West Tisbury: Days have new rhythm

We have a new baby in town, a joyful and welcome occasion to note. Calib Martins Edwards was born on March 19, at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. He is safe and healthy at home with his parents, Natalia Martins and Clay Edwards. Welcome to the world, Calib; may you have the best, healthiest, and happiest life.

Being home all day still feels fine to me. The rhythm of my days is mostly unchanged from before we were ordered to quarantine. I couldn’t be a painter or a writer without enjoying a lot of time by myself. Having to go anywhere during the day has always felt like an intrusion. It is no different now, only a bit more troublesome, having to wear a mask and gloves, remembering to wash everything, and not get too close to anyone, worrying about bringing new germs into our previously coronavirus-free home. People have always made fun of me for airing out my house, something I have done all my life. Disinfecting surfaces we frequently touch is new, although a habit easily transferred from working as a caregiver, where infection control is a constant. The only thing I really miss is my weekly lunch date at the airport with Mike.

It will be harder for Mike, now that all construction in town has been stopped and Cottle’s is closed, so he can’t get materials to work on our own house. He’s been cleaning his shop the last few days. Yesterday he cleaned the basement. I am afraid to look too closely at what’s been thrown out, as it’s usually something I thought was important, like my art school drawings, or some special treasures I had collected over the years. “Just some papers,” was all Mike said when he came upstairs last night. Now I’m nervous that he might get bored. If he has gas for his chain saw, we could be living in a “tidied up” wasteland by the end of our quarantine.

So far, we are managing.

I’m sad that the nurseries in town have had to close now that I’m home all day and have more time to work in my garden. I was thrilled to see open signs a couple of weeks ago when Mike and I drove through North Tisbury. All those plants needing people to look at them and dream of places they could go, to dig nice compost-amended holes for them to be carefully set into. The pansies I bought and planted that day are flourishing in pots beside our doors, a welcome bit of color to enjoy every time I go in or out.

The library staff is putting all events online via Zoom. Patrons are asked to contact the library at least one day before a program to sign up and for tech help if you need it. Email: wt_mail@clamsnet.org. There is a tutorial on YouTube, but I just went onto the Zoom website and followed their prompts. If I can do it, it’s pretty foolproof, but you don’t even have to do that; just click on the Zoom link in the email the library sends you.

The library has also been putting lots of activities on the website and on their Facebook page. Do take a look, especially if you have children to keep busy. There are craft projects and story times, suggestions and links to all sorts of places.

Starting April 2, Laura Jordan’s Little Bird Music Classes will be available every Thursday at 10:30 am, its regular time. Email mlawson@clamsnet.org for your Zoom invitation to join. Other videos of Laura’s classes can be viewed anytime on YouTube. Andy Herr’s ukulele classes will be online, also on Zoom, every Thursday through April 23, at 5 pm. Join by email wt_mail@clamsnet.org.

Friday, April 3, 8 am, Jason Mazar-Kelly Kripalu Flow Yoga classes. Students of all skill levels are welcome. Sign up at wt_mail@clamsnet.org

Monday, April 6, 3 pm, KT Herr will lead an online poetry class. “Love in the Time of Quarantine” will feature love poems, and include reading, discussion, and writing. The class will run through April 20. At 5 pm, a Virtual Sci-fi Book Club with Alexandra Pratt. Check the library website for titles. All chosen readings will be available online for free. Email apratt@clamsnet.org.

Dee Leopold will be leading another virtual book club. The book she has chosen is “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen. Free ebooks are available online. Email dleopold@clamsnet.org.  The dates are April 22, April 29, and May 6.

We are all learning about Zoom. I have been able to work remotely using it for meetings with my fellow Center for Living staff members and to get together with our clients. Mary Holmes has gotten us all connected and has set up programs much like the programs we did every day at the Center. There will be history, conversation/socializing, exercise; she is trying to figure out art and games. It feels so special to see one another’s faces, even on a computer screen.

Rabbi Broitman has also been using Zoom for online Shabbat services and for classes formerly held at the M.V. Hebrew Center. Again, nice to see everyone, and we all have commented on the sense of community we feel as we are all separated. I know that West Tisbury’s Congregational Church has begun holding Sunday services on Zoom, and I think that all of the Island’s churches and religious groups are connecting the same way. Probably lots of secular groups, too. 

What a different world we are living in. As of this morning, it looks like we will continue our “social distancing” at least through the end of April. Amazing how this little virus has spread through the entire world with such ferocity and speed.

I want to thank the hospital, Boards of Health, and all the emergency personnel who have planned and prepared so carefully for whatever may come. As the wife of a fireman/first responder, I worry every time he goes out on a call, but I am also very proud of him. Thanks, too, to everyone who is carrying on as though nothing has changed to make sure we have food, medications, fuel, health care, our most necessary daily needs. Thanks to our local newspapers for keeping us informed; I check your websites a zillion times a day. Thanks to everyone who is volunteering to help others get through this. May everyone be safe and stay healthy and strong.