West Tisbury: We’re lucky to be here

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States was over 557,576 on this morning’s news, Monday, April 13, as I am writing this column. And 22,673 people have died in our country. 

Here on the Island, the hospital has reported no new cases for the past five days. We are all being careful, wearing masks and gloves when we leave our homes, leaving packages on the porch for days, disinfecting everything and everyone before coming back inside.

We are so incredibly lucky to be here. Our whole Island appears to have rallied in support of one another, thankful for the people who still run our stores and the hospital, raising money and supplying food for anyone in need. Most of all, only 12 people have been diagnosed with the virus, none have died, and we live in a place where we can go outside. I can’t imagine being stuck in an apartment in a city.

I check the Times and Gazette’s websites all day long. New York Times and Washington Post, too. I watch and read too much news. The Atlantic. The New Yorker. Paul Karasik has a new cartoon in this week’s New Yorker. Yesterday’s Sunday New York Times Book Review listed Mary Beth Norton’s latest book, “1774: The Long Year of Revolution,” under New and Newsworthy.

We have become a virtual world. I spend more time on my computer than I ever have. I am perhaps too curious and want/need to be a witness to our unfolding history. While I sit on the sofa pursuing my virtual quest for ever-more information, my husband carries on with real life. He is the one who has ventured forth to the Post Office and Cronig’s and over to the firehouse. He wears his mask and gloves, washes himself and everything else when he comes back home. We have taken some walks together with Abby to see the opening of the Tisbury Great Pond, to get some exercise ourselves, and to wear out our ebullient puppy. 

But mostly it is Mike who keeps us going. He can’t sit still. So far, he has reshingled part of the roof of our garden shed after finding a leak, split and stacked most of the cord wood we have for next winter, and put in a new cat flap. Now he is washing windows.

I was so sorry to learn that Karen Child died. She was an amazing person I was privileged to know over many years and in many different ways. It was always a treat to see Karen. Her latest incarnation was as grandmother and she was an adoring one, always with pictures and stories to share. My condolences to Hal, Brandon, and Bess.

Tara Whiting-Wells wants everyone to know that even though town elections have been postponed, you may still apply for an early or an absentee ballot. Application forms are on the town website or you can contact Tara at towncclerk@westtisbury-ma.gov or 508 696-0148.

We are all reminded to fill out and mail our census forms. If you didn’t receive a package before the census people stopped delivering them, you can go online and fill it out there. The site is: my2020census.gov/. 

If you are looking for things to do, Jan Buhrman is giving free cooking classes on Wednesdays and Fridays, 4 to 5 pm, via Zoom. This week she is demonstrating Persian chicken with fragrant crispy rice and spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and lamb balls. Videos of her earlier classes are online at her website: kitchenporch.com. Register online or call 508 360-4491. If you are on-Island, you can order the ingredients for that week’s classes on Monday and pick them up on Wednesday at noon.

Our three up-Island nurseries are open. Orders can be called in or placed online, then picked up later that day. I spoke with someone earlier who said she had called ahead for some bags of soil and mulch that were ready and waiting for her. While there, she was able to point at some pansies and lettuce on display in the parking lot and they were handed to her. “It was easy and all went very smoothly,” she said.

Holly Bellebuono has a new gardening book, “Llewellyn’s Little Book of Herbs.” You can order it from her by mailing a check to her at P.O. Box 322, West Tisbury. The book is $13.99 plus $4 shipping.

If you are cleaning out cupboards and have fabric or other sewing supplies you would like to donate, you may send them to Peace Quilts, 32 Shady Oak Lane, Edgartown 02539.

At the library this week:

Thursday, April 16, 10:30 am, Laura Jordan’s Little Bird music and movement class for kids. email for Zoom invitation: mlawson@clamsnet.org.

Friday, April 17, 8 am, all levels Kripalu Yoga with Jason Mazar-Kelly. email: wt_mail@clamsnet.org

Saturday, April 18, 9:30 am, Pilates class with Judy Kranz; email: rrooney@clamsnet.org.

Monday, April 20, 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky’s balance class; email: ogately@clamsnet.org. At 3 pm, KT Herr online poetry class, “Love in the Time of Quarantine.” Sign up the day before to get reading materials; email: ogately@clamsnet.org. At 5 pm, Sci-Fi Book Club with Alexandra Pratt; email: apratt@clamsnet.org.

Tuesday, April 21, 8:30 am, Judy Kranz Pilates class; email: rrooney@clamsnet.org. Laura Jordan is offering two online support programs for parents, individual half-hour sessions between 10 am and noon, and a group session from 3 to 4:30 pm; email: mlawson@clamsnet.org. At 4:30 pm, a watercolor class for ages 9 to 18 with Jen Burkin; email: lhearn@clamsnet.org

Wednesday, April 22, 8 am, chair yoga with Jason Mazar-Kelly; email: wt_mail@clamsnet.org. At  4 pm, Dee Leopold’s book group will discuss “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen; email: dleopold@clamsnet.org.

I have always believed that we are a pretty self-reliant bunch here on the Island. Partly, it is due to our geography; we are an Island, after all. We live in a rural community where farmers raise animals and have market gardens. Many people have their own vegetable gardens, and hunt or fish for pleasure or for necessity. We own chain saws, tools, wood stoves, and possess a wide range of skills, as well as a commitment to our neighbors and communities. We will manage.

I just turned on the TV. During the time I have been writing this column, the number of cases of coronavirus in the U.S. has increased to 568,319. And 22,859 people have died.