West Tisbury: On watch


I have spent much of the past few days watching Hurricane Florence approach the Carolinas and Georgia, then seeing the devastation from wind and rain, horrific flooding, and consequences I can barely imagine. Some of that rain, much needed here, is expected to come up the coast toward us later this week. It may miss us, as much appears to be a thick band to our west, but I do hope for at least a couple of inches. Here we are in a drought, as flooding has washed away entire communities to our south.

Then the gas explosions in Andover, North Andover, Lawrence. What a week of tragedies for so many families.

Closer to home was the house fire in Chilmark that began early Wednesday morning. Firefighters from all the towns were called for mutual aid. There have been some bad accidents, and an unusually high number of false alarms and car accidents that have roused our firemen from their beds or from work several times this past week. I can only hope that things will calm down some.

Looking out the window, though, I can only see sunshine and feel cool air on my face. This is my best time of year. Summer is over officially on the fall equinox, Sept. 21.

Leslie Prosterman’s Poetry Workshop, Session II, will meet this Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Chilmark library from 2 to 4 pm. Bring your notebook, a pencil, and your creative self.

The Heath Hen will be starting two new classes/groups, and is looking for participants. Both groups will meet on Wednesdays: Hand Sewing/Quilting from 10 to 11 am, and Knitting from 4:30 to 6 pm. Please call to enroll: 508-693-6730. New fall hours are: Monday through Friday, 10 to 4, and Saturday, 10 to 3.

A heads-up regarding two programs in October: Dr. Fred Hotchkiss has sent an announcement for National Fossil Day, to be celebrated at the Oak Bluffs library on Oct. 18. Get your fossils, questions, and curiosity ready for displays and experts on hand. The Women’s Symposium XLII will meet on Oct. 27 at the Chilmark Community Center. The topic for discussion will be “If Not Now, When?”

At the West Tisbury library this week:

Friday, Sept. 21, 3:30 pm, Dumbledore’s Army monthly meeting for all Harry Potter fans ages 10 through 17.

Saturday, Sept. 22, 11 am, “Easels on the Porch: Painting Your Inner Landscape,” with Jennifer Knight. Participants, ages 16-plus, are invited to ”visualize, embody, paint, and journal their own bodily experiences of joy and delight.” Sign-up is required. Bring your own materials, or purchase supplies for $20. A supply list is on the library’s website: westtisburylibrary.org. At 2:30 pm, Lego Club for all ages will meet.

Monday, Sept. 24, 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky’s Balance Workshop will meet.

Thursday, Sept. 27, 4 pm, Christina Montoya will show a short video about her two-week immersion in Afro-Cuban dance in Havana, Cuba, followed by an interactive Cuban Salsa Suelta dance class. Ages 9-plus. At 6 pm, there will be an information session with members of the Martha’s Vineyard Cultural Council. Learn about funding opportunities for arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences projects in 2019.

The library is offering a new tech help service every weekday afternoon from 3:30 to 5 pm. The IT/reference librarian will be available to help with tech questions. Bring your device. Appointments are preferred. Call the library at 508-693-3366.

Mike and I began worrying last Saturday as our cat, Mona, disappeared. She had never missed a meal before, and usually spent her days sleeping on our porch. On Monday I called Tony Cordray to ask if any cats had been found on the road near our house. Fortunately no, but she was still missing. By Tuesday I was convinced that she had gone off into the woods to die on her own. She was, after all, 18 or so. I couldn’t stop crying and missing her quiet presence. Nelson and Nanuk seemed unsettled, as well. I told Tony to stop looking for her.

Wednesday morning, more accurately sometime during the night, Mike woke me up to look at a sleeping mostly gray cat curled up on our bed. Mona had come home. She had woken Mike up to feed her. She looked perfectly fine. She felt a little thinner and was probably dehydrated, but she was home and she was fine.

I know she will probably wander off again some day, and she really will die, maybe in some undetectable, quiet spot she will find in our woods. I will be sad to lose her. Sad, too, not to lay her body in a cozy grave in our pet cemetery, where I can sit with her or walk by and say “Hello.” But for now I can only delight in her return to where she belongs, and in feeling her soft fur in my arms.