Thanksgiving is the sweetest holiday, getting together with friends or family, sharing a meal, being grateful for what we have rather than asking for more. This year, the weather report predicts a nice, sunny day, mild enough for a beach walk with the dogs before or after dinner.
It’s also the beginning of that rushing toward Christmas season that never feels long enough. It may be a little easier and closer this year with the addition of a charming shop, Island-Made Holidays@Alley’s. Linda Alley of New Lane Sundries and several of her creative friends opened their store this past weekend. It will remain open daily, 10 to 6, till Christmas Eve.
I went in to look at everything. Besides Linda’s jam (I bought Ruby Red Grapefruit Marmalade and went right home to make toast), there are Stephanie Tilton Rossi’s felted animals, snowmen, mermaids, catnip for your kitty, and best of all for West Tisburyites, an elegant swan like those in our Mill Pond. Lynn Christoffers’ 2016 Cat Calendar has just been printed, in two sizes for a wall or your desk. There is a selection of Cynthia Riggs’s books, and cards of her father, Sidney Riggs’, linoleum cuts of Island scenes. Daisy Kimberly has made fabulous pillows. Emily Fischer’s goat milk soaps and lotions, scented candles by Tania Tilton, knitted cowls and ornaments by Michelle Torres, Scott Campbell’s pottery, Gwen Nichols’ wampum and bead jewelry, jewelry and Mermaid Catch T shirts by Ally Reid, scarves and bags and herbal concoctions by Rachel Baumrin of Austin Designs, and the most beautiful wreaths handmade by Rose Campbell. There are a few more artists/craftsmen still to bring in their wares.
The Vineyard Artisans Festival will be in town this Friday and Saturday, 10 to 4, at the Ag Hall. I saw Andrea Rogers at the Farmers Market, and she told me there will be some new exhibitors along with the more familiar ones. Art and crafts make a wonderful mix of possibilities — oils and watercolors, botanicals, books, ceramics, metalwork, fiber arts, leather, glass, jewelry, woodworking, photography, pastels, mixed media, and furniture.
There is no Winter Farmers Market this weekend. It resumes next Saturday at the Ag Hall.
The Antique Show will be at the Grange Hall on Friday and Saturday, 9 to 3. I have always done a lot of my shopping there, finding unexpected treasures for myself and for those on my gift list.
The Vineyard Holiday Gift Shop is open in Vineyard Haven. Several West Tisbury artists and craftspeople are among the 20-plus participants. Linda Hearn has made quilted table runners and ornaments. Her daughter, Laura, will have a selection of her jewelry there, too. Cynthia Aguilar has made cards, and Rusty Gordon has made birdhouses out of gourds from his Ghost Island Farm. Patti Linn’s fabulous chocolates, Emily Fischer’s soaps, and Scott and Rose Campbell’s pottery and jewelry are all there. Hours are 10 to 6 daily.
If you are looking for the ultimate gift, consider a ticket to one of Marsha Winsryg’s Tuscan tours. She has two planned for March 2016 that combine art, architecture, culture, and history. And the amazing food and wine. Everyone I know who has traveled with Marsha has raved about her trips. She knows so many people there that her itineraries include very special, personal detours. Profits will benefit the African Artists Community Development Project that is so dear to Marsha’s heart. Closer to home, she has opened her Christmas-season shop on
Main Street in Edgartown, filled with crafts made by the people she visits in Africa. The shop will be open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday till Christmas.
The West Tisbury Congregational Church begins the Advent season with the first of three Evensong services, “Longing and Preparing,” next Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 5:30. The annual Christmas Faire is coming up on Saturday, Dec. 5.
There will be a special concert Wednesday, Nov. 25, at the West Tisbury library, at 4 o’clock. Scott Woolweaver and Delores Stevens are “Taking Bridge to Brahms.” The concert is free, and all are welcome.
Don’t forget that the library will be closed Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday. When they reopen on Saturday, the Lego Club will meet that afternoon from 2:30 to 4:30. All age groups are welcome. And on Sunday at 3:30, there will be a concert by guitarist/bassist Eric Johnson, who will perform jazz standards and some of his own original compositions.
For Cynthia Walsh’s many friends and admirers, we are invited to a memorial gathering at the Grange Hall this Saturday, Nov. 28, at 5 o’clock. “White wine and plenty of chocolate, her favorites,” said her sister, Jaime Hamlin. There will be hors d’oeuvres, and we are invited to bring a special one on a platter with our name on it to add to the buffet.
The West Tisbury selectmen’s School Task Force will hold their fourth meeting next Thursday afternoon, Dec. 3, 5:30, at the Howes House. Please plan to attend, but in case you miss it, the meeting will be filmed for MVTV.
Steve and Sandy Atwood have just returned from a trip to England. The highlight of their trip was the day and a half they spent with Jim Wight, better known as “James Herriot Jr.,” son of the author and starring veterinarian of “All Creatures Great and Small” and the books that followed. Steve had invited Dr. Wight to be the commencement speaker at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Wight invited Steve to get in touch when he came to England. He couldn’t have been a more amiable host, according to the Atwoods. They saw Skeldale House, inside and out, lots of the scenery from the PBS shows, and “many of my dad’s favorite spots” around Yorkshire. Steve called it “a veterinarian’s dream.”
Jay and Celine Segal’s visit to Angoulême, France to visit Celine’s family was a lovely week-plus. They have a new nephew, Lucas, who was only a few days old when they arrived. They spent their last few days in Paris, and were seeing a movie a few blocks from the Bataclan when ISIS terrorists began their rampage, unaware of it all until Celine’s father called on Jay’s cell phone to make sure they were all right. Jay said they had a terrible time at the airport trying to leave the country to get home. They are safely so, having lived through a page of recent history.
Arriving home, they were greeted by a package from the U.S. Patent Office, containing the document for the Dynamic Orthotic designed by Dr. Jay Segal. He is fitting patients for custom orthotics in his office. A noncustom, over-the-counter version will be available Jan. 1, 2016.
Rich and Phyllis Kugler have something special to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, a beautiful standard poodle puppy named Violette.
I wish everyone reading this a good holiday. Please let me know if you have news of guests or travels to share for next week’s column.