West Tisbury

One of the best parts of my day is the walk-around-the-yard assessment. Filling the bird feeders, checking the garden beds for the latest leaf or flower that has appeared, deadheading pansies in their pots, a trip to the compost pile, all provide an opportunity for mindfulness of the world around me. It is also the best way to procrastinate. You can seem to be doing something productive while really fooling around.

Mindfulness of our surroundings seems to me the essence of Earth Day. I hope everyone reading this column will take a walk, preferably with a friend and/or dog, and acknowledge the beauty of our island.

Richard Paradise’s Martha’s Vineyard Film Society has planned a special showing of “No Impact Man” for Earth Day. The film is about a New York family’s attempt to live with as little waste or pollution as possible. Information at mvfilmsociety.com.

Another possibility is joining The Kitchen Porch, aka Jan Buhrman, and Robert Lionette, for a special Earth Day dinner. Cook and learn together. They are opening their own kitchen to participants. Their website is www.culinary-experiences.com, phone 508 645-5000

I missed a lot of news last week with my absence. Mike and I finished our taxes Wednesday night, despite my best intentions. The customary search for the proper form or receipt…well, you all know what the job entails. Anyway, this year I really will get all my documents together and have it all organized so that my husband will not turn conspicuously grayer than he already is. And I will get my column written in time.

I also missed some birthdays last week. Joanne Scott’s birthday is always easy to remember; it’s April 15. She had planned an outdoor party on her front lawn on Music Street, but the weather turned noticeably cooler, sending most of us inside except for stalwarts dressed in down parkas. It all worked out and everyone had a great time.

Tom Wetherall celebrated his birthday on April 17 with a trip off-Island and “two excellent bottles of wine.” The wine was for the whole weekend, not one night. Please know that all your Island friends join in sending belated happy birthday wishes to you.

Norman Lobb’s daughters, Dee and Amanda, joined Norm and Kathy for his birthday weekend. Festivities included a family party with Harry and Debbie Athearn, Brian and Kate Athearn, and their boys, Hunter and Emmett, who were excellent helpers

A literal birth day was April 6, when William Michael Hoff was born. He is the son of John and Heather Hoff, and new brother of Margaret, Elizabeth, and John. Welcome.

If you have been following news of the volcano in Iceland and its effect on travel to/from Europe, you noticed that our Minnesingers were stranded at Logan Airport last Thursday when their flight was cancelled. They did what they do best — singing to entertain themselves and those around them. Channel 4 crews filmed them and included their “performance” on the 5 o’clock news. After a night in a hotel, they returned home. They headed back to Boston on Wednesday, where they were street singers for the day at Quincy Market.

I was in Vineyard Haven on Friday afternoon and ran into Ellie Tuck. Ellie is living in Vineyard Haven, having moved back to the Island after eight years in Portland, Ore. She looks just the same and is happy to be back.

April is National Poetry Month. In recognition, our West Tisbury library will hold a community poetry reading this Sunday afternoon, April 25, at 5 pm. Bring a poem you have written, or one by a favorite poet, or just bring yourself. There will be comradeship and refreshments, a good time.

The library is also hosting another event next Thursday evening, a public forum regarding the expansion of our building. “Lend us your EARS,” is the heading on a poster designed by trustee Dan Waters. There will be a presentation of the library’s history and needs, and information about a state grant that may cover half the cost of expanding our library. To quote Dan, “The Library Trustees have always welcomed your comments and ideas, but never more so than RIGHT NOW, when the future of our Library is being shaped.” We’ll provide the cookies. You bring your ideas. 7 pm, April 29, at the library.

I received a scary-for-pet-owners email about a cocoa shell mulch being sold. It contains theobromine, which is highly toxic to dogs and cats. It also smells and, I guess, tastes delicious. Several animals have died after eating the stuff. So be careful and use pine bark or something else instead.

I hope everyone is having a good school vacation week. We are awaiting a visit with Mike’s cousin, Dan, and his daughter, Sunday. Sunday just had a birthday on April 18. We look forward to celebrating together when she arrives.

The Mill Pond has been surrounded by fishermen, and the baseball field across the road from us is the scene of nightly games. No-see-ums can be easily seen and swatted away — annoying still, but a sign of the season.