West Tisbury: A new online support group for Lyme disease

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Farmer Roy Riley, of Green Island Farm, carries feed down to the chicken coops on a sled. — Photo courtesy of Susie Middleto

Another week of snow and cold temperatures, then rain on the weekend that made every step slip-dangerous. I watched the dogs skid on the brick path through our garden. Mike came home from a trip to the firehouse with a tale of firemen and rescue personnel arriving in their trucks, turning into the parking lot, trying to stop and getting little traction. Ice coated with a watery film is everywhere. Watch out.

I am writing this morning to a staccato accompaniment from the sunroom, where Mike has taken our woodstove apart for a good clean-out. There have been several chimney fires over the weekend, and prudence seemed to dictate a look at the catalytic combustor and chimney here at home. We were both surprised to find it quite clean, since it has burned practically nonstop for weeks. A good precaution, nonetheless. Another is to regularly burn it hot to burn off the creosote.

I am sad to tell that Russell Hollister, Susan Wasserman’s father, died at age 103. Susan had just returned from visiting him in Indiana. He was a frequent visitor to West Tisbury, well-known at all the regular haunts — Alley’s and the library, especially the book sale, where he worked beside Susan and his great-grandson Henry Bassett.

Last week I mentioned Roy Riley hefting bags of chicken feed down an icy slope to feed his flock. When I saw Roy and Susie Middleton this week, they told me about the toboggan they bought that has made the task so much easier. Roy got it at Shirley’s, and recommends it. I include a photograph Susie took of Roy at work.

Thanks to Cynthia Aguilar, who has started a magazine recycling basket at our library. What a great idea. Now we can all bring our stacks of magazines to share and take home some we might not have seen before.

The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury will hold its annual meeting this Sunday, March 1, following the worship service. You may pick up a copy of the 2014 Annual Report (also in PDF) and information about the agenda at the church office, Monday through Friday, 9 to 1. Or call Jennifer Parkinson in the office, 508-693-2842.

West Tisbury Parks and Recreation is sponsoring a free Family Skate at the arena this Sunday from noon to 1:20. Drinks and hot chocolate will be provided. Please bring a snack or dessert to share. For more information, call Peggy Stone at 508-696-0147.

Walk-in registration for ACE MV spring classes is Tuesday, March 3, 5 pm to 6:30 pm, in the MVRHS lobby. Quite a variety of classes, many in partnership with off-Island institutions. The catalogue is online: acemv.org. Or call 508-693-9222.

Enid Haller sent information that may be of interest, as so many of us have been affected by Lyme or other tick-borne infections. There is a new online support group for parents and family members of a child with any tick-related infection. The link, which is quite long, is available in this column online.

Also, State Senator Karen Spilka, new chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, is co-sponsor of HD469/SD985, An Act Relative to Lyme Disease Treatment Coverage. Hopes are high for better coverage for diagnosis and treatment of Lyme.

Laura Hearn is the person to call if you are interested in the Martha’s Vineyard Sustainable Book Club, a collaborative project of Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary and the six island libraries. They have already met over their first book, but the next meeting is scheduled for April, so you have plenty of time to read “American Catch” by Paul Greenberg. Call Laura at 508 627-4850, ext: 103, or email lhearn@massaudubon.org.

Since adopting young male kittens, Porter first and now Nelson, Mike and I have taken down our bird feeders. We both miss our former morning’s entertainment, watching different birds at the feeders outside our windows while we had our breakfast. Fortunately, we have wonderfully bird-obsessed friends and I am grateful for the opportunity to observe the activity at their feeders when we visit, and the stories they have to tell.

Sue Hruby came by for tea last week, filled with observations of the crows at her feeder. She said they clearly took turns hanging onto the pole, eating some seeds, then jumping down to allow the next crow his opportunity. They rotated turns in an organized manner.

Another tale involved her cat, Rosie, “not a competent killer” in Sue’s description. Rosie brought in a junco that had flown into her cat pen, “delicately transferred it to the house, where it ended up behind the television (in an enclosed cabinet.) She just wants to play with it and doesn’t understand why it flies away and doesn’t stay to play with her. She is a very evolved lap cat.” The junco finally flew up onto a curtain rod, so Sue and Jared opened the door below, turned off the lights, and the bird flew out.

If you enjoy breakfast or lunch at the airport, please note that the restaurant has changed its name. A sign on a back window announces “The Snow View,” backed by a pile of snow that spills over the top of the now aptly named snow fence.