West Tisbury


For the first time the air held that softness of spring when I walked up for the paper this morning. Daffodils are opening in the warmth, decorating yards and roadsides. The blue carpet of chionodoxa on Music Street seems more abundant than ever.

We have had “one of those weeks” when everything has seemed catastrophic or merely broken. The first was finding signs of mice in our kitchen. Having praised to the skies the abilities of my eight-month-old kitten, I was surprised that he had allowed such a thing in “his house.” Mike thinks Porter probably brought the mouse in himself and it got loose in the house. Whatever the circumstances, we now had a situation that had to be dealt with. The bright side was a good spring cleaning of all the drawers and cupboards, much needed, that including throwing out cereal from 2004 with just a dusting of the original contents in the bottom of the box. Same with pasta, crackers, and chips I had bought on sale three summers ago and forgotten about. The drawers held turkey trusses I have never used, doubles and triples of spatulas, can and bottle openers, and other miscellania. Now gone. Thoroughly scrubbed and with new shelf paper, it’s all looking pretty good. We caught one mouse the first night while Porter slept across the seat of Mike’s recliner in the living room (next to the kitchen where the mouse must have been moving around) or upstairs curled beside me in bed. But there has been no further evidence and I hope that can be put behind us now.

The second thing was coming downstairs Friday morning smelling something unfamiliar. It was strongest in our front hallway and bathroom. Up I went to wake my husband who knows everything and would surely deal with this situation. Mike declared it an electrical smell, sending me into a panic. I was getting ready to go off to work for the day and had no intention of leaving Talley in the house unable to escape if our house burst into flames. I packed up my paintings, my favorite art books, my bag of unfinished tax folders, my dog, a clean nightgown and change of clothes, and my toothbrush. Mike would be home part of the day and have Nan with him in the truck. Porter could escape through his cat flap if he was inside. I left a bucket and a scoop net by the goldfish’s tank. Ready for whatever was to come, I left for work.

Mike had everything taken care of by the time I returned home. The bathroom heater had died, along with the bathroom thermostat. Of course, it took replacing the heater to find that the thermostat needed replacing, as well, so two trips to Baynes, then back to install the new parts. Mike had the house aired out and all was well by the time I came home with Talley. Then I had to empty out all the stuff from my car.

As things usually happen in threes, the chandelier in our dining room had burned out the night of our Passover seder. Confident that the switches and dimmer needed replacing, Mike bought the parts while dealing with the bathroom electrical problems. Well, the switches and dimmer weren’t the problem. The chandelier came down from the ceiling and was carefully checked. Now the problem appears to be in the wiring, so it’s time to call Berube’s and leave the problem in Frank’s capable hands. But what a week it has been.

I feel silly fussing about mice and electrical heating elements when there are worse crises people endure every day. This Saturday evening, April 13, there will be a fundraising dinner to benefit Karen (Allen) Berube, who has been battling cancer. She and her husband, David, need our support. For $20 you get a fabulous lasagna dinner with salad and dessert, plus music by Tristan Israel, Paul Thurlow, and Nancy Jephcote, and over 80 items to be auctioned off by our favorite auctioneer, Trip Barnes. Dinner begins at 5 pm. Hope you can come.

A few reminders from the West Tisbury Library: Hours have changed. The library will close at 6 pm on Mondays, resuming evening hours once we move back to our building. The Monday Night Stitchers have moved to the Howes House for the duration. The library in its current location will continue Sunday afternoon hours, 1 to 5, through the summer.

If your spring cleaning involves going through your books and you have some you want to give away, don’t forget our library’s summer book sale. The Friends have a book drop and shed for donations at the West Tisbury School in the parking lot. You may pick up tax donation forms at the temporary library.

Mother Goose on the Loose meets Tuesdays at 10:30 am at MV Community Services, Thursday, April 11, 10:30 the Vineyard Haven Library, and Thursday, April 18, at the Oak Bluffs Library.

Paddy Moore has arranged a timely program for the MV Democratic Council meeting this Saturday, April 13. Come to the Howes House from 9 to 10:30 to meet and listen to the two contenders for John Kerry’s former Senate seat. Edward Markey and Stephen Lynch will both be there. It will provide a good opportunity for interested Islanders to hear what they have to say and to ask questions.

Enjoy the warmer air, the Red Sox opening day at Fenway Park, our own baseball fields manned out in the evenings, vegetables and flowers coming up, windows open all day. Mike grilled our first steak of the season outside last night. We ate at a table decorated with daffodils from our own yard. These are the sweetnesses of summer.

If there’s no column next week, it’s because I haven’t finished my taxes yet. Skipper, check for newly dug places in my back yard or a big splash in the Mill Pond.