I am loving these long weekends. Having what feels like two Sundays every week is so relaxing. I have worked on getting the perfect proportions of dog walks, parties, reading, and naps. A few more weekends to experiment, and I might just get it right.
New Year's began with breakfast at the airport. My friend Henry Bassett was there with his grandfather, Bob Wasserman. I asked Henry if I could mention the Christmas card he made this year. It said, "Happy Everything," which I thought was a perfect wish for the New Year.
We took the dogs to Lucy Vincent after breakfast. The water temperature was noted as around 45 degrees when a group of teenage "polar bears" dipped themselves into the surf. This was reported to Mike and me by Lloyd and Susan Feller, who were having a walk and picnic with their visiting children and grandchildren. Andrew Feller and his wife, Kathy Mulvaney, were holding the youngest Feller grandchild, their 11-week-old daughter, Tabitha. Jennifer Feller and her husband, Sam Palmer, and their daughters, Eleanor and Grace, played in the sand with friends Zephy Hempson and Gabriel Feinberg.
Diane Jetmund was walking with her granddaughter, Tianna Graves, who was here for school vacation week. Every time they stopped, Diane's three black labs stopped, too, then sat in a circle awaiting their treats. Annie, Katie, and Mocha. Between dog-walking expeditions, Diane and Tianna spent part of every day skating.
Vivian and Dave Stein and Henry and Berta Geller were walking up ahead. Their dogs, Ben, Oreo, and Gracie, were obviously old friends.
Dan Waters and Hal Garneau came along, enjoying their walk, busy talking about the latest library plans.
Then we saw Liz Taft and Nancy Gilfoy walking their poodles, Roxane and Alice.
Talley and Nanuk are pretty friendly and get along with everyone. As we neared the end of our walk, they attracted the attention of Kevin and Elizabeth Oliver and their family. The Olivers are thinking about getting a dog, so stopped us to talk about retrievers. While we talked, the dogs amused Solon, Barrett, Delilah, and Hollis. I think we convinced them that retrievers are the best dogs in the world. They certainly convinced the kids.
Sunday night we went to Julia Humphreys's New Year's party, or as she calls it, Mike's and my anniversary party. It's a wonderful evening where we see so many of our friends. Among the throngs, I was happy to see Allan and Winkie Keith. I wanted to find out about the avian mystery on the Mill Pond. It is a swan goose, aptly named, as that is exactly what it looks like, a somehow cross between the two. It has been around for a while, having been sighted earlier at Sengekontacket, according to the expert, an escaped formerly domesticated bird. It makes quite a show on the pond, surrounded by various ducks, like a king holding court. I hope I got this all right from memory. I do remember the name of the Keith's new corgi – Cashmere Mist, nicknamed "Cash."
Having to stay home because she was getting ready for the party, Julia missed the agility trials in Smithfield, Rhode Island, that several of her friends attended. Karen Ogden, Eric Bates and his daughter, Phebe, Nancy Dator, and Katy Upson all were there, and their dogs made a fine showing.
Ernie Mendenhall called Christmas week, "A great week. I had all my kids here." Ernie's daughter, Trish, was here from Rutland. Vermont, with her husband, Herb Pelkey, and their children, Caitlin and Nash. Their daughter, Marie, was working at home, but everyone else was here with Ernie, Kathy, and Megan. Lots of family time together. Besides Cheryl and Eric Lowe and Brad Mendenhall and Lisa Strachan, who live here, Kathy's brother, Bill Logue, and his family came from West Hartford, Conn., staying at Margaret Logue's house. Margaret's is the best place to be at Christmas, with her house all decorated and a tree at least ten feet high.
Monday, or Sunday #2, Mike and I took the dogs to Lambert's Cove. It is his usual walk with Nanuk, a stop on their daily morning trip to Cottle's, but a rare occurrence for Talley and me, as we head off in another direction. Talley and Nanuk ran and played happily on the beach and in the water.
We met Al and Joan Eville and their beautiful golden named Bonnie Dune. They were with Roger and Edie Bacchieri, visiting from Wareham, but regular residents of Oak Bluffs in the summer.
Leah Jampel and Raoul Segarra were walking with their little dog, Milo. We tried to figure out what combination of canine genetics might make up Milo. Jack Russell, miniature Doberman, Basenji? Milo was a very handsome fellow, quite grand despite his height, and with enough personality for a Great Dane.
Bob and Barbara Day had their daughter, Catha, here for Christmas. Catha, her husband, Dave, and two boys, Luke and Scott, arrived in Chilmark from Bethel, Conn., in time to start cooking what was described as a fabulous Christmas dinner. Missing from the party was Jessica, home working on her college applications.
There will be a reception for Al Hurwitz at the West Tisbury Library this Saturday, January 7, at 4 pm. His artwork will be on display through the month.
A very special gentleman died this past week. Walter Silva was caretaker and steward of the properties that were his responsibility and his love, especially Tea Lane Farm, where he was born. There will be a graveside service Friday morning, January 6, 11 am, at Abel's Hill Cemetery. My condolences to Mrs. Silva, Reggie, Rosemarie, and their families. He will be missed and remembered by all.