West Tisbury: Windy and wet


What a weekend. With a second nor’easter predicted for this Wednesday, there doesn’t seem much point putting away the kerosene lamps, flashlights, and candles we needed when our power went out from Friday evening till Saturday morning. Many of us were awakened in the middle of the night as lights and electronics flashed on with great fanfare.

Blue Cullen and I had gone out to the Black Dog for breakfast Friday morning, an extended celebration of her Feb. 25 birthday. It was already windy and wet when we arrived a little before 9. First there was a leak above our table; then several more along the porch. We had a delicious breakfast and lots to talk about, periodically looking out to see the harbor moving ever closer to the restaurant. By the time we left around 11 o’clock, we were both glad to have worn high rubber boots. The water was mid-calf high, and the wind propelled us to our cars. Five Corners was totally under water way up toward the Post Office and Cumberland Farms. Prudently, I headed home.

Mike and I are both big into preparation, so we had plenty of firewood inside and plenty of easy-to-warm-up food in case of a power outage. It was a grand storm to watch from the warmth and safety of our sunroom windows, wind blowing through our woods and heavy rain almost obscuring the view outside. I had seen some trees and big branches down along my earlier trip home from Vineyard Haven, but nothing much here. So I was surprised to hear my husband whoosh in later in the day to announce, “Janice’s privy got hit.” It was flattened by a huge tree that split right through the trunk, and half of it dropped onto the former privy, long used as an extra storage shed. We still refer to the property as “Janice’s house,” although it no longer is.

A big tree came down between Tom Hodgson and Christine Gault’s yard and Sue Hruby’s. More light for Tom and Christine’s garden, future firewood, but for now a lot of chainsawing and cleanup. Fortunately, Sue’s cats and the Hodgson/Gault puppy were inside, safely away from any danger.

Last week during school vacation, the library served “Lunch at the Library,” among the other special events planned for those of us remaining home. Linda Vadasz and I decided to meet there last Tuesday. What a wonderful lunch it was. Island Grown Initiative made and served delicious soup, bread, crudités, and dessert. Tables were set out in the Program Room, and they were filled with families and friends, all in conversation and enjoying the occasion. Someone, probably famous, said, “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.” That sentiment was borne out, as everyone seemed to meet someone new. Linda and I met Holly Pretsky, new to the Island, a reporter at the Gazette. I remember her name because I could see it as her byline. I apologize to her lovely friend whose name I don’t remember. I wish these daily lunches were an ongoing thing. It was fun to be there, and you never knew who you might run into.

This week at the library:

Friday, March 9, 10:30 am, Open Chamber Music Rehearsal. At 3:30 pm, Glow Yoga for tweens and teens ages 10 to 17, sign-up required.

Saturday, March 10, 2:30, Lego Club: Build cars and race them on a wooden derby track. At 7 pm, Steve Maxner will perform his original compositions for solo mandolin, inspired by his experiences as a Vietnam veteran.

Sunday, March 11, 3:30 pm, Second Sunday Jazz Concert featuring John Alaimo, Mike Tinus, Tauras Biskis, David Hannon, and Rose Guerin.

Monday, March 12, 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky’s Balance Class. At 1 pm, Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group’s discussion of research on potential to harvest phragmites to reduce excess nitrogen in coastal ponds. At 7 pm, Writers Read will meet for eight-minute readings of original fiction and nonfiction.

Tuesday, March 13, 9:30, the Howes House Discussion Group screening and discussion of “One Big Home” will be held at the library. Director Thomas Bena and film subject Jessica Roddy will speak and answer questions.

Wednesday, March 14, 4 pm, workshop led by Emily LaPierre, certified Love Your Brain Yoga instructor, for survivors of traumatic brain injury and their caregivers. Sign-up is required.

An email from Elaine Eugster arrived announcing the Martha’s Vineyard Cancer Support Group’s annual daffodil sale, scheduled for March 16 and 17. On Friday, daffodils will be on sale at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital from 8 am to 3:30 pm, and on Saturday at the Edgartown Stop & Shop, Reliable Market, and Vineyard Haven Cronig’s from 9 am to 4:30 pm. Daffodils are $10 a bunch, always tightly budded so they last a good long time. Remember that 100 percent of money collected goes to Island patients and their families to help with medical and travel expenses incurred during cancer treatment.

The Martha’s Vineyard Democratic Council will meet this Saturday morning, March 10, 9 to 10:30 am, at the Howes House. Guests will be Charlie Morano, who is running for Dukes’ County Superior Court Clerk, and Lily Welch, campaign field organizer for Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Polly Brown of Vineyard Village at Home will speak at 11:30 am in the Federated Church Parish Hall following this Sunday’s morning service. For more information, call the church office at 508-627-4421 or email admin@federatedchurchmv.org.

Peggy MacKenzie and I arrived at Cronig’s about the same time one day last week, and took advantage to stop for a chat. Peggy and I knew each other from our previous lives in Wilton and Ridgefield, Conn., respectively, so it’s always a treat to catch up with both Connecticut and Vineyard news. During our conversation, we got talking about things like online banking, cell phones, the loss of valuing daily face-to-face interactions, then moved on to what many regard as anachronistic relics — dictionaries and card catalogues. Peggy said, “I can’t list how many books I found on the way to what I was looking for.”

I don’t know when or how accomplishing something quickly became more important than the activity itself. As a proud Luddite devoted to my Oxford English Dictionary, I will paraphrase Peggy, saying, “I can’t list how many words I found on the way to what I was looking for.” I miss the card catalogue, too, for all its random discoveries, for exposing me to all sorts of possibilities I never knew I was looking for. I guess I’m lucky, too, to function on a sort-of schedule that makes time for puttering and random chats during the day.