West Tisbury


I should have known better. Last week’s column extolling cool nights and flannel sheets was so shortsighted. As I write this we have returned to summer temperatures and humidity, shorts instead of sweaters. It reminds me of the year I moved here, 1982, when I was inexperienced about Island weather and put away the warm blankets after a few mild days in mid April. The blankets quickly reappeared. It snowed in May that year.

I’ve just walked Talley in ground fog thick as clouds. It’s still dark outside. Mike’s asleep upstairs. We’re all settled in again, Talley on her dog bed, Grace on my legs as I write. I don’t know how we managed before my laptop. It’s so much more civilized, and comfortable, to work on my sofa, tucked under a quilt, coffee on the wide windowsill, night air on my face.

The Living Local Harvest Festival is this weekend, an event filled with fascinating displays and vendors highlighting our local, sustainable infrastructure, be it food, energy, building, or the economy. I guess it’s all economic, as much ultimately is, about how to maintain ourselves and our land, with care. We are so lucky here, to be so conscious of our environment, and to have the skills and desire to make ourselves as self-sufficient as we can. Come and see it all at the Ag Hall this Friday and Saturday.

My favorite part of the festival weekend is the Antique Power Show, in its 24th year, now in its own permanent barn on the Ag Hall property. George Hartman will open the doors at 9 am on Saturday, October 1. “As usual, owners of any kind of machinery are invited – engines, cars, trucks, tractors, models, etc. I will have my boiler set up and will gladly hook up others’ steam engines. People can call me (508-693-6039) if they have any questions.” You might consider calling George to offer to help out, too, as his usual partner in crime, Phil St. Jean, is laid up with a bad back. Lugging heavy engines and machinery is hard work, but the sputters and whooshes of perfectly working equipment are captivating. Back in art school, I had a professor who did huge detailed drawings of farm machinery. I always think of her, Anna Audette, when seeing George’s display.

End the weekend Sunday afternoon with a concert by the Boston String Quartet at the Chilmark Church. The program includes contemporary music from around the world, from folk to jazz. It begins at 4 pm. Tickets at the door are $15 for adults, $5 for kids and students.

ACE MV will hold walk-in registration for this semester’s classes Tuesday and Wednesday, October 4 and 5, at the Regional High School, 4:30 to 6 pm. You may also register online at www.acemv.org.

The Annual Fall Reading Series continues this afternoon, September 29, 5:30, at the West Tisbury Library.

Joanne Scott will be teaching her tai chi classes again at the West Tisbury Church, 12:30 on Tuesdays through the fall, beginning on October 11. Classes are $10 each.

Happy birthday wishes today to Frank Flanders and Megan Mendenhall, tomorrow to Julie Kimball, and to Rose Herman on October 1.

Spring bulbs have arrived at the garden centers in town. There are sales, too, making it a good time to add to your garden. Visit Heather Gardens, Middletown Nursery, and Vineyard Gardens, to see what they have. The Polly Hill Arboretum is a beautiful place to walk around for ideas and inspiration. They have plants for sale, too.

West Tisbury weaver, Julia Mitchell, is the guest curator of “The Art of Fiber” at Featherstone. See it from noon to 4 pm every day through October 5.

MVRHS senior Cerina Gordon of West Tisbury has been a member of the Sustainable Map Team, part of a project sponsored by the Youth Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development. Her group will present their work to the Tisbury Selectmen, as Tisbury has been named the island’s first Green Community. Cerina’s primary interest is in construction. She spent last weekend at UMass Amherst studying Sustainable Building.

As life begins to ease, I’ve taken the opportunity to ease up as well. Time for walking on the beach, alone with my thoughts and my paint box, is a healing gift after the busy summer.