West Tisbury: Nelson and the refrigerator


Our cat, Nelson, seemed to be spending an inordinate amount of time staring at the refrigerator. Whenever I walked past the kitchen, there he was. Waiting. Staring intently. I could read the signs; there had to be a mouse under the refrigerator.

I got Nelson shut away in the hall, then took a flashlight and peered behind the fridge. I was sure two dark eyes were staring back at me from the far corner. Mike came home from the firehouse, and I asked him for help. He came inside with boards to corral the mouse should it run out when he moved the fridge away from the wall, and a long pole to direct said mouse from his hiding place.

Out came the fridge. No sign of a mouse. There were plenty of fur balls and lots of dust, though. Mike prodded every bit of space, and we cleaned behind, underneath, above. We vacuumed the coils, a chore one is supposed to do on a regular basis, or so I have read. Who looks under their refrigerator? Well, anyone could now. It’s immaculate back there. We found probably enough fur to make another cat, but never saw any sign of the mouse.

Of course, Nelson was let out of the hallway and walked past the fridge, tail raised in a perfect question mark, straight out the kitchen door, as though he had never shown any interest in that refrigerator ever.

The perfect summer weather has continued, with days of sunshine and days of rain enough to keep the grass and gardens green and growing. Kousa dogwoods, roses, peonies, foxgloves, and thickets of catmint and alchemilla. Hydrangeas are blooming in time for the Fourth of July. Any uncut hay fields are thickly green, waving softly, as breezes catch them up.

I was surprised to see cars stopped along the road as I was coming home from Cronig’s one afternoon last week. Stopping behind them, I could see a lamb poke its nose out from the hedge bordering Whiting’s fields and run across the street to the cemetery. Two more lambs appeared. Then a whole flock of lambs burst forth and across the road. Drivers pulled off the road and jumped out of their cars to help gather up the lambs to safety. It was quite a scene.

Mary Pat Hough-Greene welcomes her son and his family for the Fourth of July. Neil and Amy Green arrive this weekend with their children, Harper and Georgia. All will be together to celebrate Mary Pat’s birthday on July 9.

I was happy to meet Sister Immaculata, Marsha Winsryg and Paul Karasik’s houseguest visiting from Livingstone, Zambia. Marsha had met Sister Immaculata through her work with the Mama Bakhita Home and the sisal basket-making project the sister had developed to help Zambian women start their own small businesses and earn money for their families. She was scheduled to speak about the project Monday at the Grange Hall at the first weekly World Market Mondays. Crafts from Zambia, Tanzania, Haiti, and India will be displayed for sale every Monday between 10 am and 5 pm.

An exhibition of new paintings by David Wallis and Kenneth Vincent and photographs by Alison Shaw will open at the Granary Gallery this Sunday, July 2, with an opening reception from 5 to 7 pm. The show continues through July 15.

On Monday, July 3, the annual reading of Frederick Douglass’s famous speech, “The Meaning of the Fourth of July to the Negro,” will begin at noon at the Federated Church in Edgartown.

At the West Tisbury library this week:

Saturday, July 1, Jungle Jim will perform at the Summer Reading Program Kickoff at the Ag Hall at 11 am. At 3 pm at the library, Jim Thomas and the Spirituals Choir will sing “Songs of the Fields,” a program of songs sung by slaves in America between 1619 and 1865, with stories behind each song.

Monday, July 3, Kanta Lipsky’s Balance Workshop will meet at 11:30 am. Monday Night Movies are back. A family movie will be shown in the Community Room and a teen movie in the Young Adults Room. Movies begin at 6:30 pm. The popcorn is free, too. Anyone interested in learning about the Community Seed Library is invited to an orientation and instruction from 7 to 8 pm.

The library is closed on the Fourth of July.

Wednesday, July 5, Shanta Gabriel will lead a Boost Workshop at noon. Learn pressure points and tapping sequences to release shoulder tension, improve memory, and reduce stress. At 2 pm, Matt Hayden will lead a flint-knapping workshop for kids ages 10 and up to learn how to make arrowheads and tools using natural materials. Both workshops require preregistration. Sign-up sheets are at the circulation desk.

Thursday, July 6, at 2 pm, Caroline Drogin will lead a Teen/Tween Origami Workshop for ages 10 and up. Sign-up is required. A family event featuring David Darwin will begin at 3 pm. The program will include juggling, daring circus skills, balancing acts, and wry wit. At 7 pm, Tweed Roosevelt will lead a discussion with Mark Greenberg and David Tait, co-authors of “Obama: The Historic Presidency of Barack Obama — 2,920 Days.” Books will be available for purchase and signing.

A group of neighbors, Friends of the Mill Pond, decided to commemorate the historical importance of the Mill Pond in our town’s history. They collected private donations for a bronze plaque, which is to be dedicated next Sunday, July 9, at 11:30 am. The public is invited. The Historic District Committee wrote the text that details the importance of the site. Selectmen and members of other town committees supported the project. I’ll remind you in next week’s column.

I’m listening to an owl out in our woods. A cardinal is singing his distinctive song. Just outside the window, a kousa dogwood is a waterfall of green leaves and cream-colored bracts against the lightening early morning sky.