Whatever other ideas I had for the start of this week's column, nothing is more notable than two dogs getting skunked.
6:45 am. The cat was yowling to go out, so I headed downstairs to open the door for her and the dogs and start the coffee. Moments later, Tallulah was cowering by the door. I didn't even have to open it to know what had happened. The smell was assaultive. Murphy, of course, was nowhere to be seen. I yelled up the stairs to Mike, "Both dogs have been skunked."
Down came the husband. Into the bathroom went the dogs. Towels in abundance. A chemistry experiment mixture of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, Ivory liquid, and vinegar bubbling up in a pitcher. Husband grumbling. Murphy stinking (he got it full in the mouth.) Talley taking her punishment in stride. Mike opened the bathroom door too soon between getting Murphy out of the tub and Talley in, allowing Murphy to run right upstairs and onto our bed.
The dogs are sleeping in their customary clump of golden fur, happily oblivious to any of the earlier upset. I don't know how they do it.
I had planned a philosophical ramble about watching children grow up. Ben and Nicole Cabot's daughter, Reed, turned 1 on Sunday, October 24, a year that seemed to pass so quickly. A whipped cream and cream cheese frosted cake — orange-colored, of course — shaped like a perfect pumpkin, sat center stage on the table, surrounded by family and friends, surmounted by cake and presents.
Ben Saunders will be three, or is it four, on November 1. Olivia DeGeofroy and Megan Mendenhall turned 16 this fall. Nathaniel Haynes is taller than his father. Our niece, Charlotte, will be 25 in a month; Josh and Ezra are over 30. And that's not even mentioning the grown-up parents who were children themselves, seemingly only a moment ago. I am shocked to realize Mike and I are the age his parents were when I met them, in their early sixties.
It's my philosophical time of year, as my own birthday approaches (don't forget, Mike) on November 1, a time to take stock of the past year and make plans for the one ahead. Sixty was truly the best year of my life. I have high hopes for sixty-one.
Besides young Ben, Carol Fligor shares my birthday, as did Jim French, who died last year.
Happy birthday wishes, too, to Millie Gault on October 27, and Helene Barr on October 29.
Well-known West Tisbury patriarch and teacher John Mayhew will be 90 on November 2. His family has planned an open house this Sunday, October 31, from 2 to 4, in the first-floor dining room at Windemere. Everyone is invited — family, friends, and former students.
It's Halloween on Sunday. The library will host its annual party from 3:30 to 5 pm, featuring all the familiar ingredients: costumes, crafts, a hayride, and snacks.
The J.C. Trio will be at the library Friday afternoon, October 29, at 4 pm, playing their jazz interpretations of American Songbook classics.
The selectmen's public interviews with candidates for police chief, which were scheduled to be held on Friday, Oct. 29, have been postponed.
Jen Rand is looking for folks interested in representing West Tisbury in the up-coming renewal of our cable television contract. Anyone wanting to participate in the focus groups or attend a Cable and Media Technical Planning Workshop, please contact Julie Turner at MVTV, 508-696-9760, or email@example.com.
The Conservation Commission has two openings. If you are interested, please call Maria McFarland at 508-696-6404 or send a letter to Box 278, West Tisbury.
A reminder that school gets out at noon on November 2 and 4. There will be parent-teacher conferences during those afternoons.
My best news item this week: Joanne Scott was seen swimming at Squibnocket last Thursday morning. Almost November!
The Winter Farmers' Market at the Ag Hall was a wonderful place to get beautiful vegetables and see all your friends. I enjoyed (one always does) running into Cathlin Baker and meeting her visiting siblings. Alex Baker came all the way from Melbourne, Australia. His wife, Martha, was arriving later in the day. Their sister, Cecilia Brennan, and her children, Kevin and Ceili, were with them for a Baker family weekend. Cathlin's husband and children, Bill, Hardy, and Eirene Eville, were there, too, dancing to the music and finding good things to eat.
Sarah Wasserman and Brian Bassett were showing friends around the Hall. Assisted by Henry and Hugh Bassett, Sarah and Brian escorted Egbert and Renate Wiggers from Ibbenburen, Germany, through the displays of produce, baked goods, jams, and herbs.
Saturday night there was a fundraiser at State Road Restaurant for the Island Grown Schools program. Rose Herman and Violet Cabot read the following poem they composed together:
So much fun
Our peaceful place
Other critters join us
Lettuce and more
Radishes are our favorite
Digging in the dirt
Nothing tastes better
So many trees.
Now after you hear this
we should all agree
to come to the school gardens
I have to thank Marilyn and Warren Hollinshead for a fabulous concert last Sunday. I was so impressed by the London Gold Suzuki Group. The children all played beautifully, many of them surely destined to become noted musicians. Whatever else, they will carry their love and appreciation throughout their lives.
Don't forget to vote at the Public Safety Building this Tuesday, November 2, 7 am to 8 pm. Every vote counts!