West Tisbury: Couch potato


Last week’s snow mostly turned to rain, leaving slick and rutted ice on the ground. A fallen tree closed Scotchman’s, and some homes lost power for awhile as the storm raged and blew through West Tisbury and across the Island last Thursday. It has been frigidly cold ever since.

As I am writing on Monday morning, the sun has warmed our roof enough that water is dripping steadily outside the sunroom windows. The weather reports for this week predict sunshine and temperatures into the 40s.

There was plenty of cold and ice on Sunday morning for the West Tisbury Fire Department to head out to Flat Point for a planned ice rescue drill. Ice rescue teams from the other Island towns were invited. Guys in survival suits plunged into the water through a hole cut through the ice with a chainsaw. West Tisbury uses a rescue sled like a toboggan, and Tisbury uses a stand-up sled with pontoons and a raised rack that allows rescuers to walk out onto the ice. Aquinnah doesn’t have its own rescue sleds, so that team was able to try out both types. “There are advantages to both systems,” was the comment after rescuers drilled using different equipment and protocols. They were out on the ice for several hours, and felt that it was time well spent.

I was so sorry to hear that Coo Cavallo died last week. He was another person I met almost as soon as I moved to the Island. He served breakfast and lunch at Coo’s, his eatery on North Water Street in Edgartown, the place everyone frequented for warmth, good food, and all the news as it happened. It was always a treat to run into Coo over the years and catch up with our lives. My condolences to Donna and the boys.

The Polly Hill Arboretum is planning an outdoor art exhibition this summer, part of their 20th anniversary celebration. They are asking artists who have been inspired by the plants and landscape at the arboretum to submit digital images of their photographs, drawings, and paintings to Erin Hepfer at erin@pollyhillarboretum.org by Jan. 25. The arboretum has always been gracious about allowing artists to work there, and I look forward to seeing the exhibition. It will surely have a wide variety of work done in all seasons at that beautiful place.

If you haven’t done anything yet, or are just looking for a pleasant place to walk, the arboretum continues its second Saturday of the month Winter Walks this Saturday, Jan. 13, at 10 am. Besides the walks, there are programs about conifers and seeds planned for upcoming Saturdays.

The Democratic Council of Martha’s Vineyard will hold its monthly meeting from 9 to 10:30 am this Saturday morning at the Howes House. A guest speaker, Josh Zakim, will talk about his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Massachusetts secretary of state.

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Day, the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center hosts a special Friday-evening Sabbath service every year, “A Service to Remember and Honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.” Dr. King and Rabbi Heschel were friends who marched and worked together for civil justice. Members of the Island NAACP attend and participate, and it is always a moving occasion, with wonderful speeches and conversations. This year the guest speaker will be the Rev. Mariama White-Hammond from the Boston Bethel AME Church. She will talk about “Liberation in the Land: Reflections on Dr. King and the Exodus in a Time of Ecological Crisis.” The service will begin at 5:30 pm.

The Chilmark Community Church has planned a program of Lenten Bible Study Tuesdays beginning on Feb. 6. They will be led by the Rev. Dr. Charlotte Wright, and focus on “The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach Us About Jesus’ Final Days in Jerusalem.” If you are interested, please call 508-645-3100 or email chilmarkchurch@gmail.com to sign up and to buy the book you will need.

At the West Tisbury Library this week:

Friday, Jan. 12, 10:30 am, Open Chamber Music Rehearsal with Cesar Atzic Marquez. Musicians are invited to bring their instruments and listeners are invited to enjoy the music.

Saturday, Jan. 13, 10:30 am to 3 pm, materials for a drop-in family craft, making popsicle stick snowflakes, will be set out in the Children’s Room. At 4 pm, Alfred Woollcott will talk about his book, “The Believers In the Crucible Nauvoo,” his second book in a planned trilogy.

Sunday, Jan. 14, 3:30, the Vineyard Jazz Trio will perform.

The library is closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Day.

Tuesday, Jan. 16, noon to 1:30 pm, a free Wellness Clinic with a nurse from VNA of Cape Cod.

Wednesday, Jan. 17, 4 pm, a Glow Yoga Workshop For Tweens and Teens ages 10 to 17. Sign-up is required. Also at 4 pm, Sign Language Learning and Practice with Lynn Thorpe.

I will admit to being a couch potato, or a hibernating animal as I prefer to think of it, during these cold winter days. While Mike was out at his drill on Sunday, I was curled up on the sofa with a good book, “Radio Free Vermont,” by Bill McKibben. Mike’s brother, Jared, had liked it and thought Mike would, too, so I bought it for one of Mike’s Christmas presents. There was no Sunday New York Times this week, and the book was sitting on the table beside Mike’s chair, so I “borrowed” it. An easy, fast read, perfect for a winter afternoon. It was back beside Mike’s chair before he even missed it.