West Tisbury: I love the seasons changing

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Leslie’s bouquet of “last of the season” zinnias is still on the windowsill, looking as fresh and perfect as the day she gave them to me over a week ago. They have made a pretty still life against the bright skies of the past week. They are just as pretty against the purple-gray and almost white rainy-day skies of yesterday and today.

The skies have been amazing. Big, colorful clouds all day, and spectacular sunsets. Mike and I were driving up-Island one night and he commented that a painting of that sky would never be believed. Tis true, though many try, myself included. Still, the reality is observable and enjoyable for its own beauty. Strong bands of blue and red and orange, all back-lit by a glowing yellow, at the end of the day. We don’t often see sunsets through the leafy summer thickness of our woods, making these evening skies a special pleasure.

I went to Morning Glory Farm for corn Sunday and was told their corn was done for this season. My treasured Sungold tomatoes from Mermaid Farm have already lost some of the hot weather taste of July and August. Kale, spinach, lettuce, carrots, and parsnips are the crops of cooler days and nights.

I love the seasons changing, the food being different too, depending on what grew where. Several years ago, I read “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life,” by Barbara and Camille Kingsolver. The family ate only what they grew themselves or food from close-by farms. It was a year-long experiment in aligning their habits with the true seasons and made for interesting reading. I remember eating peaches and peach ice cream only in the summer when I was a child. Peaches were a summer-only treat. Food came from nearby, not from other countries. The world is so different now.

My column is going in late this week. I just got off the phone with Debbie Magnuson. We talked about everything for well over an hour, so I’m way behind but got lots of interesting news.

I had called Debbie to ask for some details about the upcoming Class of 1967 50th reunion she and Dennis daRosa have been planning. For some reason, the email she sent to all columnists didn’t reach me (or John Alley either; there must be some computer glitch only affecting West Tisbury.) Anyway, I wanted to write about more than the bare details, so I called Deb for “some color” for my story.

The reunion is planned for Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Wharf Pub in Edgartown. Come at 6 pm for appetizers and drinks (cash bar). Dinner is served buffet-style, starting at 7 pm. Dessert comes next and music by “a very popular DJ who will be playing all our favorite 60s songs.” (I think Phil daRosa is a good guess). Please let Dennis daRosa know asap if you are coming, and send in your $55/person to Den at P.O. Box 581, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557. For information, call Dennis at 508-524-2065 or Debbie at 508-693-0081.

There are several graduates from West Tisbury who are expected to attend, some still living in town or still living on the Island: Debbie Merry, Brian Abbott, Lamie Reynolds, Kathy Egan, Donnie Fisher, Jack Mayhew, Cheryl Rezendes, Michelle Snowden, and Julia Mitchell.

Part of our conversation was about a recent day trip Debbie took with the Up-Island Council on Aging. They went to Boston on the bus, then boarded The Spirit of Boston for a cruise through the Boston Harbor Islands, complete with music and a wide-ranging buffet of delicious food. “It was an awesome senior trip,” Debbie said, “thanks to Tanya Larsen, who did a great job planning it.”

Rose Herman celebrated her 16th birthday on Oct.1. Don’t know how I forgot it this year, especially as 16 is such a momentous birthday. Thanks to Nicole Cabot, who reminded me. Happiest belated birthday wishes to you, dear Rosie.

Sue Hruby wants to let everyone know that Cape Light Compact has removed the $4,000 cap for insulation projects recommended through a home energy assessment. To take advantage of the offer, call Cape Light Compact at 1-800-797-6699 to schedule an assessment. If your home qualifies, Cape Light Compact will guide you through signing a contract with an approved contractor, getting the work done, and will cover at least 75 percent of the costs. The promotion ends Dec. 31, 2017.

Today is National Fossil Day, Oct. 12, 2017. Celebrate at the Oak Bluffs library from 4 to 7:45 pm; bring fossils to share or to ask questions about or just come and look at displays by the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, Polly Hill Arboretum, Felix Neck, along with several private collectors and experts. The program is free and all kids and adults are welcome.

Martha’s Vineyard Democrats will meet this Saturday morning, Oct. 14, at the Howes House, from 9 to 10:30 am. Special guest will be state Sen. Julian Cyr, who will give a brief legislative update, then answer your questions and listen to your comments.

MV Dems also reminds everyone that We Stand Together/Estamos Todos Juntos continues to meet every other Thursday from 6 to 7:30 pm at the West Tisbury library. The next meeting is Oct. 19.

Other programs at the West Tisbury library this week include Saturday, Oct. 14, 5 pm, a concert by Rumbarroco, a Latin-Baroque ensemble showcasing connections between Spanish and Latin American music past and present. The concert is in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Sunday (yippee!!!) the library is open Sundays from 1 to 5 pm. Sunday, Oct.15, at 3:30 pm, Jeremy Cohen and Andres Vera of Quartet San Francisco will perform duets for violin and cello. The concert is presented by the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society.

Monday, Oct., 16, Kanta Lipsky’s balance class meets at 11:30 am. Writers Read will meet at 7 pm. Writers of fiction or nonfiction are invited to read their work in eight minute segments. Sign-up at 508-693-4307 or just come. Listeners are welcome, too.

Wednesday, Oct. 18, 5 pm, Helene Barr will present a virtual trip through Tuscany, Granada, and Barcelona from which she has recently returned. She has lots of images of art, architecture, scenery, and gardens, and will surely have stories to recount as well. At 7 pm, there’s a program for high school seniors and their parents to learn about Martha’s Vineyard Youth Scholarships.

I received so many comments about last week’s column, my description of making pickle relish for my brothers. It was bubbling away on the stove as I was writing. I am embarrassed to confess that I went outside and forgot there was something on the stove needing attention. The whole pot of it burned. It was unsavable, last seen in my compost pile where it was attracting yellow jackets and fruit flies. They appeared to be enjoying it. A friend very kindly told me that it was the intention that counted. I don’t think Mike and Andy will be happy with that excuse instead of the sparkling glass jars of pickle relish they were expecting.