Bob and Bobbette are both back on the Mill Pond, swimming amid a dozen or so ducks of different varieties. Joannie Jenkinson was on her way to feed them when I saw her Sunday morning at the gas station. She had a bagful of bread and, I hope, her camera — she is a very good photographer.
Christmas was wonderful. There were a few flurries of snow as the congregation was leaving the Christmas Eve service at the West Tisbury Church. The 10 pm service was beautiful, the church filled with candlelight and music and so many people dear to me.
Usually, Mike and I still have a houseful or are cleaning up afterwards, so I have never been to this service. It was something I have always wanted to do. We kept our Christmas quiet this year, just us and the pets. Church, walks on the beach, time to reread A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas, to revel in his delicious language and imagery. Christmas night dinner with dear friends Betty and Bill Haynes.
We awoke to a real snow Sunday morning. It came down hard during the night, changing to sleet and rain that was heavy enough to pelt our roof, waking me up. It's been fun watching Porter's first experience of snow. He stood at the door looking out at everything transformed by an unfamiliar coating. One paw out, head out, ears up, back inside. Repeat. Out on the porch. Repeat. To the steps. Repeat. Finally, the entire kitten out, chasing Nan's tail. Back in. It's cold out there. And so on. It was funny, as he is a very confident kitten. I guess he likes his cozy cat bed by the woodstove, looking out the window instead of having cold paws outside.
I spent Sunday afternoon with Katherine Long and her cats. She helped me get started on a knitting project, as Twig and Purl determined to inhibit any progress. Katherine is a gadget-lover. I was the beneficiary of her gadgets and expertise, winding my skeins of yarn on a smooth wooden device instead of Mike's outspread hands, help figuring out the pattern, advice and repairs on a variety of glitches. Good conversation, too. Knitting could become addictive.
The Martha's Vineyard Horse Council will hold their monthly meeting next Thursday, January 10, 6:30 pm, at the Ag Hall. On the agenda is a discussion and planning of events for 2013. All are welcome to attend. More information is on their website: mvhorsecouncil.org.
It's been fun seeing familiar faces around town. Kids are home from college. Summer friends have returned for the holidays. Soon they will return to their winter lives as we settle down into ours. This is, for me, the best time of year. Days alone in my studio, walks with Talley and Nan on empty beaches or trails, tea with friends, time for my own thoughts, time for house projects, time for doing nothing. I don't like the dark after everyone's outside Christmas lights come down, but otherwise winter represents the happiest months of my Vineyard life.
Writing this, I am aware of how much West Tisbury means to me. I have been so fortunate to have married into this town and been welcomed into it. Mike and I have so many friends of long standing. We have shared joys and sorrows, illnesses, returns to health, losses of dear ones, the births of children and grandchildren, school plays and concerts, graduations, weddings, parties, daily greetings at the post office or on Alley's porch, smiles and waves from car to car. The woods and shores where I walk daily have inspired my paintings and the thoughts that make up this column. I have found my life here and it is richer than I ever imagined.
Happy 2013, everyone.
p.s. For everyone who has asked, no closet doors this Christmas. Maybe for Valentine's Day?