Town Column : West Tisbury
My mother's Christmas cactus has been blooming in our sunroom since before Thanksgiving. After being out in the yard all summer, it always comes into the house covered with buds that become a wreath of magenta flowers, a memory of the sunroom in my parent's house, where they performed with the same generosity. It's nice to have that part of my childhood still with me. Over the years I have given "babies" to my brothers and to many friends. We remain always connected by magenta blossoms at the holidays.
Our Christmas celebrations were a mixture of the familiar and the stimulating unknown. We included several new people at our table this year, young people from around the world. My cousin Dan's wife, Xiaoshi, brought a co-worker from Boston College, a biochemist from China. Aaron Patillo has been working in Beijing for the Clinton Foundation AIDS Project. There was lots of conversation, much in Chinese, joined by Dan and Xiaoshi's eight-year-old daughter, Sunday, who is fluent in Mandarin.
For Christmas Day dinner at Sue Hruby's, a young nurse from Ghana joined us at the table. She was fascinating, as was her recital of life in Ghana, her family, education, and travels. It was truly a memorable holiday.
Cheryl, Eric, Emily, and Aaron Lowe held their traditional Christmas Eve dinner with friends Beth Kramer and Douglas Reid, Sharon and Don Eber, their son Max, and Bill and Jill Wallace and their son, Liam. On Christmas Day, the Lowes only had to walk next door to dinner at the Mendenhall/Logue's.
Linda and Glenn Hearn traveled off-Island to spend Christmas Eve with their newest granddaughter, Morgan Emily, and her parents, Laura and Paul Caruso, in Abington. On Christmas Day, everyone drove to Rockport for Christmas dinner at Susan and Tim Collins's house.
Nina Mentzel has been here with her mother, Hallie. They have enjoyed a few days in Boston together as well as their time on the Island. They will head to New York later this week for a belated holiday celebration with Andrea and Tony, before Nina heads home to South Dakota.
Finn Hall has been visiting with his father, Ron, for the Christmas vacation. They have kept busy playing games, going to the library, and doing "regular guy stuff."
Ginny Jones enjoyed a visit from her son, Douglas Jones, who owns and operates a wooden boatyard in San Diego, Calif. Douglas was accompanied by Deb Dominici, an archaeologist for the State of California.
Susan and Bob Wasserman spent the holiday in London with their daughter, Sarah, and her husband and son, Brian and Henry Bassett, who flew over from Cambridge.
Nelia and Chris Decker had all of their three boys home. Max came from Brooklyn, N.Y., Sam from Mexico, and Casey from UMass at Dartmouth.
Ann Burt presided at Christmas dinner with her family. Ann, Otis, Prudy, and Percy, were joined by Chris and Molly Reed and their children, Olivia and Colby, who came from Sudbury to spend several days in town.
"Happy Birthday" good wishes go to Stephen Larsen, who will celebrate with a special birthday dinner at Le Grenier with his wife, Tara, on New Year's Eve, and to Whit and Diana Manter, whose birthdays are Jan. 3 and 5. Jan. 9 is the special day for Ann Burt.
It's hard to believe it is already January 2008.
For those of us who remember Lambert, the Parton's cat who presided over Alley's in the 1980s, there was an interesting article in the New York Times last week. Installing cats in neighborhood markets has proved an effective deterrent to mice and rats. The city's Health Department frowns on the practice, however, claiming the possibility of contagion from the cats. It's hard to imagine how a housecat could be more of a threat than rodents, but that was the story. It shows, once again, that West Tisbury was in the forefront of creative problem solving. Too bad common sense rarely prevails.
P.S. I'm having computer troubles again, so am writing my column up at the library. If you have news for me, please call 508-693-2525, rather than e-mail. Thanks.