West Tisbury


Another week of weather — cold and snowy, then a warm weekend. It has begun to snow as I am writing this Monday morning, more predicted mid-week. This has been the most beautiful winter so far.

Yesterday when Mike and I walked our dogs there was mist rising across the Great Pond, the far bank still covered in snow where the opening has already filled in. Land looked suspended in air as sky and water were all shrouded and obscured. After I finish writing, I want to take Talley down to see the pond through this snowfall.

I was thinking about my snowdrops that I had seen coming up a few weeks ago, so went outside to look. There is one clump blooming as the snow falls on top of them. They are in a patch of myrtle just outside our dining room door, facing south, always the first to bloom. I called Tom Hodgson, then checked his Facebook page, as he is usually the first to see snowdrops every year. He had, on February 1, but posted that Thaw Malin found some blooming two weeks ago. Joanne Scott just called. She saw her first snowdrops yesterday, also on Music Street. “Spring is coming,” she said but added that she is enjoying today’s snow.

Last Tuesday I met Linda Hearn at the library construction site for a tour. I brought along the town carpenter, a.k.a. my husband Mike, who has been following the project all along. He immediately went off with John Christiansen, the Clerk of the Works, to discuss construction details, while Linda and I commenced our tour.

I think it still feels like our library. Certainly larger and somewhat differently configured, but it still has the openness and basic design components of the original building. The walls are creamy white and the trim and beams are clear wood. There are lots of window seats and cozy spots to sit, or there will be when the furniture and bookcases are in place. The floors are either wood or colorful rubber (bright green in the children’s room.) Linda Carnegie will paint a mural in the children’s room, so it will feel familiar, too. Julia Mitchell has woven a special tapestry that will be straight ahead as we enter the library, at the top of the stairs.

A lot of thought went into how the building will function. It has open spaces that can be reconfigured as needed. I have always admired the flexibility of our staff, how they think creatively and move things around to try a better way. The new building will easily accommodate that kind of thinking.

For now, the main area where we will enter has bathrooms and a coat closet just inside the door. The program room is to the right, the circulation desk and staff offices to the left, stairwell straight ahead. The cupola lets in light overhead. The main adult area is to the left of the stairwell. The children’s room is to the right. Downstairs there will be a room for the young adults, the main stacks, computer workspace, quiet workrooms, and a room for the Friends. I’ve probably forgotten something, but soon you will be exploring it yourself. All appears on schedule for the new library to open some time in March.

Outside, Mike and I found our brick in the walkway between the Howes House and the library. It was fun to read the names and sentiments of the many friends we saw represented.

There is still room for interested intermediate and advanced poets to sign up for Donald Nitchie’s free poetry workshop offered by the library. It will begin February 18, 5:30 to 7 pm, and continue consecutive Tuesday evenings through March 25. Call the library to pre-register, 508-693-3366, or email: programs@westtisburylibrary.org.

Two interesting events for those interested in keeping our environment and our food supply healthy and free of GMOs (genetically modified organisms). The Democratic Council of Martha’s Vineyard’s meeting this Saturday morning, February 8, will have guest speakers from a newly formed organization on the Island called 350MVI. The meeting is at the Howes House, 9 to 10:30 am.

Next Wednesday evening, February 12, Slow Food Martha’s Vineyard will show the documentary film “Genetic Roulette – The Gamble of our Lives” at the Edgartown Library at 7 pm. Both programs are timely, as there are bills in committee in the Massachusetts State Legislature regarding labeling of GMOs in our food, a subject we all need to be educated about. Both organizations are hoping to work with local farmers, feed suppliers, and garden centers to raise awareness of safer choices.

Super Bowl Sunday is a bittersweet time for me. For many years we spent the evening with Mike’s dad, Richard, and his boyhood friends and their wives. Don and Jackie Sexton, Richard, and Mike and I would gather around Steve and Maureen Murphy’s television set to watch the game and enjoy one of Maureen’s delicious dinners during half-time. They were all football fanatics from when they were kids. Mike and I were graciously included. Steve would have been the first in the neighborhood to want a giant screen television. Maureen would have grumbled about the expense, but I suspect she would have given in to Steve on that purchase, the better to watch the Patriots and the Red Sox. This Super Bowl would have been a disappointment, being such an overwhelmingly obvious outcome right from the beginning. We all appreciated close scores and cliffhangers. But the scent of Maureen’s beef stew would have been enticing, and the company filled with good cheer in a cozy room on Music Street. Super Bowl Sunday.