Even though there was no snow, it was a pretty nice Christmas weekend. Mike and I spent parts of it at Lucy Vincent Beach with our dogs, Talley and Nanuk. As a beach walk is part of most island celebrations, many people we knew were there walking, too, with or without dogs.
I can't report on Christmas Day, as I opted for a nap and sent Mike by himself. Having Monday off was a special treat, an extra holiday with my husband, and we headed for a walk together. The beach was unusually wide, changed from past years, and nicely hard underfoot. The high cliff gave protection from a cold north wind. Sunshine, cloudless blue sky, sand gleaming with a skim of water from the receding tide, a composition in blue, purple, and yellow ochre.
Carlo D'Antonio and Nancy Dole were there with their cairn terrier, Trot, their daughter, Meg, and her husband, Seth Abramowitz, and their daughters, Ayelet and Aviva. Mike and I heard, "Oh, it's Nanuk," up ahead. Nanuk, friend to all, was well known to the family because Mike has been working up there.
Farther along, we joined Gay Nelson and Gina James, and their party. Livy Nelson and Anna Brickman, with their dog, Fiona, all here from Boston, were walking with two of Gay's grandchildren, Eero Phillipps and Circe Skaife.
Bob Kimberly and his granddaughter, Lyda Jackson, were there, too. Everyone knew everyone, so greetings and Merry Christmas wishes were shared, and rearrangements of walkers made conversations pick up and leave off in a cheerfully informal fashion.
For Mike and me, there was a bit of sadness, as Lucy Vincent was the favorite walk of a dog friend we lost that day. Isabella "Izz'l" Fleishman, splendid Airedale companion of our friend, Martha, and her daughters, was put to sleep Monday after a long and happy life. At almost 14, she tottered along with an equanimity and grace we wished could continue forever. It will, in the hearts of all who loved her.
When I saw Lily Haynes before Christmas, she was excitedly awaiting the arrival of her Uncle Billy, due in from Colorado on Christmas Eve. Her maternal grandparents, Bill and Margaret Burke, were coming from Avon, all gathering at Bruce and Jennifer Haynes's. That was Christmas Eve. Christmas dinner was at Betty and Bill Haynes's house, a roast beef dinner that Mike and I were invited for leftovers on Monday.
Xing Senna has been having fun with her aunt, Amanda Tseng, who is visiting for Christmas with Xing and her parents, Jennifer Tseng and Maceo Senna. Besides making clothespin dolls and other art projects, Xing has been able to practice her Chinese language skills with her aunt.
Steve and Carolyn Murphy were stocking up on supplies at Cronig's Monday afternoon. They and their kids arrived for vacation week at the Murphy house on Music Street.
Marguerite Smith is home from art school in California. She will be spending time with her dad in Aquinnah, and her Jenkinson family in West Tisbury. Holly and Marco Bario arrive with their children on the 27th for a second Christmas celebration with Joanie and Pat, Patrick, Wyatt, and Marguerite.
Conor Boland is home from UMass/Amherst with his parents, Laura Coit and Tim Boland, and sister, Clare. All planned to be on the noon boat Christmas Day, traveling to Barrington, R.I., for Christmas dinner with Laura's sister, Janet.
Louise Bessire will be here for New Year's. She spent Christmas in Maine with Mark and Aimee, and their daughters, Blakey and Clay. Paul and Anne, Nicholas, and Emma arrived the next day. They will all travel together to the Vineyard on Friday.
The JC Trio will perform at the West Tisbury Library on Friday, December 30, at 4 pm. Come and enjoy their mellow jazz in a cozy setting.
"May the best bard win." So announces the beginning of the nomination period for West Tisbury's new Poet Laureate. Application forms are at the circulation desk from January 3 through February 3. The Poet Laureate is chosen every year by a selection committee made up of two library trustees and one member of the community. Their recommendation goes to the selectmen, who make the final appointment. The brainchild of author Cynthia Riggs, the Poet Laureate position has received wide approval in town. Most notable is the poem written for inclusion in the Annual Town Report and read aloud at our Annual Town Meeting in April.
Prize-winning poets, Jennifer Tseng and Fanny Howe, will headline the final Speakeasy Series of author readings and conversations to benefit the West Tisbury Library Foundation's capital campaign. Come to State Road Restaurant for an evening of stimulating conversation and light hors d'oeuvres. The program begins at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, January 4. Tickets are $125 per person.
Marjorie Peirce, member of the West Tisbury Church's Missions Committee, invites everyone to the first of the winter's weekly community suppers on Wednesday, January 4, at 5:30 pm. Side dishes are gratefully accepted, but not required. The suppers will continue through March 28.
The simplest gifts are my favorites. Things don't seem as important any more. My best gift this year has been walking with Mike and watching, up ahead, two companionable golden dogs, hips swaying, tails wagging in tandem.