West Tisbury


The great pond is high up the steps at Sepiessa Point. It will be a while before the pond is opened to the sea, leaving no beach for walking humans or dogs. Meanwhile, the woods still beckon us for our daily walk and still open onto the sandplain that appears vast in contrast. Each has its beauty.

I attended Sydney Jasny’s Bat Mitzvah at the Hebrew Center last Saturday morning. Ron Tolin told me later that every seat in the synagogue was filled. Members of her family came from as far as Canada and California. Vineyard classmates and friends were there, too, to honor the occasion and to celebrate Sydney’s study and achievement. She spoke of the qualities of leadership, especially the need for humility. She did beautifully. Congratulations Sydney.

Sunday morning breakfast at the airport brought a surprise visit from Henry Bassett with his dad, Brian, and brother, Hugh. They had come to the Island for a quick visit, just for the weekend. While here, Henry had to fulfill a homework assignment, a very practical one, to prepare a meal for his family. He had to shop, cook, serve, and clean up. Brian said that the individual chicken pot pies were delicious, but Henry started cooking about 3 o’clock and didn’t finish cleaning up till after 8 that night. Henry has no plans to take over as the family chef. Still, his mother, Sarah, enjoyed the night off and remains hopeful.

This past week was one of the best as my dear friend, Jayne Johnson, returned to the Island for a visit from her new home in Hamilton. She stayed with Mike and me, arriving with the most luscious bouquet of flowers from Donaroma’s and a good bottle of wine. She got to spend time with Les and Susie Leland, Kathy Sollitto, Martha and Giulia Fleishman, and some of her former colleagues from Community Services. And sit on the sofa knitting and talking for hours. We went to see “Quartet” at the new movie theater in Vineyard Haven. Both movie and theater were impressive. The theater has the most comfortable seats, lots of leg room, and is arranged in tiers so there’s not a bad seat in the house. Plus the movie was wonderful. Friday morning came all too soon as Jayne and her dog, Oscar, left for the ferry. Talley and Nan were exhausted after three days playing with a two-year-old pup. I can’t wait till they come back.

Island Democrats are invited to attend a platform hearing Saturday morning, March 23, 9:30 to noon, at the Oak Bluffs Senior Center. State Platform Committee Chairman Setti Warren and Senator Dan Wolf will be here to listen to suggested additions or changes to the state platform. Recommendations must be in writing, signed, and with the voting address of the signer. See massdems.org/platform to review the current document.

The Martha’s Vineyard Center For Living Cultural Luncheon is also this Saturday, noon to 2, at The Grill. Bonnie Stacy, Curator of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, is the guest speaker. Tickets are $25.00. Call Leslie Clapp for reservations: 508-939-9440.

The library’s Mother Goose on the Loose programs for children 0-3 continue this week at Community Services on Tuesday and Thursday at the Oak Bluffs Library. Both begin at 10:30 am.

Linda Hearn invited me over to pick up the armful of pussywillows she gives me every spring. Linda’s garden is a place of artistically pruned shapes. Shrubs and tall grasses provide a fine structure to look at, as well as protection for the perennials that nest between and below them. It’s one of my favorite painting spots, beautiful in all seasons.

While we were sitting in her kitchen together, I told Linda a story.

We had lost a huge branch in one of this winter’s storms, leaving behind the remains of a tree leaning perilously over our roof. Mike had sited our house to take advantage of this majestic oak. It shaded us through the summers and dropped its leaves to allow the winter sun to warm our house. Very efficient, but so very sad to think about losing our old friend. Mike and I looked at its planned trajectory, through a mostly open part of our yard. There was nothing I cared about it hitting except an enkianthus I had grown from a tiny whip into a beautifully shaped shrub about six feet tall.

I was at work when the tree came down. It was dark when I got home and I didn’t notice the tree was gone until the next morning when I took Talley out. My enkianthus was a direct hit. The main trunk was split down the middle, shearing the entire shrub in half. Its remaining branches held bits of twig and bark. On either side, empty space or a badly sited tree I wanted cut down remained untouched.

I cannot bear to walk out into our back yard. Half of my enkianthus still is loaded with buds, ready to open to the red-tinged blossoms I treasured. I wonder what it will feel like when it breaks dormancy and finds half of itself gone?

Mike has been making jokes all last week about the “male condition” and “being in the dog house.” I love my husband and am glad our marriage has survived almost 29 years of his neatening up binges with brush cutter or chain saw, plants lost or trimmed to a stub. I know I drive him nuts, too. But that enkianthus was so beautiful.