West Tisbury


The sky was the color of heavy cream this morning, lightening slowly, warming into a bright fall day. We are all getting accustomed to the return to Eastern Standard Time, knowing that darkening short days are ahead.

Anyone who has had a new kitten knows how little gets done. Nelson is either switched on or off. As I try to write this morning, two eyes and two ears hover over the top of my laptop until he can’t stand being apart from me another second, then over he comes to settle onto the keyboard or my chest for a nap.

He looks more like a cat now. No longer a round orange ball, his legs and body are elongating towards adulthood. I was surprised, watching him across the room, how he has grown in just a few weeks and how he changes from day to day. Last week I despaired, as he seemed to be all teeth, lunging and biting every time he came near Mike or me or the dogs. A palm-sized blue squirt gun from Alley’s seems to have quelled the worst. At least for the moment.

We had Hannah Beecher and our California cousins over for dinner last night, and I realized what a social creature Nelson is. He had an entire houseful to play with. Robert, Roger and Claribel Terrill’s 14-year-old son, was the perfect companion. He wore Nelson out.

The California cousins were here for Rose Terrill”s memorial service and burying her ashes next to her brother, Richard. Rose wanted to be here in West Tisbury where she grew up summers. We had all had dinner the night before at the Slocum House, a multicultural spread of Claribel’s Native American dishes, Xiaoshi Hull’s Chinese dumplings and stir-fried vegetables, and New England roast pork with applesauce. There was so much left over that we reconvened here the following night to enjoy it and each other’s company all over again.

Earlier in the day, the group had gone to Aquinnah, where Claribel met the Giles sisters at their Stony Creek Gifts shop. They shared a lengthy conversation about Wampanoag history and crafts, then Claribel’s Northern Schumash tribe. I think it was the highlight of the trip. She returned home with wampum jewelry and a Northern California tribal basket hat she found at Hull’s Antiques, a gift from Bobby. She also identified a Northern Schumash basket, traditionally woven of juncus and sumac, much like one she had seen in the Smithsonian. Good stories and good memories.

Last year the Vineyard Montessori School held their first Truckin’ MV fundraiser across the street at Fire Station 1. Bucket loaders, brush breakers, tractors, moving trucks, dump trucks, bulldozers – all a gearhead of any age could dream of. This year, there will be 25 or more BIG TRUCKS to explore and admire, but the show has been moved to the regional high school parking lot to accommodate more vehicles. It is scheduled for Saturday, November 9, 10 am to 12:30 pm, rain or shine. Admission is $10/child or $25/family. There will be refreshments for sale, too.

Maya O’Neill has a new sheltie puppy named Georgie. I saw her walking him very nicely at the end of a long scarf. The Lee/O’Neill household will be busy walking and training Georgie and giving him lots of love.

Ruth Kirchmeier is exhibiting her woodcuts in a group show at the Chilmark Library. Painters Lyn Hinds and Claire Chalfoun are fellow-participants. The show will be up through November, open during regular library hours.

Come meet Martha Coakley, candidate for Democratic nomination for governor, at the Democratic Council of Martha’s Vineyard meeting this Saturday, November 9, 9 to 10:30 am, at the Howes House. All are welcome to hear what she has to say and to ask questions. For information: info@mvdems.org.

Next Sunday afternoon, November 17, come to the West Tisbury Library’s Community Poetry Reading at the Bunch of Grapes from 4 to 5 pm. Poet Laureate Justen Ahren will act as emcee and host. Bring a poem of your own or one by a favorite poet, or just bring yourself. The event is free and all are welcome.

Mother Goose on the Loose recommences this Thursday morning, November 7, at the Vineyard Haven Library. Next Thursday, November 14, meet at the Oak Bluffs Library. The program for infants to three-year-olds begins at 10:30 am.

Congratulations to our library. We all know it is the best, but it’s still nice to be acknowledged by the Library Journal, awarding the West Tisbury Free Public Library five stars for the fifth straight year.

By the way, I was surprised to see our cousin, Dana Terrill, wearing a new baseball cap he bought at the Farmers’ Market last Saturday. Across the front it said West Tisbury Free Public Library. It was $12 and quite handsome.

I don’t think any one of us has been untouched by Lyme disease. There is currently a bill in our State Legislature that will require insurance companies to cover open-ended antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease when prescribed by a physician. The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Financial Services will hold a public hearing on H.989, An Act Relative to Lyme Disease Treatment Coverage, at the State House in Boston, Room A-2, on Wednesday, November 13, 1 to 4 pm. Dr. Enid Haller of the Lyme Center of Martha’s Vineyard urges everyone who can to attend, to send written testimony, or to speak in person. Our legislators need to know that Lyme is serious and costly. Please email letters to lymebill@gmail.com or fax to Trish McCleary at 774-241-0071.