Swans and ducks were crowded together this morning when I passed by the Mill Pond. There was only a small hole of open water on the otherwise frozen pond. By early afternoon there was plenty of room to spread out, as the sun and warm temperatures had melted the ice.
Last week's full moon seemed brighter, bigger than I remember a moon ever being. Someone (I apologize for forgetting who) told me it was called the "hunger moon," as by now the previous fall's stores of food had diminished, leaving people snowbound and hungry. The stars seemed brighter, too. We even had a moment of snow, reminding us that it really is winter still.
Valentine's Day will have passed by the time you are reading this. Thanks to Joanne Scott who braved the lines at Chilmark Chocolates to get a box for Mike and me. They were delicious.
Mike Black sent a valentine to the entire library, three huge boxes of fruit. Beth Kramer called them "Florida sunshine sent our way." The card read, "Happy Valentine's Day. I miss your smiling and endearing faces." What a thoughtful gift. It had just arrived when I was there, filling the space behind the circulation desk, waiting to be parceled out among the staff.
Also from Florida, Orlando to be exact, Joan Hopkins has been here in town visiting her daughter, Beth Kramer, and son-in-law, Douglas Reid. The highlight of her trip was the day her son, Beth's brother, William, arrived from Maynard, riding from the ferry on the fold-up bicycle his wife had given him for Christmas. Douglas made a fabulous bouillabaisse for lunch, after which William got on his bike and rode back to the ferry. His car was waiting in Woods Hole for the ride home.
Happy Birthday wishes to Ana Kurelja, who turns seven on Saturday, February 18. Ana is Bob and Maureen Fischer's granddaughter.
The Martha's Vineyard Center For Living needs help. Their medical taxi service from Woods Hole to Falmouth, Mashpee, Sandwich, and Hyannis has proven so needed and popular that the grant money funding it has almost run out with six months still to go. Anyone who can make a tax-deductible donation to keep this service available is asked to help out. Please send your donation to Leslie Clapp, Director, Box 1729, Vineyard Haven 02568. Your help is greatly appreciated.
Don't forget that Monday, February 20, is Presidents' Day. Schools, the library, and Town Hall offices will all be closed.
By now, many of you will have seen the obvious, that I had my hair cut off. Short. Like about ¼ inch short, although it's already grown in the week since I did it. I love the freedom of it, although I've not quite adjusted to how different I look. I'm not ready to change the picture at the top of this column, but want to alert everyone that I'm still me, whatever the length my hair.
It was beautiful to be walking this morning. I took Talley out into the woods, where we followed a moss-lined path through what seemed like a constantly changing painting. Grasses and underbrush melded into bands of colors. Tree trunks made strong vertical lines, criss-crossed by branches overhead. Blue gray sky, purple in places, clear cerulean patches. Walking in that quiet place, surrounded by beauty I could translate in my mind, feeling the solid ground under my feet, and my darling dog by my side, my best companion in the world – I felt fortunate for all my blessings.