West Tisbury
Posted February 9, 2006

By Hermine Hull - 508-693-2525 - hrmhull@gis.net

Cars lined both sides of the Edgartown Road last Thursday evening as guests arrived carrying platters of their best hors d'oeuvres to the Cleaveland House for Cynthia Riggs's annual Groundhog Day party. Everyone was greeted by a genial hostess, lots of town friends, cozy fires in both living room and library fireplaces, and blooming forsythia on the dining room table. It's a good occasion to look forward to in the middle of winter.

The weather continues to be balmy, allowing us to really enjoy being outdoors. Kathy Logue and I took her Shepherd, Sheila, and my Talley for a wild walk at Lucy Vincent on Saturday morning before the rain. The surf was high, crashing waves against a pale sky, opalescent colors. Along the inland pond where we walked, the colors were more intense, red-violet and green-gold and kind of a dusty plum. Kathy commented that we think of winter as being gray and dull when, upon observation, there is really a lot of color to see. Observe, observe, observe.
The dogs got twice as much (at least) exercise as we did. I found ticks on both Talley and me, so I

put Frontline on between her shoulder blades when we returned home. That is the downside of mild winter days. My mother-in-law and niece walked at Sepiessa with Daisy the poodle. They found ticks, too, so please do be aware and check yourself and your dog or cat after being outside.

Margaret Logue came for tea last week, arriving with a gift of blooming witchhazel from her garden, with bright rusty-orange flowers. I want to stop by to see the maroon-colored one she told me about. I found my first blooming myrtle flower yesterday when I was raking leaves out of one of the beds in the back yard. The myrtle is covered with buds among the glossy dark green leaves. Claire Chalfoun brought me two big bouquets of yellow forsythia she forced from her garden in Edgartown. The buds on all of the early-flowering trees are already big and showing some color. I hope they will all survive the inevitable return to cold winter weather. I hope we humans will all survive the inevitable return of cold weather.

The other day I happened to see a very handsome dog, a gold-colored combination of lab/golden retriever, walking in the parking lot at the airport with his owner, whose back was to me. It was Nereus Knight, Talley's heart-throb and summer friend, visiting West Tisbury with his humans, Tom and Suellen Knight. They are here for just a quick visit and, hopefully, we will all get a walk together before they have to leave.

The reason I was in the airport parking lot was that I had just had breakfast with Nina Mentzel and Barbara Fehl. Nina is here from Miami, Fla., visiting her parents Al and Hallie Mentzel. Nina and Barbara are long-time friends and colleagues, having worked together at the Vineyard Haven Library where Nina was the Reference Librarian and Barbara was the Children's Librarian.

Welcome to new neighbors, Joan and Jay McGurran, who have moved permanently to their home on Tiah's Cove Road. Joan is a painter and drives a pair of Palomino ponies. Jay has retired from a position with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. They had formerly lived in Waterford, Va.

There will be a workshop at the West Tisbury Library next Thursday, February 16, at 7 pm. Learn how to make "Funky Folded Books" with master bookmaker, Kerry McLeod, who will demonstrate a variety of techniques. Anyone ages 10 and up are welcome. There will be a $3 fee for materials. Pre-registration is required. Please call the library at 508-693-3366.

I missed a couple of events over the past week because the news came too late. Please note that I usually write the column Sunday evening. My deadline is noon on Monday. Once my column is filed it is difficult (often impossible) to add a news item, so please remember to send me your stories by Sunday afternoon of the week you want them in the column. A week or two in advance is good, too. I write my notes in a notebook, not on the computer, so I have the information right to hand. I really hate to miss your news. After all, it is your column.