The weather continues to be fabulous — warm and inviting me outside to putter in the garden or take Talley for an extra-long walk. Sunrises and sunsets have been kaleidoscopic, the night skies star-filled and crystal clear. I try to drive past Doane's late afternoons to see the sunset raking colors across their open field.
Add to that the appearance of outdoor lights and displays, and the trip home after dark is brightened by holiday displays all around town. The Fire Department outdid themselves decorating Station 1 this year. Thank you. And to Manny and Sharon Estrella, who with their grandchildren Amanda and Andrea Pachico and Alley and Morgan Estrella, decorated the tree at Old County and State Road, welcoming all who come into town from down-Island. I haven't been by Station 2 yet, but expect it to be suitably decked out when Santa arrives there for his West Tisbury visit this Sunday afternoon between 1 and 3 pm.
Welcome to our newest resident, Gideon Keston Smith, born on Nov. 25, a Thanksgiving baby. His parents are Emily and Keston Smith. Gideon is also welcomed by grandparents Leah and Woollcott Smith of Tiah's Cove Road, and Jeff and Jackie Harrison of Lakeville. His cousins, Nova and Christopher Craughwell, eager for his arrival, referred to him as "Baby Keston," but are expected to quickly learn that Gideon is his new name.
The Town Party is tonight, Dec. 8, 5 to 8 pm, at the Ag Hall. Janet Bank is in charge this year. She asks everyone to bring their best potluck dish to share and lots of holiday spirit. It's always a wonderful time to see everyone in town.
The library's party will be on Monday, the 12th, from 4 to 6 pm. Jennifer Tseng invites everyone to "celebrate with your fellow readers." The company is always excellent, the snacks delicious, and there is always a bounteous selection of greens for making a swag to take home. Stay for the Monday Night Movie, "M*A*S*H," at 7 pm.
Katherine Long has announced that her Winter Solstice Party will be next Sunday, Dec. 18, from noon to 9 pm. It's another fabulous potluck, so come prepared to enjoy the creative and delicious food and the good company. All are welcome, but no dogs, please.
The West Tisbury Church's Christmas Faire is this Saturday, Dec. 10, 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. There will be wreaths and all manner of evergreen decorations made by an able group of church members — the best baked goods, ornaments, and gifts. A homemade lunch will be served at 11:30. They could still use some help, so if you have donations or can help set up, staff a table, or clean up, please call Brenda Lehman (508-693-7682) or Dinny Montrowl (508-696-4917) to volunteer.
Terri Keech, Administrator of the Dukes' County Regional Housing Authority, is looking for potential new landlords interested in renting to Island residents. Call her at 508-693-4419.
Enid Haller announces the Lyme Support Group will meet Tuesday, Dec. 13, 6:30 pm, at the Howes House.
The latest library fundraiser is a "Dollar Tree," a paper tree that will raise money for a new Children's Room. Add your leaf for a $1 donation. It will be matched up to $1,000 by an anonymous donor. I love the sound of this project that everyone can contribute to and be involved in our library's expansion.
My critique group artists will be at a reception Thursday, Dec. 15, 4 pm, to celebrate our art wall exhibition at the library. Leslie Baker and Wendy Weldon did a great job hanging the show. Come to see us: Leslie Baker, Claire Chalfoun, Nancy Furino, Lyn Hinds, Ruth Kirchmeier, Jeanne Staples, Liz Taft, Wendy Weldon, and me. At 5:30, poets G.E. Patterson and Samantha Barrow will read and discuss their work, so stick around.
Nicole Cabot has a project. She is working to improve the lunch program at the West Tisbury and Chilmark Schools. A for-profit, off-Island company called Chartwells has had a contract for the past 20 years. Nicole and the Island Grown School Program want to take advantage of the availability of healthy, locally-grown food and a group of volunteers willing to reconstruct the kitchen at the West Tisbury School. She has been working with concerned parents, teachers, administrators, students, and townspeople for the past two years and is ready to present a proposal to us. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep an eye on this column for further reports.
I was happy to learn that Simon and Robyn Athearn have moved into their new home, the Athearn farmhouse on the road to Great Neck, where Simon's grandfather, Elmer, his great-uncles, Leonard and Clifton, and great-aunt, Louise Kernick were all born and raised. It's wonderful for the house to remain in the family, and I look forward to Simon and Robyn raising the next generation in that lovely old home. They have already started a garden of their own, rose bushes and hundreds of tulips. Both are experienced gardeners; they work at Morning Glory Farm, the second generation to carry on what Jim and Debby began.