West Tisbury: Happy 2016


We wore T-shirts on our walk Christmas morning. The dogs went swimming. Then home to a quiet Christmas Day. Lots of new books and lots of cookies to have with tea. Deliciously lazy.

Mike’s family celebrates on Christmas Eve. We all gathered at his mother’s house, where she and Mike’s sister, Cecily, had everything festive and set a beautiful table for our dinner. The lights on the fence and lamppost outside made a welcome greeting as we arrived. Everyone brought part of the meal to add to Cecily’s turkey, and the whole evening was lovely.

Mike’s cousins, Hannah, and Dan, came to the candlelight service at church with me. A beautiful service and music, and so many people who are dear to me. Being part of our community is so important to me, a very precious part of my life here.

We sat with Tom Thatcher. I wish I had known about Hannah’s Christmas present to Mike and me, to tell Tom about it that night. It was a tile that Tom and Mary had made at their pottery of a drawing of Mike’s, a spouting whale swimming in the waves. It had been Mike’s Christmas present in 1952 to his Hull grandparents. When they died, it went to his Aunt Judy and passed on to Hannah, who repaired it and gave it to us. There were lots of reminiscences about how much those children loved Tom and Mary, how to welcome they were at the pottery and all they learned while hanging out there, making art. Tom, you are so well remembered, a treasured part of their memories. And we are thrilled to have the tile. Please come for tea so you can see it again.

Jim Powell is home for Christmas. He sat behind us at church, with his mother Rosalie and brother and sister-in-law, Ted and Susan.

I walked home from church in the misty full-moon night. A full moon on Christmas is supposed to be an astronomical oddity, happening only once every forty or so years. The last was in 1977, and the next is predicted for 2034. It was a beautiful sight.

Sunde Smith turned 70 last week. Two of her children had birthdays, too, and this year the whole family was together with Sunde and John in West Tisbury to celebrate. When I saw Sunde at Conroy’s, she was very excited at the thought of everyone arriving and spending Christmas and their birthdays in the same place. The big event was a party at the bowling alley Sunday night. Kids from Iowa City, Miami, and Milton; Woolcott’s twin, David, and his wife, Joan, from Philadelphia.

The Lego Club will meet at the West Tisbury Library this Saturday, Jan. 2, from 2:30 to 4:30. Fan Ogilvie, an artist, and former poet laureate, will exhibit in the library’s Program Room for the month of January. There will be an artist’s reception next Saturday, Jan. 9, from 4 to 5 o’clock.

The last day of 2015. There’s something about balancing on the edge between the end of one year and the beginning of another. We have always jumped off chairs at midnight into the new year, then call one another up. “Did you jump?” we ask. My brother Mike always holds his cat in his arms, making sure she comes into the new year along with him. My parents often had parties with all their friends watching the ball drop in Times Square. My brother Mark was often there as an adult, a special evening with New York friends. I guess making it special is the point. Beginning with a clean slate, jumping into the unknown. What will 2016 bring, and what will we bring to it?