West Tisbury: We couldn’t have begun 2020 with a prettier day


We couldn’t have begun 2020 with a prettier day. It was sunny and mild enough to wear only a sweater when we took Abby for a walk. We met another couple out walking their two dogs, two adult dogs who were nice to Abby, and played energetically enough to make her sleep for the rest of the afternoon. 

Then the weather turned cold again. By the weekend there was frost on the lawn in the mornings, and a cold wind kept me in a jacket zipped up to my neck. Abby was undaunted. She still needs to go out during the night, and dawdled around the yard investigating everything while I was freezing and wanted to go back inside to bed. 

Kathy Logue invited us over on Sunday for a playdate with her puppy in their fenced-in yard. Finley is 9 months old, and enough bigger than Abby to toss her on the ground and roll her around for awhile. The two puppies chased tennis balls, sticks, each other, and ran around like nuts. Kathy, Megan, and I shivered in the wind and laughed at our puppies’ antics. Abby didn’t want to stop. It was nice to have her off the leash in a safe place and to see her run around to wear herself out. A tired puppy is a good puppy.

I happened onto the meaning of Abby’s name; Abigail means “joy of my father.” That is certainly appropriate. Mike adores his puppy.

I was so happy to learn that Bethany and Stephen Hammond have had their baby. Silas Ray Hammond was born on Dec. 18. Welcome to West Tisbury, Silas. I can’t wait to see your very proud grandmother, Suzanne, walking around town and up to the library with you, just the way she did with your father when he was a baby.

Marie-Louise Rouff was surprised by a group of friends Monday evening. She had been invited to Sioux Eagle’s house for a concert by cellist Jeremiah Barcus, so arrived with her husband, Paul Levine, expecting a concert, not a surprise 90th birthday party. The concert still happened and was fabulous, but the first part of the evening was filled with greetings and a potluck dinner. The dining room was decorated with hearts of every imagination; all the guests had been asked to make and bring a heart-shaped tribute to Marie-Louise. They were hung from the chandelier over Sioux’s dining table and around the window and door frames, mixed with tiny white lights that made the room look like something out of a fairy tale. Marie-Louise’s actual birthday is Jan. 18, so you still have time to wish her a happy day when you see her around town.

I was surprised to see Bea Phear at Cronig’s the other day wearing open-toed sandals along with a down coat, as it was a freezing cold day. The reason was that Bea had broken a toe the night before. Conveniently, there was a doctor in the house at the time, Bea’s daughter, Cathy Hicks, who was visiting for the holidays from New York City. Not much one can do for a broken toe, but it must have felt comforting to have emergency medical care without leaving home, and a little extra TLC for the rest of Cathy’s stay.

Siren Mayhew performed on New Year’s Day with the Cape Symphony Orchestra at the Performing Arts Center at Barnstable High School in Hyannis. She sang four songs, including one of her own compositions, which she sang with her husband, Sean McMahon, who had arranged the original orchestral accompaniment. She was also joined by Lindsay Deutsch for a voice and violin duet of “Time to Say Good-Bye.” This was Siren’s fourth time performing with the orchestra and Maestro Jung Ho Pak. She sang “Being Alive” with conductor and composer Peter Mansfield, who wrote the arrangement for Siren when she performed it with the Boston Pops in 2008.

ACE MV has just come out with its catalogue for winter semester classes. If you are looking for something interesting to do or learn about this winter, take a look at their online catalogue or contact the office for more information. Phone number is 508-693-9222; email is admin@acemv.org.

The Democratic Council of Martha’s Vineyard will hold its January meeting this Saturday, Jan. 11, from 9:30 to 11 am, at the Howes House. The discussion will focus on upcoming 2020 local and national elections, and how to support Democratic candidates. The council is looking for a space to serve as campaign central between Columbus Day and Election Day. They require a place that is visible, accessible, and inexpensive, where they will be able to phone bank, write postcards, and pick up and drop off campaign materials. Any ideas? Contact council members or email democratsmv@gmail.com

At the West Tisbury library:

Thursday, Jan. 9, 10:30 am, the first in this season’s series of “Classical Music Is for You,” organized by David Rhoderick. Wendy Taucher will speak this week about Alban Berg’s opera “Wozzeck,” which is currently being performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

Saturday, Jan. 11, 10:30 am, West Tisbury PTO will host the screening of a documentary film, “Screengazers — Next Chapter,” about kids’ development and the tech and digital world. At 3:30 pm, Kristen Geagan, Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation director of stewardship, will give a multimedia presentation on “Native Wildflowers of Martha’s Vineyard.”

Sunday, Jan. 12, 3:30 pm, Second Sunday Jazz with Eric Johnson and Jeremy Berlin.

Monday, Jan. 13, 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky’s Balance Workshop. At 7 pm, the monthly meeting of Writers Read.

Tuesday, Jan. 14, 10:30 am, Adult Community Dance Class with the Yard! From noon to 1:30 pm, the monthly Drop-in Wellness Clinic with nurse Lila Fischer. At 4 pm, Sign Language Practice Circle with Donna Jancsy and Lynn Thorp.

Wednesday, Jan. 15, 4 to 5:30 pm, an artist’s reception for Richard Limber, who will be exhibiting in the Program Room through the month.

There was half an hour of snow on Monday. I wish it had continued and blanketed my yard by the time I got home. I relish these quiet days of gray skies and no traffic on the road, walks on empty trails or beaches, seeing only familiar faces. It’s the time when the Island feels most like the home I chose all those winters ago.