of Silent Movie Month.
The Howes House Weekly Discussion Group will meet Tuesday, November 15, 9:30-11 am, to hold a focus group with librarians, library trustees, the building committee, and architects, to give seniors an opportunity to state their opinions regarding the upcoming library addition.
"What kinds of changes would you like to see in the new library? Are there things you would like to retain from the old library? Bring your feedback....We're listening." That's the invitation. Give it some thought and bring your ideas to the meeting.
Susan Johnson is the library's Artist of the Month for November. Her exhibition is a series of oil studies, painted en plein air at Beetlebung Farm. Come meet her, see her work, hear what she has to say, ask questions at an artist's reception at the library, Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 4 pm.
Thursday, Nov. 17, The Cleaveland House Poets will read and answer questions at the library. The group began in the 1970s, founded by Dionis Coffin Riggs, and has met every two weeks for over 40 years. The program begins at 5 pm. Prepare by reading some of their poems in "Wednesday's Poets, An Anthology."
I'm happy to report that Gunnar Cini is home with his parents, Chris and Deborah. You may remember that Gunnar was a preemie, and has been in Jordan Hospital's Continuing Care Nursery since he was born. He came home to his own crib on Nov. 1, and has already gained half a pound.
Ginny Jones emailed me a column from Sunday's NY Times, Nicholas Kristof writing about Room to Read, a nonprofit that builds libraries and schools world-wide. He witnessed the founder, John Wood, hand out his ten-millionth book at a library in rural Vietnam. So far, Room to Read has built 12,000 libraries and 1,500 schools. Ginny and her grandsons, Everett and Kent Healy, had sent books to children on islands, mostly in the Caribbean, where Gannon & Benjamin's Zorra and other island boats delivered them. What a great project. Anybody interested?