Delicious rain! Hearing it on the roof overnight, then awakening to a secret, misty landscape, wet, pouring all day. I hope it will be enough to replenish wells and ponds and plants long-parched.
It's scary to have drought so early as summer approaches. I know Chief Estrella has been worried about the risk of brush fires, so please be mindful of fire safety and take care.
Monday's rain abated just long enough for the noon graveside burial service of Mildred Mayhew at the Chilmark Cemetery. As family and her many friends and admirers gathered afterwards at the Chilmark Church Hall, I saw Mildred in my mind, seated beside Ted at the entry, counting change and taking orders for lobster rolls on summer Tuesday nights. She was quite a lady. My condolences to the Mayhew family.
Condolences, too, to Lil Province-Anderson, whose sister died last week.
There will be a memorial gathering this Sunday, April 29, 1 pm, at the Chilmark Community Center to celebrate the life of Amanda Hutchinson. Her husband, Steve, and family invite all to share pictures, stories, food, and time together.
Marsha Winsryg has just returned home after a six-week trip to Africa. Her first stop was Essaouira, Morocco, where she spent nearly a month with her daughter, Gia, and 7-month old granddaughter, Asiya. Marsha's description of "walking, cooking, writing, and delighting in the baby" sounds splendid. From Morocco, she travelled through Cairo, Addis Ababa, and Harare, to Lusaka, Zambia, where she has been a frequent visitor, buyer of crafts, and supporter of women's and children's causes for some years. She has planned a 15-minute slide show of her projects and wares for Wednesday, May 2, 6 pm, at her home off New Lane. All are welcome to attend. Please call 508-693-4059 for directions.
Meanwhile, back at home, Marsha opened her email to me as follows: "I just picked a basketful of mache that volunteers in a flower bed and after the rain is at the perfect stage to eat. Don't you love volunteers? It's like a gift." Yes and yes, it is.
West Tisbury artists Sylvie Farrington, Ann Howes, Kathleen Tackabury, and Nicholas Thayer are exhibiting at the Night Heron Gallery on Main Street, Vineyard Haven. The gallery, an artist's cooperative, has opened for the season. Formal opening festivities will be on May 12, from 5 to 8 pm.
A Playwrights' Studio is being formed by Wayne Greenwell and Island Theater Workshop, where he is a board member. Playwrights are invited to submit a short writing sample to Wayne at firstname.lastname@example.org or to call him at 774-563-0050. "All playwrights interested in creating and developing plays (non-musical) of any length and theme," are invited to participate. The group will meet at Wayne's home at 12 Music Street on the first and third Mondays from 7 to 9 pm.
It's so helpful to have feedback and to bounce ideas off of others in one's field. All artists tend to work long hours alone. Having belonged to such a group of painters for many years now, I appreciate their eyes and critiques. Our group met recently at Ruth Kirchmeier's for lunch and an update of what we are all working on. Some amazing paintings, monotypes, and Ruth's woodcuts. It always surprises me how clearly another pair of eyes can identify a problem that has eluded me when painting in my studio. I always feel energized after these meetings and grateful for the longevity and respect of this group. We have been together a long time and I wish the new playwrights a similarly long and productive association.
The Tisbury Volunteer Ambulance Association, Island EMTs, and emergency personnel are staging a charity fashion show called "Respond in Style," in honor of the American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women." The show, to be held at the Harbor View in Edgartown this Saturday evening, April 28, starting at 7:30 pm, hopes to raise awareness of the importance of women's health. Tickets are $25 and available up Island at Alley's Store.
The rain came just in time for Vineyard Gardens' Saturday morning lecture. This week's subject, "Lawn Care and Maintenance," begins at 11 am. All are invited.
A reception for April's Artist of the Month, Richard Limber, will be held at the West Tisbury Library on Friday afternoon, April 27, at 4 pm. Also at 4, the JC Trio will be performing their monthly jazz concert.
Next Thursday, May 3 (can you believe it?) Flamenco guitarist Alberto de Almar will perform and give a brief lecture about the history and techniques of Flamenco at the West Tisbury Library. The program begins at 5 pm and is free to the public. He will play both acoustic and electric guitars.
Don't forget the Alzheimer's Awareness Walk on May 6. I am collecting donations, so if you don't see me around town, please send checks made out to ASCCI to me at PO Box 8, West Tisbury 02575. Thanks.
Daffodils are at their height, although bent somewhat from all the rain. Still, they have made particularly thick showings this year. Katherine Hoffman's display on State Road has been spectacular, as have Marian Irving's delicate cream and orange variety bordering Old County Road. Driving up Tiasquam Road is a treat, bounded by different varieties all along the way. Ann Burt's meander alongside the Tiasquam River in her backyard. Up at the top of the hill, Tom Hodgson and Christine Gault must have every variety known to man, as they are gardeners extraordinaire.
Now the maples are beginning to leaf out. It's all so early and so fast.