Martha Fleishman, Kathy Stevenson, and I had a conversation at Cronig's last week, discussing new varieties of daffodil bulbs available at West Tisbury's nurseries. Kathy is the all-time "Queen of Daffodils." Her hillside garden is carpeted with masses of pale and deep yellows in quantities that are truly awesome (in the original use of the word). Martha's specialty is pink daffodils. Her favorite color is orange, and I had spotted a cream and orange combination I thought she would like. Kathy had also seen and admired "Cool Flame." I remember reading in a gardening book or column a comment along the lines of, "Planting bulbs is like mailing yourself a surprise package." Whoever said it sure knew what they were talking about.
Meanwhile, the fall weather has been gorgeous. Every day the colors fade or intensify into ever-changing combinations. If you look outside around 6 o'clock you can see the end-of-the-day light picking out the edges of grasses and shrubbery, warm red and gold. Winterberries, rose hips, bittersweet — what will soon become our winter color — are showing up in hedgerows and along roadways.
The last summer Farmers Market took place last Saturday. This weekend the library will begin opening on Sunday afternoons, its winter hours, 1-5. The opening into the Great Pond was cut through last Friday.
There was a behind-the-chimney fire at Soo Whiting and Flip Harrington's Quansoo cottage last week. Fortunately, no one was hurt and the fire was dealt with by Chilmark and West Tisbury firemen. The result, mostly smoke damage, reminded Ginny Jones of the fire at her house several years ago and prompted an excellent set of recommendations sent in an email. It is too long to copy here, but I urge The Times and the Gazette to ask Ginny for permission to print it as a news article. It included many things we all think about and plan to do someday, like photographing and listing our valuables, and things we should remember to do, like cleaning the chimney and having its lining inspected every year, and unplugging appliances not in use.
I would also ask the fire department to consider redoing a project they did several years ago. They handed out decals for everyone's telephones with the homeowner's map and lot numbers and 911 information. Most of us have replaced our phones since then. Those decals were a handy reminder of information needed in an emergency. At the same time, there were metal map and lot signs available for posting that information at the end of everyone's driveway. Many of those signs have rusted into disrepair, and many new properties have never had them. Just a thought.
This Saturday, Oct. 16, Vineyard Gardens will hold their 21st Annual Harvest Festival, from 11 am to 3 pm. Everyone is invited to view the nursery's displays of fall plant material and participate in nature craft activities for kids and adults. Chili, hot dogs, jalapeño corn bread, and caramel apples are on the menu. Come and have fun.
Dr. Enid Haller is beginning a Lyme and tick-borne disease discussion and support group. The first meeting will take place at the Howes House on Monday, Oct. 18, at 6:30 pm.
The West Tisbury Library's Kids Book Club will meet on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 3:30 pm. Kids age 9 to 11 are invited. "Ida B" by Katherine Harrington is the book that will be discussed.
I missed Amanda Pachico's birthday a couple of weeks ago. It was September 27. She and her family and friends had a party on her special day.
Happy birthday to Kathy Logue, whose birthday was October 4. Also, happy birthday to Hannah Beecher, who celebrated on October 11.
My husband was off-island for the day last Wednesday, a rare occurrence. It was raining all day and I was home by myself. It was a perfect opportunity to begin fall cleaning. I spent several hours cleaning out our bedroom closet and my dresser drawers, bagging three shopping bags full of things I didn't wear anymore, and taking them to the Red Cross bins. It's really true that I feel lighter by clearing out. Although I love Mike dearly, I wish he could have stayed away another couple of days. My desk and our dining room table still need my attention. Fortunately, my cousin Wendy is coming to visit this weekend, so the ironing pile in our spare bedroom will have to be dealt with before Saturday morning.