West Tisbury: Fall produce and flowers

— Kyra Steck

I watched branches sway and leaves tossed in the air, then to the ground, as the wind howled through our woods this morning. It was barely light.

Abby still snored on the sofa when I came downstairs, then stretched herself out almost filling the length of it, and rolled over to have her belly rubbed. That has become our morning routine. I hug Abby and rub her chest, her belly, her nose, her front legs as she settles back to sleep. It’s my quiet time to look out the window and observe the day, maybe to fall back to sleep myself, lulled by the warm puppy beside me and the rhythm of blowing branches.

West Tisbury has been bedecked with the annual display of scarecrows made by students at the Charter School. They are always inventive and invite inspection. Rusty Gordon has also set out his Halloween tableau. He has outdone himself this year in his tribute to Halloween, his favorite holiday. Thanks to all of you.

Brook Katzen, the gentleman who bought Little House Cafe, sent out an email to all of us town columnists about his idea to deliver dinners up-Island. Order before 5 pm and your dinner will be delivered to Alley’s parking lot at 6. There is a $5 delivery charge, about the cost of gas for your car to drive to Vineyard Haven and back. Check out the online menu. Daily specials will be listed there, too. Let him know what you think and give it a try.

I had noticed the sign announcing that Whippoorwill Farm has reopened the farm stand on Old County Road. Rose Willett of North Tisbury Farm will stock the stand with fall produce and flowers while she begins restoring and replanting the fields at Whippoorwill. Very exciting news and I wish Rose all the best.

We finally had our first frost here. Mike and I cleaned our greenhouse, actually just an enclosed sun porch, but that’s what we call it. Then we brought our houseplants in from outside. They are nicely arranged on a wide shelf in front of sunny south-facing windows where they will spend the winter.

I always bring in a few annuals, hoping they will thrive and provide enough flowers for little bouquets around the house. This year, I have a pot of nicotiana langsdorffii, my favorite annual, that has tall stems with chartreuse green bells blooming along their length. A pretty golden orange nasturtium has variegated green-and-cream blotched leaves. The geraniums will flower throughout, and amaryllis will begin to send up stems that will bud and bloom all winter long.

As we approach Election Day, I wonder at how things will turn out. Both sides predict an apocalypse if the other side wins. I have friends on both sides of this political divide that threatens to break our country into an irreparable breach. Yet, I look out my window and feel my dog’s nose against my hand, pushing for my attention, and life feels as it always does. Normal. Safe. How can that be? It is a dichotomy that baffles me.

That said, I also have to say how grateful I feel for Tara Whiting-Wells, our town clerk. She has always made our elections unremarkable. I mean that in contrast to what we see on the nightly news: long lines of people waiting hours to vote, inadequate numbers of voting sites and booths, poll workers disputing citizens’ right to vote, intimidation, and unimaginable variations on dirty tricks. Thank you to Tara and her very competent team. You have my complete confidence and undying gratitude.

Mike has just come downstairs, made his breakfast, and settled into his chair. Abby has abandoned me to try to climb into his lap and, truth be told, eat his breakfast for him. Such a good and helpful puppy. It didn’t work but she remains ever undaunted.

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