West Tisbury


Mike and I took the dogs for a later-than-usual walk Sunday evening just as dusk backlit the landscape. Shrubbery appeared as linked dark shapes edged in a corona of orange light, colors altered or picked out by light from an unfamiliar direction, making me see my world anew and wanting to paint enormous dusk-lit landscapes.

Earlier in the day we stopped at the library where we heard the big news that Xing Senna had found her kitten. Or rather her kitten had found her. Xing has been wanting a kitten for a long time and her parents promised her one for Christmas. The perfect kitten was at the animal shelter when Xing stopped by “just to look.” She described finding him “just like Cynthia’s [Riggs] story in the cat book.” He climbed into her lap and she was smitten. Her parents agreed. His name is Didi (accent on the second syllable,) the Chinese word for “little brother.” He is black, handsome, and much loved. Congratulations to Xing, Jennifer, Maceo, Fanny, and Didi. May you share a long and happy life together.

Another cat conversation was with Donal Harrup, Simone DeSorcy’s nephew, who is visiting from his family’s farm in Guelph, Ontario, with his mom, Josepha. With the magic of cell phones, Donal was able to illustrate our conversation with pictures of his cats and all the farm equipment he uses at home. Don takes after his grandfather, Donald, with his gift for all things mechanical. Simone was singing his praises as the perfect houseguest who offered to fix lots of things around her house while he was here.

There were sad conversations this week, too, as West Tisbury has lost several people. Ann Bassett’s mom, Rosalie, a lovely and gracious lady, died earlier this month. Mike Saunier lost his mom, Fran, who died peacefully at his sister’s home in Maine. Fran was a well-known and well-liked regular at the Plane View with her grandsons, Eli and Jonah. Abby Dreyer, husband of Chris, library and art-opening jazz pianist and gentleman, died after a long illness. And both Bob Salop and his beloved dog, Pebbles, died on the same day. Now they are together again, as they always were, a familiar sight driving around town. Condolences to all.

Someone none of us knew was Nancy Bryant, Nelson Bryant’s sister. Nancy spent her life in a series of care facilities, the last one in Wareham. Her funeral service was held there last Friday. Nelson was there, with his partner, Ruth Kirchmeier, his son and grandson, Jeff and Sam Bryant. All were touched by the loving tributes of the people who knew and cared for Nancy.

There will be a memorial service this Friday, November 1, 2 pm, at the West Tisbury Church for Frances Rose Hull Terrill. We are expecting relatives from Connecticut and California to be arriving all week long.

On a cheerier note, some happy birthdays coming up: mine on November 1; Cheryl Holenko on November 4, Sandy Turner on November 7, and Lyn Hinds on November 9. I love my birthday and am happy to celebrate those of friends as well.

Scarecrows have appeared all around town, decked out in the most imaginative costumes by students of the Charter School. The West Tisbury Library will hold their Halloween party at the Grange Hall from 3:30 to 5 pm. There will be all the customary entertainments — a hay ride, refreshments, crafts. The Parks and Recreation Department hosts their party from 6 to 8 pm at the Ag Hall, including a spooky hay ride, games, and refreshments. Dress up in your best Halloween finery and come to a party.

I can’t help smiling when I remember Halloweens from the 1980s. I and all the fire department wives became “haunted house widows” for the month of October, when our husbands spent every evening at the Grange Hall building their haunted house. Ghosts and skeletons, bats and headless bodies, or bodyless heads, would spring out overhead or around corners, creepy things would fall on your neck, displays of all manner of gruesomeness were devised and constructed by guys who wanted to have some fun and scare you silly. They did have fun, and so did everyone who attended.

There will be no Mother Goose on the Loose story time on Halloween. MGOL returns next Thursday, November 7, 10:30 am, at the Vineyard Haven Library.

Prayers of Peace, an interfaith service, will be held at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Chapel this Friday, November 1, at 4 pm. All are welcome to attend. Prayers, meditations, readings, reflections, and music are included in the service, sponsored by Island clergy, musicians, artists, and the interfaith community. For more information, call Carolyn Eddy at 508-696-1839 or Grace Church at 508-693-0332.

The third Winter Farmers’ Market is this Saturday at the Ag Hall, 10 to 1. Hot lunch, music by Kevin Keady, and all the fresh produce and baked goods you could wish for.