The wind is blowing and cooler temperatures, even frost, are predicted. I covered the bleeding hearts last night to prevent them from being damaged. The first cherry blossoms have opened and clumps of daffodils form a golden ribbon across the front of our rhododendron border. A big bouquet sits on the table in our living room, colors from cream to bright yellow, large flowers with blaring trumpets or more delicate multi-flowered stems, all arranged in a glass vase.
The garden centers are filling up with pansies and blooming trees, preparing for Palm Sunday and Easter. Their display gardens and greenhouses will be on view, filled with possibilities. Vineyard Gardens begins their series of lectures this Saturday, March 31, "Starting Plants from Seed." All start at 11 am and are free.
Palm Sunday service at the West Tisbury Congregational Church will be held at 10 am. Plans for next week include a Tenebrae service on Thursday evening, April 5, at 7:30, and two services Easter morning.
Ladies' Auxiliary #9261 is planning an Easter Bazaar and Bake Sale next Saturday, April 7, at the VFW. Proceeds will benefit Island veterans. There are still tables to rent for $30 and donations of baked goods would be appreciated. Call Tiffany at 508-693-9261 for information.
Veterans, firemen with trucks and sirens, and EMTs all lined up at the airport last Thursday awaiting the 1:37 pm arrival of Matt Bradley, home from Afghanistan. His cousin, Jonathan Belain, was running up the walkway with his wife and their baby son. Joanne Murphy and a contingent of veterans were dressed in their military finest. Happiest and proudest was EMT Fran Bradley, Matt's mom. Matt will be returning to the war, but for now he is safe and at home in West Tisbury.
It was a busy weekend in town for emergency services. The tragic shooting on Skiff Lane had police, EMTs, ALS personnel, and first responders on duty. Our prayers for the recovery of Cynthia Bloomquist. Then there was a brush fire on Saturday. Many thanks to all the Island firefighters who responded to Chief Estrella's call for mutual aid.
Jen Rand wants to let everyone know that there are several vacancies on town boards and committees. Please let her know if you are interested in serving on any of the following: Parks and Recreation, Historical District, Island Housing Trust, or Affordable Housing. Call Jen at the town hall, 508-696-0102.
The J.C. Trio will perform at the West Tisbury Library on Friday, March 30, at 4 pm.
Holly Bellebuono will celebrate the release of her book at the West Tisbury Library next Thursday, April 5, at 5 pm. "The Essential Herbal for Natural Health: How to Transform Easy-to-Find Herbs into Healing Remedies for the Whole Family" is filled with information about identifying and harvesting herbs, and preparing natural remedies from them. The book is illustrated by Geninne Zlatkis. Holly is the owner of Vineyard Herbs, Teas, and Apothecary. Come hear her read from and discuss her book, and answer your questions.
Beth Serusa, who moved her "Simply Soaps" from a booth at the Artisans' Festival to a shop in Oak Bluffs last year, has moved again. Still in the same building, 55 Circuit Avenue, Beth now has the window and space right on the street. You will know it by the bathtub in the window. With more room, she has expanded her handmade offerings, both for adults, and now including all-natural products for children, called Vineyard Babies.
Many thanks to the Martha's Vineyard Garden Club for the display of daffodils that is just opening along Brandy Brow. Club members planted them last fall. Make sure to look and admire them as you drive by.
Condolences to Judy Bryant and her family and friends for the loss of Jack Bryant last week. He leaves behind his gardens, his beautifully carved and painted decoys, and remembrances of his gentleness and good humor.
Readers of this column may remember a couple of years ago when I delivered a chicken named Fern to Redding, Conn., for my brother Andy's March 19 birthday. Tom Vogel and Katherine Long were looking for a new home for Fern, who despite her lovely personality, didn't get along with the other chickens. Tom used to hold her in his arms and stroke her, the perfect pet chicken. So she has proved for Andy. She comes running to him when he walks out to the chicken coop, always carrying a special treat for her. She flies into his arms, the prettiest white Silkie hen.
I write this as I have just enjoyed a visit with Fern, who still doesn't like other chickens, but she adores Andy. Besides his birthday, Andy spoke about his photographs at a lecture series at the Ridgefield Guild of Artists, so I was able to attend that on Sunday afternoon. Now I'm home, with tiny Silkie eggs from Fern for Katherine and me.