West Tisbury: Democratic Council of M.V.

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— Kyra Steck

There is nothing sillier to watch than a puppy playing in the snow. I have always thought Charles Schultz captured it perfectly in his drawings of Snoopy with his ears up, dancing on tip-toes, eyes closed in an ecstasy of movement and joy. My Abby presents a somewhat different aspect, but her pleasure is equally obvious. Her butt up and tail waving, Abby pushes her nose into the snow and slides her long body along the surface, leaving a pattern of swirling designs across our yard, punctuated by hillocks of snow where she tossed snowballs into the air with her nose. She ran and ran and ran around trees and behind bushes. Whatever my mood, she can always make me laugh.

Yesterday I saw pictures and videos of Mary Holmes’ and Adam Hanjian’s new dog, Max, playing with their resident Gordon setter, Maggie. They picked Max up in Wareham on Saturday. He is a handsome English setter they found on a setter rescue site and he has fit into their home and their lives as easily as if he had always been there.

Mike and I have had two dogs for most of our time together, so I felt very nostalgic seeing Max and Maggie jumping and pawing in the snow, walking together, sleeping together in a curl of black and white fur on Mary and Adam’s living room sofa. After Talley and Nanuk died, we decided that we would only have one dog. Our darling Abby is that one. Somehow, though, watching her romping and snuggling with her cat, Nelson, isn’t quite the same. I wonder if Abby would like a dog?

Of course, she would. Watching her play with Kathy Logue’s Finley or whichever agreeable dogs she encounters on her walks, Abby is certainly confident and friendly. She seems perfectly happy at home where she has us and Nelson. I love watching the two of them, both the same dark red-golden color. They have been companions ever since the moment we brought Abby home. She was smaller then, about 20 pounds, more a size to roughhouse with a 13-pound cat. They still spend a lot of time rolling together in a pile of swatting paws and chasing each other around the house, but Abby is a year-and-a-half to Nelson’s 7-and-a-half. He gets fed up with her and marches off with a hiss and a raised tail to the comfort of his wing chair. Maybe Abby needs a playmate closer to her own age and size.

I wrote last week about the subtle winter colors of sky and woods. They made a liar out of me this week. The morning and evening skies have been intensely colored. Coral. Magenta. Lavender. A brilliant orange one night that burnished the highest branches of our trees a bright gold.

The Democratic Council of Martha’s Vineyard will meet this Saturday morning, Feb. 13, 9:30 to 11 am, on Zoom. Guest speakers will be Maura Valley, Tisbury health agent, and Alan Strahler, chair of the Edgartown energy committee. Ms. Valley will discuss the latest information regarding COVID, the rollout of the vaccine on the Island, and her communications with the governor’s office and the Island towns. Mr. Strahler will report on climate-related articles on each town’s annual town meeting warrants, the progress of a proposed electric charging station on Church Street in Edgartown for VTA buses, and give updates on Cape Light Compact and Island Climate Action Network committees. There will be time for Q&A with both speakers.

The M.V. Democrats Legislative Committee is looking for new members. The committee members track bills in the state legislature, and occasionally in the U.S. Congress, that are of particular interest to the Vineyard community. Member Carla Cooper will report on the committee’s current involvement to pass the ROE Act, Safe Communities Act, and progressive taxation. If you need the Zoom link to attend this meeting, contact democratsmv@gmail.com.

Don’t forget that the West Tisbury library has all kinds of free Zoom programs. Exercise, dance, art classes, lectures, and storytimes for kids are just some of the offerings. This Saturday, Feb. 13, there will be a cooking class. Take a look at the library’s website: westtisburylibrary.org or look at the programs listing in this newspaper. You can also email at wt_mail@clamsnet.org or call 508-693-3366.

The library, schools, and all town offices will be closed on Monday, Feb. 15, for President’s Day.

As the COVID pandemic continues to rage, and to curtail what we used to call our normal lives with its concomitant stresses, a friend of mine, Sandy Lagno, offered some advice I have found helpful. Perhaps you will too. She has visualized herself as a rock in a stream. The image of a rock remaining steadfast as rushing water swirls around and past it seems an apt picture of all of our lives. We need to remain those steadfast rocks. We will come through this.

This Sunday is Valentine’s Day. I hope everyone has a special Valentine to love and celebrate.

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