West Tisbury


I got my wished-for snow. It was so silent, softly falling all day and through the night into the next morning. We were prepared, of course, with extra wood and extra food, books, shovels, sand, and the snow blower at the ready. I had hoped to be snowed in for days, but four-wheel-drive made getting out inevitable. Still, it was enough to feel separate from the rest of the world for a while.

Since then we have had icy cold wind followed by near-record warm days that turned our snow into slush, then froze again as temperatures plummeted. Paths between the house and our workshops, to compost and woodpile, remain green. I watch those paths and sun-swaths melt into changing patterns of changing colors.

I have just come home from the funeral service for Geraldine Davis Cronig at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church. The church was full, as was her house afterwards. She was an elegant and multi-talented lady with a dry sense of humor, a lover of purple in all shades, from lavender to the richest violet. She was a woman who knew how to tie a scarf. Gerry had been a nurse at the hospital for many years, and everyone I’ve spoken with had a story of her being in attendance for the birth of their first child or caring for some ailment or broken bone. She was a much-loved mother, wife, sister, nonna, and friend. She will be missed by all who knew her.

Winter jasmine is blooming outside the kitchen door at Leslie Baker’s house. Margaret Logue and Ruth Kirchmeier both have it planted against sunny walls, too. I should call them to ask. Hellebores called Christmas roses are blooming tight to the ground beneath the snow. I still have purple and white violas in flowerpots outside our doors. They are always the hardiest come spring, those plants that weathered through the winter, making huge mats of flowers and greenery early on. I hope their seeds will sprout into flowering skirts beneath the pots and beside our stairs and paths.

I can’t believe I’m envisioning green life in this “dead of winter.”

The other big news in our natural world is the sighting of snowy owls across the island. Here in town, folks have spotted them along the south shore. I haven’t seen one yet, but it is something else to look for on our dog walks.

State Senator Dan Wolf will be a guest at the January meeting of the Democratic Council of Martha’s Vineyard this Saturday, January 11, 9 am, at the Howes House. He will discuss legislation affecting our district and priority issues for candidates to be addressed in the upcoming gubernatorial election. Check out info@mvdems.org.

Next Friday, January 17, will be Pecha Kucha Night at the Harbor View Hotel. Pecha Kucha, a Japanese invention, appeared in 2003 as an event for designers to meet, network, and display their work in a format where presenters show twenty images for twenty seconds each. The name Pecha Kucha translates into “chit chat,” and the fast moving format has become a worldwide celebration for creative individuals to showcase their work. The event begins at 7:30 pm. For more information, call Jessica at 508 627-4441, ext. 117, or email jjohnson@mvmuseum.org.

ACE MV has posted their winter class offerings on their website: www.acemv.org. or call 774-310-1131.

The Mansion House has a January deal for Island residents. They call it “a slumber party for islanders.” Stay at the hotel for $29 per person, double occupancy, and enjoy the inn, health club, and pool. It’s like a vacation without having to go very far. There are also free classes on Saturdays so you can try out your options before signing up.

The Federated Church has begun serving free lasagna luncheons on Sundays, 12:30–2:30 pm, in the Parish Hall. Call Marna Waller for more information: 508-627-4421.

Don’t forget that our West Tisbury Church has moved Sunday services to the Ag Hall for the month of January. Services begin at 10 am.

Everywhere Mike or I go we meet someone who asks, “Is that Mari Harman’s dog?” or “Do you still have Mari Harman’s dog?” They are referring to Nanuk, our golden retriever. She must be the best-known dog on Martha’s Vineyard. Mari is pretty well-known herself. I know her friends send her copies of the column whenever I mention Nanuk. So hello, Mari. Nanuk sends her love.