Sun streaked the sky around six o'clock this morning, but it's settled into an overcast gray. Our woods are totally bare now. It looks like winter.
I came downstairs to find an 86-pound golden retriever stretched out across the down cushion of our newly slip-covered sofa. Chrissy Hazlitt fitted it yesterday, perfectly, just in time for Thanksgiving. Another thing to be thankful for — the golden retriever more so, but for the moment, the sofa looks pretty good, too.
Cathlin Baker spoke about blessings at church last Sunday. Caryn Broitman reads a weekly reminder in her Shabbat service to appreciate our blessings. Thanksgiving brings a yearly occasion, a holiday devoted to appreciation of all we have in our lives to be grateful for. I know it can also bring an argument with cousin so-and-so or Grandmother's boiled onions, a lot of work getting ready for guests, or travelling off Island in traffic undreamed of here.
But back to the point. There is something special about taking time, being mindful. May we all find something to be grateful for, today and every day, and to be able to give thanks in our own private ways. May we all be able to share our selves and our gifts with others.
After Thanksgiving come the busiest weeks of the year. Events and parties, decorating to be done, presents to be wrapped, special foods and rituals.
Jennifer Tseng told me about Saturday's craft project at the library, making fairy or troll houses. She said people are very excited about the project, so come and make your own.
There will be classical music on Saturday evening, November 26, as the Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society performs its Annual thanksgiving Concert at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown. The concert begins at 7:30 pm, a program of music by Mozart, Corelli, Lasson, Vieuxtemps, and Dvorak. Tickets are available at the door, $20 for adults, free for students.
Wendy Weldon is opening her studio to one and all the Friday and Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. Hours are 11 am to 4 pm or by appointment. Call 508-645-3199 for directions. This year, Wendy is joined by her cousin, Monica Fernandes, a designer of Lisbon-style jewelry. Her one-of-a-kind pieces will be for sale alongside a collection of Wendy's drawings, paintings, and monotypes.
The Peacecraft holiday benefit sale opens Friday, November 25, at 13 Beach Road Extension, across from the Black Dog Tavern. Hours are noon to 5 pm daily through December 24. Crafts and gifts from Haiti and other third-world countries will be for sale, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the artisans. They do need some help manning the store, so if you have time to volunteer, please call Meg at 508-687-9709.
Edgartown's Federated Church will host their Annual Festival of Wreaths next Thursday, December 1, from 6 to 9 pm, in the Parish Hall. A $15 entry fee will get you inside, where 75 handmade and decorated wreaths will festoon the hall — for sale or silent auction. Prices begin at $45. For more information, call 508-627-4421.
Happy Anniversary wishes to friends, Stephen and Tara Larsen, who celebrate on November 22. Many more happy, healthy years together.
Happy Birthday wishes go to my niece, Charlotte, on November 26. One of my happiest Thanksgiving memories is the day you were carried in on your way home from the hospital, only a couple of days old. You have been the love of my life since then.
Our nephew, Josh, now a strapping 30-something, used to come the night before Thanksgiving for dinner at our house. He and a group of his friends would peel apples and mix pumpkin puree while screaming at the antics of WWF wrestlers on television, definitely not allowed in their own homes, but enjoyed to the fullest with a doting aunt and uncle. They are all grown now, some married, some with children who probably won't be allowed to watch violent wrestling on TV either. I remember Josh promising to come make pies with me before Thanksgiving even when he was grown up and had children of his own. He lives so far away now that that never happens, but in my heart I hear him laughing and feel him by my side in the kitchen.
My friend Brooks Robards came to visit. She is part of the Cleaveland House Writers Group that read their poetry at the library Thursday afternoon. A great treat to have her here, to stay up late talking after Mike went to bed, to go out to breakfast together, and walk with Talley. Brooks read one of the poems she had written about Talley, "the sand-colored dog," on a walk we took at Quansoo. We had come off the beach and saw Monarch butterflies raise in a cloud in front of us. What a sight it was. Memorable, made into a memorable poem by Brooks.