It's hard to focus on anything besides the horrific pictures of death and devastation from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. To have nuclear power facilities failing as well is beyond terrifying. I cannot imagine seeing everything in my world destroyed.
Having said that, Sunday afternoon was so pleasant to be out raking leaves and cleaning up my flower beds. The dogs gamboled around, sticks in their mouths, big paws through the beds. Fortunately, no damage done. The years of gifts from Hallie Mentzel and Louise Bessire, snowdrops from their prolific gardens, are finally looking prolific here. It's funny how they spread wherever they please. I have a rampant display of snowdrops through the lawn in our backyard, with smaller clumps under the rhododendron border where I so carefully planted them. I guess nature follows its own course in many different ways.
I have heard lots of complaints about the appearance of our roadsides. There seems to be trash everywhere. Let's clean it up.
Jessie Sonia and family were guests of Dale and Jennifer McClure in Chatham, N.H., for a snowmobiling extravaganza. Jessie had her first solo 200-plus miles, snowmobiling up and down mountains, over ponds and lakes, across fields. Other guests were Larry and Pat Sylvia of Vineyard Haven, and Danny and Kim Rogers of Oak Bluffs. Everyone had a great time, especially enjoying the McClures' pancakes with homemade syrup from their own sugar maples.
Cathy and Michael Minkiewicz have returned from Washington, D.C., where they were introduced to their newest grandson, Michael Declan Minkiewicz, who was born on February 3. His parents are Andrew Minkiewicz and Kate Myers. He has two big sisters, Annie and Sophie. Coincidentally, young Michael Declan was born on the same day as his great-grandfather, and was given the same name. After Washington, Cathy and Michael went to Asheville to see the famous Biltmore estate, and then on to Charleston. "Both were wonderful, even in winter," said Cathy.
Fourth-graders from the West Tisbury School will hold their Third Annual Cake Walk this Saturday, March 19, 5:30-7:30, at the Ag Hall. The event is staged somewhat like a game of musical chairs; everyone who attends brings a cake and at some point everyone gets to choose a cake. There will be chili, corn chowder, and hot dogs for dinner, face painting, games, cupcakes to decorate, and a raffle for entertainment. All funds raised are for the class's 2015 trip to England.
March 19 is a special day for Marisa D'Antonio. Happy birthday, Marisa.
The Tisbury and Up-Island Councils on Aging are hosting a series of four educational videos by renowned Alzheimer's expert and lecturer Teepa Snow. The programs are open to the public and free of charge. Registration is requested so there will be enough chairs, food, and written hand-outs for everyone who comes. The first program is Monday, March 21, at the Tisbury Senior Center. There will be two showings, at 1 and at 5 pm. The program is "Dementia 360: Beyond the Basics." Following Monday programs will be "Sex and Intimacy with Dementia" at the Howes House, 1 pm on March 28; "Managing Medical Conditions and Dementia" at the Howes House on April 4 at 1 pm; and "Dementia and Driving Issues" on April 11, at 1 and 5 pm at the Tisbury Senior Center. As we baby-boomers age, Alzheimer's and the different dementias will surely affect our families and ourselves.
The West Tisbury Library will show "Red River," starring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift, Monday, March 21, at 7 pm. There will be free popcorn. If you prefer, the Monday night knitting group, In Stitches, meets at the same time and place.
Wednesday afternoon, March 23, the Winter Reading Series continues at the library. Poet Malachi Black and fiction writer Christopher Shortsleeve are the scheduled readers from Provincetown's Fine Arts Work Center. All are welcome to attend the program. It begins at 5:30 pm.
Last week I attended my last meeting as a member of the library's Board of Trustees. It has been 18 years that the second Tuesday of every month meant an early dinner before our 7 pm meeting.
The changes and the challenges of my tenure have been many. I have learned a lot about our town and our library, issues affecting library policy, funding, and services in West Tisbury and statewide. I truly believe that the library represents the best in all of us and the best of public services. It is free and available to everyone. We all share a responsibility to return our books for the next reader. Libraries open up undreamed-of possibilities to everyone who walks in the door. Although no longer on the board, my commitment to our library remains unabated. We, all of us — Beth and her staff, the board, and a most supportive community of library users — have created an amazing public resource. I know it will continue to flourish.