West Tisbury

Hermine-HullAnother week starting off with snow. When I went out to get wood this afternoon, I thought the sky looked like what my mother called “a snow sky,” kind of a heavy translucent gray. Sure enough, I looked outside a few minutes ago to see snow falling. It had already prettily covered shrubs and footprints, neatening things up around the yard, and is still falling heavily. It will be a surprise to wake up tomorrow morning to see how much.

Everyone who knew Ted Meinelt, and that’s just about everyone on the Island, will be saddened by his passing last week. Ted had been a huge part of the Island art scene. He was an art teacher for many years, creative, interested in all aspects of art, a familiar face at gallery openings, a respected and knowledgeable critic of art and the “art scene.” And an all-around good guy. A visit to Ted and Polly’s house was a visual treat. Between them they collected everything and displayed it in interesting ways, especially at Christmas. Ted made his own cards every year, treasured by those lucky enough to be on his list. They were always gracious and welcoming, making you feel like you were the most special guest ever to set foot in their home. Ted specialized in the Continental kiss — one on each cheek — whenever he saw you around town. I will miss him, as I have missed Polly. They were a pair. My condolences to Terry and Kathy, all the grandchildren, and so many friends.

Paul Karasik just returned from his annual trip to the Angouleme [France] International Comics Festival and the four-day class he teaches the week before. His description of his students’ making eight-page mini-comics is as follows: “That’s writing, pencilling, lettering, inking, printing, and binding while the clock is ticking and I am drumming my fingers on the desk.” Paul’s art advertising the event was printed into posters by a group from the Netherlands and “plastered” around the city. He spent lots of time viewing exhibits and meeting and reminiscing with fellow artists. Paul described the highlight of his trip, “the biggest thrill for me was meeting Herr Seele, part of the team responsible for ‘Cowboy Henk.’ I sat for a portrait that he did of me straight in ink as we chatted….As a flourish, he added Cowboy Henk whispering sweet nothings in my ear.” Sounds like a fabulous trip, Paul. Welcome home.

Farmer, cook, and author extraordinaire Susie Middleton will be at the Bunch of Grapes this Saturday, February 15, at 3 pm, to introduce her newest cookbook, “Fresh From the Farm.” It’s number three, following “Fast, Fresh, & Green” and “The Fresh & Green Table.” She promises something special to nibble on, as well as her own special self. Congratulations, Susie, on your latest success.

There is still space to join Donald Nitchie’s poetry workshop that begins on February 18. It will be a writing and critique format, free to intermediate and advanced poets. Pre-register at the West Tisbury Library, 508-693-3366, ot programs@westtisburylibrary.org.

As everyone is getting ready for Valentine’s Day on Friday, I feel like I have already received my gift for this year. Mike was terribly sick all last week with a good-sized kidney stone that wasn’t going anywhere. After two ER visits, a visit to Dr. Lamb, and an appointment with Dr. Bouche, the urologist who fortuitously came to the Vineyard last week, he had surgery the next day at Falmouth Hospital, and is feeling so much better. Mike and I both feel very fortunate to live here and to have access to the quality of health care that we do. Quality meaning the excellence of the medical care and the kindness and personal concern that made us feel so well-cared for.

Our thanks to our Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. The Emergency Room Doctors Pangia and Casper and all the nursing staff were the best. Dr. Lamb was, as always, there for us when we needed him, kind, thorough, and knowing just what to do. Dr. Bouche saw Mike on Thursday and booked him immediately for the procedure on Friday. Everyone at Falmouth Hospital was wonderful. (They just called to check on how he is doing.) The Steamship Authority helped us get off and back when we needed to. And I have my husband home, mostly pain-free, and beginning to eat and keep down real food. Special thanks to Leslie Baker, who brought him cake on Sunday. Chocolate makes everything feel better.

I am incredibly grateful for Medicare. To have health insurance, especially after age 65 when Medicare makes it more affordable, takes the worry of financial ruin out of an already stressful situation. And this was only a simple kidney stone. Imagine the cost of some dreaded cancer.

So, although roses are always nice, I am content with the gift I have already been given. Glad you’re okay, Mike.