It's time to cut forsythia branches to bloom inside. I always try to remember to do it in time for Groundhog Day, remembering Dionis Riggs, whose table was graced with that colorful display every year. Cynthia does the honors now, continuing the traditional Groundhog Day Party at the Cleaveland House, an open house from 5 to 7 pm. It is the 23rd such gathering of friends, neighbors, and anyone who cares to join the party. Bring an hors d'oeuvre or a bottle of wine. Or not. Just bring yourself.
It has also become West Tisbury's kick-off to the political season. Many guests circulate with nomination papers and pens in hand, collecting signatures to support their names for town offices in the April election. If interested, nomination papers and information are available from town clerk Tara Whiting. They will be due on February 24.
Apropos of this lead-in, I am not running for another term on our library board. I have been a trustee since 1993, six terms. The library has been my love and my heart. It will always be so.
My life has changed in many ways over the past few years, as life tends to do, and I find myself drawn in another direction. This past weekend I attended a two-day training to become a Hospice volunteer. I have been interested in working for Hospice since I experienced their all-embracing support during my father-in-law's illness five years ago. I had taken CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) training at Windemere in 2009 and have been working in health care since. Hospice is my next step. I am learning new things, intellectually and about myself. I'm figuring out how this may affect my artist-life, but one doesn't lose oneself, just adds new pieces.
A plug for Hospice, which can support patients and families throughout an illness. Call them early on. There is no requirement that someone has a specific amount of time to live. Hospice exists to help with information and listening, as well as medical care. It's all confidential. Please call.
Dr. Enid Haller announces the next meeting of the Lyme Support Group will be Tuesday, February 1, 6:30 pm, at the Howes House. She will lead a discussion and question-and-answer session about Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. There is also a new blog to check out: http://www.lyme mv.com.
Take a break and come to hear live jazz at the West Tisbury Library this Friday afternoon, Jan. 28, when the JC Trio will perform their smooth renditions of American Songbook classics at 4 pm.
On Saturday afternoon there will be a Winter Concert at the library. Come at 4 o'clock to hear Jemima James and Dan Waters. Earlier in the day craft materials will be set out for making mitten puppets.
The Martha's Vineyard Center for Living will host their second Winter Cultural Luncheon this Saturday, January 29, noon to 2, at The Grill on Main in Edgartown. Tom Dresser, Elaine Weintraub, and Carrie Tankard will speak about the cultural influences of African-Americans on Martha's Vineyard as we celebrate Black History Month.
Earlier in the day on Saturday, at 9:30 am, anyone who knows Herb Foster is invited to the Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center to help Herb celebrate his second Bar Mitzvah. Herb is a remarkable guy, well-known on the Island for his many volunteer activities and accomplishments. This is another. He will be called to the Torah and will share his eighty-something birthday festivities.
Monday evening, January 31, the Scrabble Club will meet at the West Tisbury Library at 7 pm. If not interested in scrabble, perhaps you might prefer to join the weekly knitting group that meets there Mondays at 7.
Author Alexandra Bullen will read from her new book, "Wishful Thinking," at the library on Tuesday. Feb. 1, at 3:30 pm, part of a book talk and signing for teenage readers.
Anyone interested in sharing their career with a kid should contact the Martha's Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org. They are participating in "National Job Shadowing Day," that matches up kids with business people to spend a day learning if their fantasy career is really what they want. They need people with all different interests and skills: artists to engineers, farmers to carpenters, car mechanics to environmental scientists.
When I was talking with Cynthia Riggs earlier about her party, she told me she is working on a new book project. Not a mystery this time, but a tour book. "Victoria Trumbull's Secrets of Martha's Vineyard" will feature text by Cynthia, with photographs by Lynn Christoffers and maps by Stephen Wesley. Jan Pogue is the publisher. Readers will be able to follow and find scenes from all of Cynthia's books. That will be an intriguing summer amusement.