Town Column : West Tisbury
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The whole idea of a holiday focused on gratitude pleases me. I like getting the house more polished than usual, having everyone together, making the meal. I even like cleaning up afterwards and putting things back to rights.
We plan our gathering for 5 o'clock. It gives everyone the day and me time to get ready. I have the parade on, as we did when I was a kid, the sound of it special, running in from the kitchen to see Santa arrive at Herald Square. The house smells of turkey and furniture polish, yellow roses and pumpkin pie.
My cousins, Xiaoshi and Sunday, came early to help and to visit. There's always so much to do and I never leave enough time. All of a sudden people are arriving, laughing, arms laden with butternut squash, bottles of wine, cheesecake and cookies, oatmeal bread. There are drinks to get, gravy to make, string beans to steam. I like being in the kitchen listening to snippets of sentences floating by. When everyone sits down at the table, plates full, conversation a mile a minute, I feel tremendously happy. Very lucky and very happy.
The rest of the weekend whooshed by. Brooks Robards and Jim Kaplan came to stay with us on Friday for Brooks's poetry reading at the Bunch of Grapes. We had a great time with them, walks at Lambert's Cove, Sepiessa, and Polly Hill, dinner at the Ocean View, Sunday breakfast at the airport, and all the quiet time on our sofa, reading and catching up with each other. Talley and Murphy loved the extra attention.
Saturday morning I attended services at the Hebrew Center and a special baby-naming ceremony for Reed Genevieve Cabot, daughter of Ben and Nicole. Dan Cabot spoke about the history of the name "Reed," after his grandmother, Adelaide Reed Cabot. Nicole's parents, Gaston and Linda Vadasz, her aunt and cousin, Rena and Dory Landa, then Ben and Nicole with their daughters, Violet and Reed, were all called to the Torah in celebration. Rabbi Broitman and the entire congregation called out blessings and hopes for baby Reed.
Later, the family had a party for Violet's eighth birthday on November 30. Happy Birthday, Violet. May you always be surrounded and treasured by those who love you.
We have another new baby to welcome. Carrie Frances Paschen is the daughter of Chelsea Hoffman and Rikki Paschen. Carrie's grandmother, Neila Hoffman, is thrilled with her new granddaughter. Welcome to the world, Carrie, and to our hearts.
While celebrating birthdays, we have another to mention. George Hough was out to dinner Saturday night with his wife, Mary Lou, his grandson, newly home from Iraq, and granddaughter-in-law. Happy birthday, George.
Michael Ratney and Karen Sasahara, our new next-door neighbors, were here for the holiday weekend. We enjoyed having drinks with them Sunday evening and look forward to getting to know them better.
Stetson and Maxwell Nunes were home for Thanksgiving with their parents, Manny and Nancy. Both young men are students at George Washington University.
Teena Parton called to check on details of my corn pudding recipe. She was making it for her dinner with friends. She and Charlie are well and missing Thanksgiving on the Vineyard this year.
Ann Leggett stopped by Wednesday afternoon. She was spending the holiday with Ann Fielder. Nick and Judith Leggett came from Washington, D.C., for the weekend with Riggses, Fielders, et al. Ann has been working on a seven-foot painting of Japanese torch bearers, a much larger version of a study she showed me. Young athletes dressed in white, arms and legs making a rhythmic progression across the canvas, torch alight over their heads, all against a dark background. It made quite a dramatic composition.
Henry Bassett and his family, Sarah Wasserman, Brian Bassett, and baby brother, Hugh, spent Thanksgiving in Connecticut with Brian's family. They arrived on Friday at Susan and Bob Wasserman's house for the holiday weekend. Everyone had a second turkey dinner with neighbor Shanti Bloom and her visiting daughter and grandchildren. Henry and Bob gave me a full report at Sunday breakfast.
Sunday morning West Tisbury firemen were decorating their stations after radio check. The traditional Sunday-after-Thanksgiving hanging of colored lights marks the beginning of the Christmas season.
So, too, does the West Tisbury Church Christmas Faire, from 9 am to 2 pm this Saturday, Dec. 5. Brenda Lehman and her team of greens gatherers will have spent the past week making wreaths, centerpieces, kissing balls, swags, and tabletop trees for which the Faire is famous. There will also be a garden corner, Joe Doebler's Island photographs, a Now & Then table, jewelry, ornaments and candles, and a bake table. Coffee, hot chocolate, and cider will be served with homemade sweets.
The West Tisbury seventh-graders Holiday Bazaar is at the Ag Hall December 4, 5 to 8 pm. Gifts, treats, chili, and chowder will be available.
It's still mostly sweater weather, good for raking and working outside. Enjoy.