West Tisbury: Spring still springing up

We have another new baby in town. His name is Maxim Theodore Lowe, son of Julius and Milena Lowe, born on Sunday, March 29, at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. Welcome, Maxim. I look forward to watching you grow into your elegant name, and wish you to flourish and be happy all of your life.

Our Annual Town Meeting and elections have been postponed to some unknown date in the future.

It feels like all of our lives are on hold until some unknown date in the future. I still don’t mind being home. I’m still not bored or restless. There is plenty to do and I am especially grateful that today is sunny and warmer than the stretch of chilly, gray days we had last week. Things are coming up in my yard. I am enjoying spring.

Spring is my favorite season, to watch the daily unfolding of new life. I love the progression of snowdrops to daffodils to bleeding hearts and catmint, of rhododendrons and azaleas, of watching our woods gradually turn pink/yellow/orange/chartreuse as new leaves emerge. The colors are subtle and so welcome after black, white, and gray winter. 

This spring is proving to be quite pleasant. There is unscheduled time, my favorite, as it feels like there is plenty of it to procrastinate over chores, and time to work at them a bit every day when I feel like it. No pressure. Spring is when you think you can accomplish anything.

With everyone being “self-distancing,” what an odd euphemism, there is also plenty of time for catching up with distant friends and relatives. I am loving the emails and phone calls, reconnecting with people who have been special to me. Artists sending images of their newest work, cousins I haven’t spoken with in awhile, old high school and college friends telling me about their far-away lives.

Louise Bessire called this morning from her apartment in New York City. She is usually here for Easter. Not this year. But we had a nice catching-up conversation, talking about West Tisbury neighbors, and Louise’s children and grandchildren. She is fine, in a comfortable place with plenty to do, and can get outside to walk in Riverside Park, which is beautiful this time of year, bright green with blooming ornamental trees. She did mention the 15 tickets she had for art, music, and theater events that are all cancelled. I asked if any were online and she said they were not, although many things are.

One could spend one’s life online these days. Museum collections, classes teaching one how to do anything imaginable, concerts, poetry readings, cooking demonstrations, puppy training, learning a new language. You name it.

At our library this week, make sure to contact using listed emails, for your Zoom invitations to join the events.

Thursday, April 9, 10:30 am, Laura Jordan’s Little Bird Music class for children. Email mlawson@clamsnet.org..

Friday, April 10, 8 am, Jason Mazar-Kelly’s Kripalu Flow Yoga class. Participants at all skill levels are welcome. Email wt_mail@clamsnet.org. At 3 pm, Donald Nitchie’s Poetry drop-in class. Email ogately@clamsnet.org. Participants will read and discuss two poems, then use them as prompts to write their own.

Monday, April 13, 3 pm, KT Herr online poetry class, “Love in the Time of Quarantine.” Register one day in advance to receive reading materials; they are free online. Email ogately@clamsnet.org. At 5 pm, Sci-Fi Book Club with Alexandra Pratt. Check the library website, http://westtisburylibrary.org, for list of titles. Email apratt@clamsnet.org to sign up. At 7 pm, Niki Patton will host Writers Read, for writers to read their short pieces of fiction or nonfiction. Sign up at gaia1muse@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 14, Laura Jordan online support groups for parents. She will have half-hour sessions for individuals from 10 am to noon, and a group session from 3 to 4:30 pm. Email mlawson@clamsnet.org.

Check the library website, westtisburylibrary.org,  for updates.

I was sad to hear from Ann DuCharme telling me that her wonderful mother, Linda DuCharme, had died. She sent along a link to the Brattleboro Reformer, where Linda was assistant managing editor for 16 years. Linda also wrote beautifully descriptive essays, much like E.B. White, about her life in Brattleboro, the change of seasons, snow, chores, the observations of dailyness that good writers can turn into art.

Linda was so smart. I hadn’t known that she had a five-night winning streak on Jeopardy. I did know that she loved words and writing and nuances of language. I knew that she and her husband, Bob, were kind, funny, creative, theatrical, well-read. Their visits to the Steve and Maureen Murphy house on Music Street were occasions for unbeatable conversation and delicious dinners. (Ann DuCharme is married to Ted Murphy, whose parents owned the house.) 

A co-worker at the Reformer referred to Linda and Bob’s “DuCharmed life.” I am grateful for having known Linda, for knowing Bob, and for their daughter Ann. The DuCharmes stopped coming to the Island when Linda’s Parkinson’s Disease made it too difficult for her to travel. We still kept in touch through Ted and Ann’s visits to Vermont.

May you peacefully rest, Linda. If there is an afterlife, I hope yours is filled with newspapers and books to read and changing Vermont weather outside your window.