West Tisbury


Snowdrops are really earning their name this year. One morning I look out at a carpet of white flowers across our back lawn. The next day they are unseen, buried under inches of snow. Ruth Kirchmeier has winter aconite blooming and Leslie Baker has crocuses. I’m just seeing the tips of those things appearing, but daffodils are up four or five inches. Early flowering trees, like the weeping cherry in my backyard or the rows of pears at the cemetery, already are showing a pale haze of color, like a prescient aura of their eventual pink or white blooms.

There is still time for winter projects, I hope. Still chilly evenings to knit or scrapbook, snowy or rainy days to finally get rid of size four and six clothes that will never fit again. Time to gather tax papers or rearrange kitchen cabinets, or just time to sit, gathering strength for the summer activity to come. We are earthly creatures, after all, bound to the same progression of seasons as trees and animals, needing rest to rejuvenate and repair ourselves, then meaningful activity before needing to rest again.

Apropos of the above, Rosalie Powell is offering a new beginner’s class in rug hooking. Classes will be held Wednesday evenings at 7 pm in Rosalie’s studio on Old Courthouse Road. For $10 per class, you may enjoy the expertise of a master rug hooker, pleasant company among the other participants, and an opportunity to “learn to preserve an Early American hand-craft,” as Rosalie describes it. Call her at 508-693-1984.

I had begun one of Rosalie’s classes several years ago. My mother-in-law hooked beautiful rugs I always admired. My friend, Anne Bacon, and I signed up together to learn how to do it ourselves. My project was a small rug with a picture of my cat, Dwight (named for Dwight Evans, if you are a Red Sox fan). Sadly, Dwight died mid-class and I put away the rug in great sorrow. It’s somewhere in a bag in the back of one of the closets I still mean to clean out in the remains of this winter. Rosalie always teases me about it. She did this time, too, and I have promised, once again, to find the bag and return to her rug-hooking class to finally see it to completion. I guess it’s been long enough now, and I want to either finish things or get rid of them. I can still remember seeing my closet floor after cleaning it out the last time.

Our conversation went on for a while. Her other news was that Jim Powell had been home from his teaching position in Foxboro. He has gone off Island again to spend his school vacation skiing and visiting family and friends in Utah.

Natalie Larsen, Rosalie’s great-granddaughter, celebrated her 5th birthday on February 25. There will be a family party over the weekend with cake and fun and good wishes all around. Happy Birthday, Natalie.

I had a nice visit with Kerry Saulnier last week when we ran into each other having lunch in Vineyard Haven. Kerry was with her mom, Linda, and niece, Lucy Kraus, who was visiting from Sudbury. Lucy was spending her school vacation here with her cousins, Eli and Jonah Saulnier. Meanwhile, the ladies were out having lunch while Mike was home working, as Heather Gardens will soon be re-opening for another gardening season. This week, Kerry and her boys will spend school vacation at Linda’s home in Gloucester.

It will be nice to have my own flowers soon. One thing I always have is a bouquet on the table in my living room. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it always makes me smile as I walk by the table throughout the day. Cheap mental health, and I think it brings life energy into the house. The best is when the flowers have a fragrance I can enjoy, too.

I’m sure everyone who enjoys gardening has noticed that our three garden centers in town are showing activity. Trucks are going in and out, beds are newly raked of winter debris, things are happening. Easter is so early this year, the end of March, that the celebratory Palm Sunday openings will happen pretty soon.

Meanwhile, I walk around our property every day with Talley, Nan, and Porter, looking for whatever new is coming up or whatever has buds thickening to color. We walk back and forth to the wood pile, keeping the house warm, and having to rely on bunches of roses from Cronig’s until our own flowering cycle begins.