A new distraction appeared in our house moments ago. Mike brought in the cabinet he made for my dollhouse. It is more than I ever imagined. I wanted something with a big surface and a drawer for storing extra furniture, Christmas decorations, flowerpots, and window boxes out of season. Stuff. He couldn’t have made anything more perfect. We tucked it against a wall in our dining room. It fit perfectly underneath the windows. There is plenty of room for the front to open, and it even has a pullout shelf for some extra room when Iyla and I finally get to play with it again. The dollhouse came from Florida, something my mother-in-law and Aunt Janice discovered on one of their winter trips sometime in the 1980s. My father-in-law fixed it up, painted it the colors of the downstairs bedroom they set it up in.
My niece, Charlotte, and I were enchanted right from the start. It was also the highlight of my sister-in-law’s Green Gates Preschool tea party at my in-law’s house at the end of the school year. After Cecily closed the school and Charlotte grew up and went off to college, Bobby and Richard gave the dollhouse to me. It has been one of my most prized possessions ever since. Cousin Dan’s daughter, Sunday, played with it for many years, too; she has now graduated from Harvard. Now I have Iyla Bohan to play with. Iyla has been making up stories about the dolls who live in the house ever since she could talk. We have a mother and father, a sister, a brother, a baby, a cook, and a maid who also serves as occasional nanny or hospital nurse. There are dogs and cats of every imaginable description. It can use some refurbishing and repainting, which I hope to do to get it in perfect shape for when Iyla can be here again.
Outside, gardens are being planted for food this summer. So many of us are trying to be more self-sufficient, with vegetable beds, fruit trees, and chickens. Shadbush is decorating roadsides and the edges of woodlands. Dogwoods, magnolias, and the first rhododendrons are showing their colors, and leaves are beginning to appear on trees and deciduous shrubs. The huge maples along Edgartown Road always surprise me with the unexpectedness of their foliage that seems to appear overnight. Then the light turns them a fresh chartreuse.
It’s a daily gift, finding new treasures on every morning walk-around. I love this time of year, watching the daily unfolding of nature from its winter hibernation. I find myself missing my friends, missing our garden visits, seeing what’s coming up and what’s new in gardens as familiar as my own. I’m hoping for time for a walk at Polly Hill’s sometime this week. Wearing my mask, of course.
Our annual town meeting date has been set for June 23, no time or place yet. The town election will be on June 25 at the Public Safety Building from 11 am to 7 pm. Town clerk Tara Whiting-Wells is encouraging people to vote by mail, by either early or absentee ballot. The only difference between the two is that on the absentee request form, voters are asked for a reason why you want to vote this way. She said that not wanting to be exposed to coronavirus is an acceptable reason. Request forms are available in the lobby at Town Hall or online at westtisbury-ma.gov. If you have any questions, call Tara at 508-696-0148, or send her an email at email@example.com. Her hours are 8:30 am to 1:30 pm, but Town Hall is only open by appointment. Don’t forget to file your U.S. Census forms online. There’s a link on the town website: westtisbury-ma.gov.
The library events for the coming week are:
- Thursday, May 14, at 5 pm, Healthy Aging M.V. will offer a 90-minute Zoom session to share and discuss information on advance care planning. Visit the library website for more info. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to join.
- Thursday, May 14, at 5:30 pm, join musician Sheik for an online class on Home Recording and Mixing. This class will give students a basic understanding of how to record their own music, podcasts, or any other type of audio with minimal equipment. Please commit to attending all four sessions: May 14, 21, 28, and June 4. Email email@example.com to join.
- Thursday, May 14, at 6:30 pm, the M.V. Modern Quilt Guild will be meeting virtually, and they are always open to new members. Please email Katherine Long for more information and the Zoom invitation: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Friday, May 15, at 8 am, Jason Mazar-Kelly will continue teaching an all-levels Kripalu Flow Yoga Class via Zoom. Contact email@example.com to sign up.
- Friday, May 15, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to join.
- Friday, May 15, at 3 pm, K.T. Herr will lead an online “In the Poetry Garden” class through Zoom. Please see the library website for more information. Contact K.T. to sign up: email@example.com.
- Saturday, May 16, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to join.
- Saturday, May 16, at 10 am, Jennifer Burking will lead an online art class for kids ages 5-12. Please email email@example.com to join.
- Saturday, May 16, at 7 pm, Martha’s Vineyard Library Association is hosting a night of zany, interactive, lighthearted trivia fun with the Trivia Brothers! Please check the library Facebook page for more information. Register here!
- Sunday, May 17, at 4 pm, Spencer Thurlow and Donald Nitchie will host an online Community Poetry Reading via Zoom. Attend as a reader or a listener. Read an original poem or a poem written by another. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to join. Please specify if you are attending as a reader or listener.
- Monday, May 18, at 2 pm, join us for online Adult Community Dance Class with the Yard’s Jesse Keller Jason. Classes meet Mondays at 2 pm and Wednesdays at 10:30 am on Zoom. Please email email@example.com to join.
- Monday, May 18, at 5 pm, join us for virtual Sci-Fi Book Club with librarian and lifelong sci-fi nerd Alexandra Pratt. Please check the library website for titles. All readings will be available online for free. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to join.
- Tuesday, May 19, at 2 pm, the library will host an online conversational ESL class with instructor Jonah Kaplan-Woolner. Classes will meet weekly. This class is open to all levels. Please visit the library website for more info. Email email@example.com to join.
- Tuesday, May 19, at 4:30 pm, Jen Burkin will lead an online painting class inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s trees. This class is for kids ages 5-12. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to join.
- Wednesday, May 20, at 8 am, Jason Mazar-Kelly will lead a weekly Chair Yoga and Meditation class on Zoom. Email email@example.com to join.
- Wednesday, May 20 at 3 pm, Val Estabrook will teach an online painting class for ages 7-10. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
As I finish writing this week’s column, confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. number 1,353,534 people; 80,356 people have died, 4,840 of them in Massachusetts. My mood vacillates between happiness waking up to a sunny day when all seems normal, sadness and horror at these numbers representing human lives and increasing daily, and wondering what will happen next.
If you have any West Tisbury Town Column suggestions, email Hermine Hull, email@example.com.