West Tisbury: Flowering snowdrops


As I typed in Dec. 29, 2016, it was obvious this is my last column for 2016. Another year of weather, occasions, births, and deaths, the passage of seasons and all that brings. It’s always easy to feel a little wistful as the end of one year comes, and hopeful for the new year that will begin at midnight on Jan. 1.

After all the weeks of preparing for Christmas, the day was busy and rushed along. We visited with family and friends, had lots of phone calls and letters, ate way too much amazing food, opened presents, and generally had a good time. Hanukkah began on Christmas Eve this year, an unusual occurrence, but nice to have the full eight days to savor. I am looking forward to this Friday night’s service at the Hebrew Center, where we all bring our menorahs and light them in the sanctuary, then have dinner together — potato latkes (pancakes) and potluck salads — after the service.

I have moved the wheelbarrow that Mike left on top of where my earliest snowdrops come up and bloom, often in January or early February. Hellebores are looking healthy in new spots where I placed them last fall. They were unhappy in the rhododendron border, alive but not thriving. I had noticed Ruth Kirchmeier’s hellebores planted in a sunnier spot, so moved my older plants, and added two new varieties I found in the spring, to a sunny spot in my kitchen garden. They all seem happy, and I will have the pleasure of walking past them every time I go in or out of the house. I stuck in some double snowdrop bulbs and some pale yellow narcissus, too. That garden has become too shaded for the vegetable parterre it was 30-plus years ago, but it still has enough sun for a refigured and replanted shrub and flower garden. That is, where Nanuk hasn’t dug herself cool holes to lie in. They add nothing to my garden plan. But this is the time of year when gardeners look over their notes from the past growing season, read the new seed and plant catalogues, and spend pleasant afternoons on their sofas looking at gorgeous garden books. I try to remind myself that most of these gardens have paid help.

The West Tisbury library has family and teen/tween films this afternoon at 1:30, and drop-in crafts every day through the remainder of vacation week. Come this Saturday, Dec. 31, for a meeting of the Lego Club from 1 to 3 o’clock, and a rock concert for kids at 4. Jellybone Rivers and the Maniacs were so popular at their last concert, and pictures showed kids dancing up a storm, so they are coming back to perform from 4 to 5 pm.

Don’t forget the library will be closed Jan. 1 and 2.

The Martha’s Vineyard Community of Mindfulness will meet at the library on Tuesday, Jan. 3, at 6 pm. The Modern Quilt Guild will meet on Wednesday, Jan. 4, at 6 pm.

If you are looking for new classes or interests over the winter of 2017, there are lots to choose from. The aforementioned Modern Quilt Guild welcomes new members, and meets regularly at the library for evenings and all-day events. ACE MV begins its winter schedule in January with some business-oriented classes: Business Management, Bookkeeping, Excel II. And the Martha’s Vineyard Partnership for Health has planned a free six-week series of classes about dealing with your own chronic health conditions or supporting or caring for someone with a chronic condition. Come to the West Tisbury library on Thursday, Jan. 12, 11 am to noon, for an information session describing the series.

Of course, winter is also the time for quiet time and restoring yourself. It never seems long enough to me, or maybe my list of intended projects is just unrealistic. Or maybe the stack of books and the sunny spot on my sofa where I like to read are much more appealing than cleaning the basement or the pile of unfiled papers on my desk. Just maybe.