West Tisbury: getting greener every day


I hope everyone in town will come to the open house at the Public Safety Building this Saturday, May 17, from 4 to 7 pm. The open house will be hosted jointly by the Fire Department, Police Department, and Tri-Town EMTs. It will be an opportunity to tour the facilities, check out the equipment, see many of your neighbors, as well as get to know our town’s emergency personnel. The West Tisbury Firemen’s Association will serve hamburgers and hot dogs. So stop by. The Public Safety Building is at 454 State Road, across from Cronig’s and Conroy’s. You will see the sign, lots of cars, big fire trucks, and maybe balloons.

It’s actually hot outside in the sun as I am writing this column from my porch. I had breakfast out here this morning, the first of the season. Everything looks green and flowering and more beautiful than I ever remember. Maple trees are leafed out. The opening flowers of my dogwoods appear to float above the landscape. The earliest rhododendrons, PJM and Catawbiense Album, are beginning to bloom, a carpet of myrtle and violets and ajuga at their feet. I am ignoring the dandelions and ground ivy.

Driving up the Edgartown-West Tisbury Road, I was surprised at how green everything is. It always seems to happen in an instant, no matter how vigilant I am. One day everything is just a haze of color, an impression of a possibility, then it’s fully leafed out and overwhelmingly, brilliantly green.

Katherine Long has had her mother, Katherine, and her sister, Mary Ruth Flores, here for a visit. Mary Ruth caught the Island obsession with seeing a snowy owl, and spent a good part of her trip checking out other people’s sightings online and following their advice as to where to go. She finally did see her owl. As Katherine commented, “Now her life is complete.” Besides that, the three of them spent time with Island friends, did lots of cooking, worked on sewing/quilting/knitting projects together, and played with and admired Purl and Twig, Katherine’s cats. And saw a snowy owl.

Lynne Whiting has returned home from “a rather extraordinary trip” visiting her family in Utah. She met her newest great-nephew, Oliver Patrick McGuinn, her sister Lori’s first grandchild. Lynne’s mother, Mary Erickson, got to hold him and pose for photographs with all four generations, and to sit for lots of family photographs with Lynne and her siblings. Lynne had gone out to finish up a memory book she and her mother had been making together. They were together when Mary died on May 4. Condolences to Lynne, Allen, and their family.

Students from the MVRHS Women’s Studies class have researched and curated an exhibition at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. “Women and Crime: Victims and Perpetrators” will open with a reception on Monday, May 19, from 5 to 7 pm. Covering the period from 1790 to 1840, archives in the museum’s collection were cross-referenced with sheriff’s department and court records to tell the stories that make up the exhibition. Come see what they discovered.

Drop-in Saturday crafts at the West Tisbury Library this week are out all day from 11 to 3, free to all comers. Materials for making bug prints will be set out in the Children’s Room. Teens and tweens can design their own crystal magnets in the Young Adult’s Room.

Laughter Yoga begins at the library with classes for adults on Monday, May 19, at 5:30 pm. The class for kids ages 5 to 7 and their parents begins this Thursday, May 22, at 4 pm. Laughter Yoga was created by a doctor in India. It combines gentle movements and stretches, deep yogic breathing, with child-like playfulness. Emily Sims will lead both classes.

It’s already feeling dry, with no good rain in sight, hoses spread from one end of the yard to distant new plantings beyond. I am enchanted by the daily changes that are a hallmark of the spring season. I keep driving past Harriet Bernstein’s house waiting for her enormous cherry trees to burst into bloom; they must cover a hundred feet across the front of her property and make a spectacular show. Look up the driveway marked with a red hat on a post when you travel along the Edgartown-West Tisbury Road. It’s just about across from New Lane and the Cleaveland House, set back from the road. When they blossom, you can’t miss it.

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