West Tisbury: Restoring inside and out


May 1 is right around the corner. Hard to believe, as we had frost last week, and there were a few mornings when the house was cold — 57 degrees, 61 degrees — when we woke up. April seemed like one long, gray, rainy, cold month. We will be grateful for all the rain once our usual summer drought comes, and the cool temperatures have made the daffodils last a long time, all the way through April. They are still fresh-looking, and it always makes me happy to have abundant bouquets of them, all different varieties from large, bright yellow ones to delicate, multi-flowered stems of pale cream, luscious double ones and tiny native bells of the softest yellow. I love them all.

Abby is growing into a dog faster than I am able to comprehend. I look at her puppy pictures taken only a few months ago and compare them to her steadily larger self. She is so tall and weighs almost 55 pounds. She has gone into her first heat. Her baby curls have grown out into soft waves and she is getting feathers on her legs and tail. She is still my sweet puppy, playful, silly, affectionate, spoiled. She is the first dog who is truly our dog, not Mike’s dog nor my dog; she is our dog. She will be nine months old this week.

Cottle’s is open again and Mike has gone back to work, happy to get his lumber and supplies, happy to have a plan for the day. I have loved having him home more. His restlessness made him look for projects around the house. We now have sparkling clean windows and floors, and bright, white trim. We have both been going through piles of books and papers and clothing to organize or get rid of.

Big news is that Up-Island Automotive has reopened. It doesn’t look a whole lot different, the buildings still with their familiar facades, but rebuilt and repainted with fresh white paint, new pavement, and new gas pumps. Nice to see Patrick and the crew. Nice to have a return to normalcy after what seemed like an endless construction site. Welcome back.

I was terribly sad to learn that Bob Schwartz died last week. It was hard enough to have him and Maggie move off-Island. Bob was one of those people who was such an integral part of West Tisbury that it seems impossible that he could be gone. I have so many memories of parties and meetings and just walks around town, running into Bob and getting into some interesting conversation about almost anything. He was a wonderful painter, who made it look so easy, the result of a lifetime of skill and practice. My condolences to Maggie and their family and to so many friends and admirers.

Alice Early’s debut novel, “The Moon Always Rising,” has just been published. Alice has always been a writer. Through college and many years of work-related writing, she continued to write short stories, poems, and essays. Now she is a novelist as well. She has written a story about a woman who travels to the island of Nevis, a place that Alice has visited and loved. Chapter One is available on her website and leaves the reader with a cliff-hanger ending that makes you want to find out what will happen next. You can order the book from Bunch of Grapes, bunchofgrapes.indielite.org, and they will ship it to you.

At the West Tisbury library this week:

Thursday, April 30, at 10:30 am, Little Bird M.V.’s Laura Jordan will continue her virtual music class for kids through Zoom. Classes include seasonal songs and movement. Email mlawson@clamsnet.org for the Zoom invitation to join.

Friday, May 1, at 8 am, Jason Mazar-Kelly will continue teaching an all-levels Kripalu Flow Yoga Class via Zoom. Please contact wt_mail@clamsnet.org to sign up.

Friday, May 1, at 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky will lead her weekly Balance Class through Zoom. You will need a chair for some of the movements. Kanta will be leading her class on both Mondays and Fridays at 11:30 am. Email ogately@clamsnet.org to join.

Saturday, May 2, at 9:30 am, Judy Kranz will teach a free Pilates class via Zoom. Her classes will be offered on Tuesdays at 8:30 am and Saturdays at 9:30 am. Please contact rrooney@clamsnet.org to join.

Saturday, May 2, at 1 pm, Bob Gilpin will lead an online workshop via Zoom for high school students and parents about “Getting Started in the College Process.” Email lhearn@clamsnet.org to join.

Sunday, May 3, at 4 pm, the library presents a virtual Death Café on Zoom hosted by facilitator and co-founder of Massachusetts’ first Death Café, Heather Massey, and Island Death Café facilitator Joyce Maxner. This online event will be limited to 20 participants to ensure that everyone has time to speak if they wish. Please contact the library to join by emailing wt_mail@clamsnet.org.

Monday, May 4, at 2 pm, join the library for online Adult Community Dance Class with The Yard’s Jesse Keller Jason. This class welcomes adults of all ages. Classes meet Mondays at 2 pm and Wednesdays at 10:30 am on Zoom. Please email wt_mail@clamsnet.org to join.

Monday, May 4, at 5 pm, join us for virtual Sci-Fi Book Club with librarian and life-long sci-fi nerd Alexandra Pratt. Please check the library website for titles. All readings will be available online for free. Please email apratt@clamsnet.org to join.

Wednesday, May 6, at 8 am, Jason Mazar-Kelly will lead a weekly Chair Yoga and Meditation class. Email wt_mail@clamsnet.org to join.

Also, the library is excited to offer RBdigital, a new digital service available to West Tisbury library cardholders. RBdigital provides free access to Acorn TV, the Great Courses, Qello Concerts by Stingray, and IndieFlix. Thank you to the West Tisbury Library Foundation for making this online service available to patrons. Visit westtisburyfreema.rbdigital.com to get started, and sign up for free using your library card number. Email wt_mail@clamsnet.org with questions.

Mike and Abby and I just went for a ride to get out and see a bit of the Island. It had finally stopped raining; in fact, we saw blue sky as we approached Menemsha. We ended up at the liquor store at the airport, where Mike made me cover up with a mask and gloves to walk up to the building and place my order. He wanted me to know how to do it. It turned out to be easier than I had thought. Someone came out to take my order and credit card, went inside to get everything, and brought it out in a paper bag. Easy peasy.

Now we are home. Abby and the cats have been fed and MIke and I are starting to make dinner and settle in for the evening with our drinks. At 6:30, I will join a Zoom podcast with Karen Ogden of Positive Rewards Dog Training, Abby’s trainer before we all socially distanced. Our friend, Julia Humphreys, and her dog, Quetzi, will be watching, too. It’s our time to have our drinks together every week and to learn something new from Karen.

If you have any West Tisbury Town Column suggestions, email Hermine Hull, hermine.hull@gmail.com.