Tisbury: Holiday memories

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— Kyra Steck

Heard on Main Street: Be naughty. Save Santa the trip.

I just finished listening to a book called “Lady in Waiting – My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown,” not only a fascinating story, but read by the author. For me that was the best part because with her accent, she sounded very much like my English mother; so many of her expressions of how ‘that sort of thing wasn’t done’ sounded very familiar.

The book was written by a woman who grew up with the English princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. The author did become a lady in waiting for Margaret, but was also her lifelong friend, traveling the world with her. That was only a small part of her extraordinary life; for instance, her husband bought a tropical island, one which Princess Margaret liked to visit.

When I called Leslie’s to refill some prescriptions, I was pleased to hear that I don’t have to worry this month about transferring my records. There are some negotiations that I hope will mean that change is not something I need to think about now.

Speaking of meds, when and how will we learn about the COVID vaccinations? The British government notified each person, but we know nothing ever works that well in this country. I suppose we have to place the burden on our own doctors. I’m not anticipating it will happen before the end of the year, but it would be nice to know what we can expect. Unfortunately, those in charge probably don’t have a clue either at this point.

It is hard to find the right spirit to write appropriate notes on greeting cards right now. But the wonderful things friends are doing for me changed everything.

Yesterday morning I ran into Wendy Culbert, just long enough to catch up. I said I was afraid to go to the church fair where I usually bought a wreath. She offered to pick one up for me if she could. Later she called, having not only found just what I wanted, but also offering to deliver it, and her husband Rob said he’d hang it for me. She even took a picture so I didn’t have to go out in the rain to see how nice it looked.

That’s what the joy of Christmas is all about — and suddenly I could write my notes with a happy heart.

I have to admit that the hardest part of this COVID scene is not regularly visiting with and seeing old friends. Familiar voices on the phone help, and especially the Zoom opportunities to virtually get together. But I nearly joined the library knitting group just for the company. It has been years since I did any knitting, which stopped when I developed nerve problems in my wrists. For the West Tisbury church fair we used to knit simple little sailors and Santas, really adorable toys for very young children.

Too bad I never learned from Polly Renear how to knit the darling ‘berry’ caps for babies. She did make several lovely ones for me to give to newborns. All this does bring back some sweet memories. Those are always treasures at this time of year.

Recently on Zoom some friends were remembering Christmases past. One mentioned food — smells always bring up some sweet memories. And we talked about tinsel: they just don’t make it the same anymore. Does anyone use it today?

One year my mother went modern at Christmas. She was a manager at a big city department store so she brought home one of the trees they were using to decorate. It was awful. It was as tall as a modest tree, but instead of aromatic green, this had big puffy white branches of white foam. The worst was that the decorations were all large pink balls.

When I came home, my father greeted me with exclamations of joy. He announced, “Now you and I can go fetch a normal tree and decorate it properly.” We walked down our street to the fire station, putting the tree on my sled to drag it back up the hill. And had a wonderful time doing it.

Now I feel appropriately joyful, don’t you?

Big bunches of birthday balloons go out today to Lyrae Littlefield and Kate Malkie. Sunday wish the best to Mattsen and Sutton Koster. Tuesday belongs to Vera Shorter.

Heard on Main Street: Remember that Santa can appear in mysterious disguises, in the uniform of FedEx or UPS or even the Post Office.

If you have any Tisbury Town Column suggestions, email Kay Mayhew, tashmoorock@gmail.com.