Before you start reading this week's column, my husband has a confession to make. He used my computer.
If you live or work with another person, you know the possibilities inherent in that statement. Mike turned on the computer, planning to respond to a telephoned request from one of his clients, to send his e-mail address so they could communicate in this fashion. In all fairness, he planned to tell her we rarely use the computer (I check my e-mail once a week when I write my column) and it was more prudent to keep phoning when she needed to talk to him. Mike's total computer use is limited to looking up information about boat engine parts, the differences and ratings of power tools, or the flush capacities of models of toilets, basically finding out about something before he goes to Maciel's or Cottle's or Bill Haynes to actually buy something.
Having set the stage for the denouement of this story, Mike lost all my incoming e-mail, so if you are reading this week's column expecting to see a birthday or event mentioned, it isn't likely to be here. As my beloved husband said to me, "I don't know how to do anything on the computer, I just know how to screw it up." I still think he's perfect.
I do know about some birthdays. Elaine Pace celebrated hers on May 1, May Day. Happy Birthday to my brother-in-law Jared Hull, whose birthday is today, May 10.
Cynthia Riggs has been to Washington, D.C., as a panelist at the Annual Malice Domestic meeting, a gathering of approximately 1,500 mystery writers, fans, publishers, and agents. Being a murder mystery reader, I think it sounds like great fun. Cynthia's topic was "Not Too Old to Tangle; Older and Better-Insured Sleuths." Her fellow panelists are: Mary Saums, Gayle Wigglesworth, Beth Groundwater, and Donald and Renee Bain. For anyone who has not read Cynthia's mystery series, they are set at her family home, The Cleaveland House in West Tisbury, and her heroine is a thinly disguised version of her mother, Dionis Riggs. Her latest mystery, the seventh of the series, "Shooting Star," is just out and we have it at the library.
The Polly Hill Arboretum is having a program this Saturday, May 12, from 10 am to noon, on the subject, "Invasive Plants on Martha's Vineyard; Our Island at Risk." The Arboretum's Executive director, Tim Boland, will be the featured speaker. The program will begin with a slide presentation, followed by a discussion of the Arboretum's invasive-plant management plan. These plants are posing a serious threat to the biodiversity, visual character, and natural areas of the Island and Tim Boland will discuss ways we can all become involved in protecting our ecosystem. There is a fee for the program: $24 for non-members, $20 for members of the Arboretum.
Slightly closer to home, Tim Boland will give a walking tour of the library property next Tuesday, May 15, at 3 pm. He will point out and identify examples of our local flora.
Also on Saturday, the Community Solar Greenhouse Mother's Day Seedling Sale will open in Oak Bluffs at 9:30 am. The sale will continue through May 28; daily hours are 9:30 am to 1:30 pm.
If you want to learn how to start your own plants from seed, come to Vineyard Gardens on Saturday, from 11 to 12:30. Chris Wiley will discuss everything from soil and growing conditions to collecting your own seeds for next year. Call 508-693-8511 for details.
The Saturday Craft Project at the West Tisbury Library will be making paper bouquets from 10:30 am to 4 pm. They would make very special Mother's Day gifts or provide a pretty and lasting bouquet on a table. Later in the day, from 3 to 5 pm, Elin Nelson will teach a special Origami Box Workshop for anyone ages nine and up. There is a $10 fee for materials. If you plan to come, the staff is looking for donations of empty baby food jars for an up-coming craft project. Also, please note a "head's-up" for next week: Thursday, May 17, Linda Hughes will be at the library doing a workshop called "Handmade From the Heart," for the Island Hospice, from 4:30 to 6 pm.
The Monday Night Movie at the Library will be "The Outlaw."
Diane Nichols, painter, illustrator, landscape historian, and friend, will be teaching a workshop series at The Polly Hill Arboretum that begins next Tuesday, May 15. Participants in "Observing and Drawing the Landscape" will learn techniques to record their observations of the natural landscape. The class will be from 1 to 4 pm. Please call the Arboretum for information and a materials list. 508 693-9426.
When I was at the post office the other day, I had some help opening my mailbox and getting the letters out. AnnaBelle Brothers, who was there with her mother, Stephanie, came over to assist. I was quite grateful and very impressed with her thoughtfulness. Thank you, AnnaBelle.
This past week has been one of those perfect series of spring days. Every one brought something new to observe in the landscape, a bit more color in the trees or a flower appearing. As a painter and as a gardener, there don't seem to be enough hours in the day.