Orange butterfly weed is dotting fields all around town. Otherwise, things are mostly green, that heavy, dull, dusty green of midsummer. It’s been hot, too, and there’s been no rain. Our typical summer weather — hazy, hot, humid.
I never thought I would be so glad to have an air conditioner, but this past week has made me grateful beyond words. Our Lab, Talley, has developed a heart arrhythmia, and we were instructed by our vet to keep her cool. Mike dragged down relics from our collection of old air conditioners, shut all the doors and windows, and set them up in two of our downstairs windows. Blessedly cool and no humidity. It’s been wonderful.
That said, as I am writing this column the temperature has lowered, so air conditioners are off, windows are open, and I am writing on my sofa with the air blowing softly onto my face from a living room window. Talley is resting comfortably by my feet.
As all of you have read about Talley since she was a puppy, you will read about her now as she is nearing the end of her life. Jean Wexler wrote in one of her gardening columns years ago after one of her poodles died that our animals teach us about aging and death. Having been through this with several beloved pets over the years, I can attest to the rightness of Jean’s conclusion. Talley, at age 14, is accepting her aches and pains and limitations with a grace I can only hope to emulate.
I hope everyone saw the article about our Fire Department’s Rescue Squad in last week’s Times. Unless you are involved in the department, you wouldn’t know about the time and effort they put into constantly upgrading their skills, drilling with their equipment, as well as running whenever that pager goes off. They deserve our notice and our gratitude. I know they are hoping that some new young people will join the department. If you are interested, stop by one of the stations at 10 am any Sunday morning and see what they do.
I have often commented that the best thing we, when I was on the board of trustees, ever did was hiring Beth Kramer as library director. She has brought an energy and professionalism and grace to the library that everyone acknowledges. Our West Tisbury library has just been awarded a Customer Experience in the Digital Age Grant of $10,000 by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. The grant will fund ongoing staff training in new technologies, programs to help young patrons learn, including coding robots and new reading apps, and will assist with ongoing technology planning. Ruth Urell, head of library advisory and development at the MBLC, said, “These grants are competitive and require serious planning, great idea development, and a strong commitment to meeting well-defined local needs. The librarians are to be congratulated for their dedication to improving library services in their communities.” Congratulations to Beth and the library staff.
The Friends of the Library’s Annual Book Sale opens this Friday morning, July 28, at 9 am in the West Tisbury School gym. Hours are 9 am to 3 pm for the four days of the sale. Books are reduced to half-price on Sunday and are free on Monday.
At the library this week:
Saturday, July 29, at noon, Matt Hayden will lead a Natural Wood Building workshop for kids ages 10 and up. Sign-up is required.
Sunday, July 30, a family concert by the Choros das Tres begins at 7 pm.
Monday, July 31, 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky’s Balance Workshop. Monday Night Movies for families and teens/tweens begin at 6:30 pm.
Tuesday, August 1, 7:30 pm, Spotlight on Youth Concert at the Grange Hall, showcasing the Island’s best young musical talent. Doors open at 7 pm. An Art Cliff food truck will serve dinner from 6 to 8 pm. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for kids under 12, and can be purchased at the library.
Wednesday, August 2, 1 pm, Roboteers from iRobot will visit to give a demo for kids to learn about different kinds of robots, how they work, and see them in action. All ages are welcome. At 5 pm, a presentation by Martina Arndt, Bridgewater State University professor of physics, in anticipation of the upcoming solar eclipse. Learn about how they happen, how they contribute to science, and how to safely view the eclipse.
Thursday, August 3, 10:30 am, a special storytime with guest Olivia the Pig. At 11:30 am, a music and dancing presentation by music therapist Greta Bro. At 4:30, John Kennedy will talk about “The Real News About Fake News.”
And if you haven’t seen Nancy Purnell’s landscape paintings in the library’s Program Room, the last day of her exhibition is Friday, July 28.
This is the last weekend to see “Looking Back,” Allen Whiting’s paintings and drawings dating from 1982 on. The show will end this Sunday. New work, “Leaning Forward,” opens on Thursday, August 3, with a reception from 4 to 6 pm. The Davis House Gallery is open Thursdays through Sundays, 1 to 6 pm.
Island Theatre Workshop’s production of “Annie” opens this weekend at the MVRHS Performing Arts Center. Many familiar names among the cast members: Felicity Lepine, Annabelle Brothers, Molly Crawford, Lily Haynes, Ariana Edelman, Maggie Bernard, and Ethan Knight. Shows are July 28, 29, 31, and August 3, 4, 5 ,at 7:30 pm. Sunday matinees are at 3 pm on July 30 and August 6.
As my little garden limps along, roadside stands display the most luscious bouquets of lilies, zinnias in magenta and peach and lime green, sunflowers of different sizes and colors, bouquets of a single variety or in mixes of color and form, all spectacular. They brighten my trips around town, and I’m always happy to bring something home.