West Tisbury: Golden days


Having grown up in a one-story house, I never tire of waking up and looking out our upstairs bedroom windows at a view that seems from a treehouse. Mike and I have occasionally wished we had put in a dormer with more windows across the south side of our house, but we and our animals awake with the eastern morning light. This time of year it is particularly lovely. I can look out and see the palest pink blossoms of a cherry tree. Even better is being outside, standing beside that tree, underplanted with myrtle, bleeding hearts, and ‘Thalia’ daffodils. When the cherry tree drops its petals, it looks like a snowfall.

I can’t believe how much everything has grown over the years. The few clumps of myrtle I brought home from my brother Andy’s yard have spread into pretty good-size plantings. It is at its best now, covered with periwinkle flowers, that gorgeous lavender-tinted blue, in wide swaths under trees and much of our rhododendron hedge.

Last night Mike and I went to dinner at Diane Wall’s house. As we drove down Oak Lane, I looked at what had been Jim and Liz Branch’s yard, then at Norm and Kathy Lobb’s a little farther down. I remember when Diane bought and planted tiny bushes and trees along her driveway; now she is hacking them back to get her car in there. Oak Lane was all new house lots back then in the early 1980s. All our friends were building houses and planting gardens that look so mature now.

We had been invited for dinner with Charlie and Teena Parton, who were visiting the Island. We always try to get together for dinner when they are here. Anyone who remembers Alley’s back when the Partons owned it will remember what a good cook Diane was, and still is. Her daughters, Hilary and Tessa, joined us, along with the Partons’ dog, Guido. He, Delilah, and Nanuk had playtime before collapsing under the table to rest while we all enjoyed manicotti, banana cake, and lots of good red wine. And old friends. We picked right up where we had left off from Teena and Charlie’s last visit. Hope they come again soon.

It’s been such a rainy week. Everything seems to be coming out all at once. My latest daffodils are already blooming, while the early ones still look fresh. All of West Tisbury looks golden, with daffodils and forsythia at their peak. The pear trees at the cemetery are in full bloom. We will all be mowing our lawns pretty soon.

Vineyard Gardens has begun a series of free garden lectures every Saturday morning from 11 am to noon. This Saturday’s program is “Pollinator Plants.” A calendar for the whole series is on the website: vineyardgardens.net. Or call the nursery at 508-693-8511.

Happy 50th anniversary wishes to Mike and Karen Colaneri. They celebrated by going out to dinner at the Square Rigger last Saturday night. Congratulations and hugs to you both.

Very happy birthday wishes to Bianca Stafford, who will turn 6 on May 4. When I saw her gram, a.k.a. Joanne Scott, this afternoon, she was busy figuring out her costume for the Star Wars birthday party Bianca has requested. Enjoy your special day, Bianca.

I was so sorry to learn that Joyce Duarte died last week. My condolences to her children, Linda Warren and Michael Hoyle, her sisters, Bernice Kirby and Rosalie Powell, and to the whole extended family.

Island Clergy and Healthy Aging Martha’s Vineyard have collaborated on an Advanced Care Planning series that will be held at the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury through the month of May. The Rev. Cathlin Baker and Paddy Moore will lead the Wednesday evening sessions from 5 to 6:30 pm. Call 508-693-2842 to register.

The Howes House Writers will reconvene on Tuesday, May 7, 11:15 am to 1:15 pm. All are welcome to bring your writing in any genre, and a snack to share. For information, call 508-693-2896.

The Neighborhood Convention will hold its monthly meeting Tuesday, May 7, at 11 am at St. Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven. The program will be music with Molly Conole, accompanied on piano by Peter Boak. Bring your own lunch.

The Menemsha Coast Guard Station will celebrate Boating Safety Week with an open house on Saturday, May 18, from 10 am to 1 pm. Information and lessons will be offered. All are welcome to attend.

At the West Tisbury library this week:

Friday, May 3, 5:15 pm, Women’s Committee of We Stand Together/Estamos Todos Juntos will host its Feminist Book Group meeting. All are welcome.

Saturday, May 4, 11 am, Hugh Phear will lead a Chain Reaction Building Activity for kids ages 8 and up. Kids under 10 will need to be with a mature caregiver. From 3:30 to 5 pm, there will be an artist’s reception for Caitlin Bingham.

Sunday, May 5, 2 pm, a meeting of the Death Cafe with Heather Massey. At 7:30 pm, a free screening of “The Public” at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center in Tisbury Marketplace, an event offered by the MVFS and Island libraries. In lieu of an admission fee, please bring a nonperishable food donation to the Island Food Pantry. Free tickets are available at mvfilmsociety.com.

Monday, May 6, 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky’s balance class. At 1 pm, Dr. David Martin of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society will present a general introduction to genealogy. Signup is required. Saskia and David Vanderhoop of Sassafras Earth Education will lead an interactive conversation about Nature Connection in the Information Era at 6 pm.

Tuesday, May 7, two programs at 10:30 am; Little Bird Music Class for children and the Adult Community Dance Class with the Yard.

Wednesday, May 8, 4 pm, Lynn Thorp’s Sign Language Learning and Practice Circle.

In an update to last week’s column, I am thrilled to report that I now have the most beautiful porch ceiling in the world. Mike spent odd bits of time last week putting up beadboard, filling holes, and painting it the palest whisper of blue. It is so perfect, better than the picture in my imagination, and reflects that soft light back into our kitchen window.