West Tisbury: September is to remember


Mike has gone off-Island with his brother to visit their mother, so I have the house all to myself. The Sunday New York Times, the house cool enough that I’m drinking hot tea. The morning was spent putting things away and doing a little cleaning after being off-Island for a couple of days.

One of the things I bought on my trip was a card that said, “A multitude of small delights constitutes happiness,” a quote from Charles Baudelaire. A smart man. I came home with new dishtowels, and spent part of this morning organizing my dishtowel drawer, feeling very happy to see bright, new ones neatly in their place, and the first of them, a lovely, rich turquoise blue linen, hanging on the oven door in our kitchen. It looks beautiful.

I was on my way to Gloucester and Annisquam to visit friends and family, but had an unexpected reunion when Mary Jo Joiner and Phil Smith walked into Pie in the Sky. They were leaving the Island after their annual summer visit. What fun to see them and to hear about their life in Alaska. Mary Jo is her active, involved self, busy running the Kenai Library. She is a grandmother; Brian and Grant both have daughters. Phil is happy with their rural home, and remains as deliberately low-key as ever. Glad to hear that they continue to be happy with their move.

It was hard to leave the Island now that it’s September. Ellen Weiss, Brooks Robards, and I had a walk at Hancock Beach, finally, after one or another of us was busy all summer. Ellen has been watching sandpipers or sanderlings (we weren’t sure which), and made some observations about their behavior that Brooks and I found fascinating. We spent a good hour or more just watching one little bird puff up his feathers and run toward another. The second bird would either flatten him/herself on the sand or run off up the beach. Then they would fly off in groups and return, peck in the sand, and run or fly up the beach as the waves came in. Again and again we watched, and it remained as entertaining as when we first began. There was no one on the beach with us, and it was pure heaven.

In other bird news, Mike came home after walking Nanuk last Thursday morning, and mentioned that he had seen a quail when he drove out of our driveway. He said that Tony and Doreen Rezendes had seen them across the street at their house, too. It’s been years since we have seen quail in our woods.

Whitney Moody stopped me in Cronig’s parking lot to invite me over to her car to meet her and Bill’s new rescue puppy. Her name is Moki, the Hopi word for “deer.” She is rather a pretty buff color mixed with white, a combination of whippet and Jack Russell. Very sweet, she let me pet her smooth fur, the color and feel of my Talley’s fur. A happy memory. I hope to see a lot of Moki Moody.

Katie Stafford is training to run the 2018 New York Marathon on Nov. 4, her fifth year. She is running to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. Both Katie and her husband, Ben, lost grandmothers to Alzheimer’s, so Katie runs in memory of Miriam Goodwin and Trudy Scott. If you would like to contribute, here is the link to Katie’s donations page: http://bit.ly/5thMarathon.

Allen Whiting’s Davis House Gallery is open by appointment now. Call him and Lynne at 508-693-4691.

At the West Tisbury library this week:

Saturday, Sept. 15, 10:30 am to 3 pm, materials to make paper cup bugs will be set up in the Children’s Room. At 3:30 pm, photographers Marc Hors and Indira Urritia will present “The Gaze From the Bicycle,” a record of their trip from Alaska to the Chilean Antarctic.

Monday, Sept. 17, 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky will lead her Balance Workshop. At 7 pm, Dave Kish will show a jazz documentary and lead a discussion afterward.

Sunday night begins the Jewish New Year 5779. Following the service at the Hebrew Center, there will be apples dipped in honey to symbolize a sweet New Year, then two days of worship.

I know how lucky I am to live in this beautiful, safe place, surrounded by longtime friends, to be living a life where a new dishtowel can bring me happiness. Still, it’s hard to feel celebratory while the world around us seems like it’s falling apart. Famines, wars, distrust, drought, floods, anti-everything sentiment seemingly everywhere. Beginning a New Year gives me a moment to hope we can do better, but we humans seem to make the same mistakes over and over again. Just read and remember history.