West Tisbury: Reading stories to a pup

— Kyra Steck

The changing light at the beginning and end of the day has become noticeable, a little darker in the morning when I take Abby out and let Nelson in, a little darker at dinnertime. It was 60° this morning. Usually by now, the week after the Ag Fair/Illumination Night/O.B. Fireworks are all over, the Island starts to feel emptier. From everything I have heard and read, that may not be the case this year, as we head into Labor Day and fall.

The U.S. has recorded more than 6 million cases of coronavirus as of Sunday. What to make of that latest milestone? It will be surpassed, and we will continue on. We will wonder when life will feel normal again. What will normal be? When will we find out?

By the time this week’s Martha’s Vineyard Times comes out on Thursday, we will all have voted, and will know the results of our primary election.

My condolences to Molly Conole, and Mia and Simon Dutton, for the passing of Bob Dutton last Thursday. I was touched by the story that he had been able to attend the virtual dress rehearsal of his play, “The Ivory Door,” just before he died. The play was staged by friends of Bob’s, Island and college classmates, friends he had made on and off the Island throughout his life. It was a lovely tribute, and one that was surely very special for Bob and his family.

Remember that the library and other town and federal facilities will be closed for Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 7.

National Dog Day was sometime last week. I saw it mentioned somewhere, but forgot to write the day down. The West Tisbury library has planned a program next Thursday, Sept. 10, called Virtual Read to a Pup. It will begin at 11 am. Readers will be given 15 minutes each. Email mlawson@clamsnet.org to sign up.

I don’t know if this program is in honor of National Dog Day or completely unrelated, but it’s a nice gesture, and sounds like a good thing to do. I will make a point to read something to Abby that she might like, maybe some of Mary Oliver’s poems about her dogs, or a James Thurber short story. Hope all dogs will have someone to read to them, and will enjoy the occasion.

I was glad to read that Ellie and Christian Flanders found their cat, Genna, and that she is now safely at home. Genna disappeared from West Tisbury on June 16. She was found almost a month later at Head of the Pond in Oak Bluffs, having been spotted by several different people who contacted the Flanders. Quite a story.

As you know, I complain about computers a lot, but I spent all of last Saturday from 8:30 to 4:30 on the computer, and loved every minute of it. My M.V. Center for Living coworkers and I attended a webinar with Teepa Snow, an occupational therapist who works with people with dementia. We were supposed to go to see her speak in Hyannis, but as with everything else these days, the event went virtual. Still, she was inspiring, informative, so full of energy and possibilities. She made the day fly by.

The program was about helping people with dementia and their caregivers navigate the difficulties that coronavirus has imposed on everyday life — wearing a mask and gloves, being more isolated, having to follow rules that can change and intensify or lessen daily, how to keep people involved in their lives and communities.

We have been working with our clients and their families since the end of March, having programs on Zoom four days a week, keeping in close touch. We held an ice cream social outside in front of the center last Friday. There were socially distanced tables to sit at, and everyone wore masks and gloves except when we were eating. The weather was perfect, and it was great fun, wonderful to be together eating ice cream sundaes on a sunny afternoon. We all miss each other.

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