West Tisbury: March celebrations

— Kyra Steck

I have just been outside walking barefoot in my yard, the first time this year. The weather has been unbelievable, a whole week of those perfect early spring days that feel warm at 45 to 55 degrees. I thought about shorts.

All the animals are drowsing in the sun, out in the yard or on sunny window sills inside. The windows are wide open. It may be deceptive, but is welcome, nonetheless, and I plan to savor every second.

The first year I lived on the Island, I remember days like this, putting away my quilt in early April, thinking it was spring. It snowed in May that year.

I have become accustomed to our late spring and even quite like it. The cooler temperatures make our bulbs and flowering trees last all that much longer. I found lavender crocuses in a broad swath through some myrtle that was just beginning to flower too. What a pretty combination of colors that is. So many of my plants came from friends’ gardens, making them all the more special. My daily perambulations around the property looking for whatever may have appeared overnight becomes my greatest pleasure. I love the daily unfolding of colors and new leaves, the warming soil that invites my bare feet. If it could stay like this until fall, I could be perfectly content.

Last week, I wrote my column early on Friday. It left the whole weekend free and unencumbered, nothing nagging at me that had to be done. It was such an indulgent experience that I am trying to maintain that schedule, so if you have anything you would like to go into the column, please send it by Thursday of the week before and use the email listed with the column. hermine.hull@gmail.com.

St. Patrick’s Day is coming this week, March 17. I was reading a bit about the holiday and learned that it is a very different holiday in Ireland than here. Irish stew over colcannon is a more typical dinner than our corned beef and cabbage. No green beer. No big parades.

The music and dancing is universal, however, happily so. I have been working on a program for work and have loved every YouTube video I have watched while “doing research.” Watching and listening to The Chieftains, The Irish Rovers, The Dubliners, James Galway, Altan, and so many others has been pure pleasure. Hard to believe some of them were popular 50 years ago, that I am old enough to remember 50 years ago, that it doesn’t seem that long ago at all, that I was a bona fide adult 50 years ago.

A couple of “Happy Birthdays” this week. To Jay Segel on March 15, I hope you enjoy your favorite dinner that you and Celine are planning to share. Happy Birthday good wishes to Marisa D’Antonio on March 19; I always remember your birthday because it’s the same as my brother Andy’s. Hope you both have a great day.

Mike and I have spent almost every St. Patrick’s Day with Diane and Howard Wall since the mid-1980s. We had missed only one until COVID. Their family grew with two daughters, Hilary and Tessa, Diane’s sister Jan, her husband Rich Rooney, and their daughter Janay, Diane’s and Jan’s parents, Ben and Florence (Fudge) Paul, who retired to West Tisbury.  Teena and Charlie Parton joined us at the table during the years they lived here and ran Alley’s; they still come in good years from their home in Western Massachusetts. Sadly, our number has diminished with the loss of Howard, Ben, and Fudge. This year would have been triumphant with the addition of Hilary and Brian Wallcox’s 8-month-old daughter, Skylar.

Last year we dropped off our dinners on our porches, to eat alone in our separate houses. I pray that being vaccinated will allow us to gradually return to a life closer to what we used to consider normal. Masks probably should remain part of our dress when we are in public. Yes, they are uncomfortable and, yes, it’s hard to recognize one another, but it’s been nice to have a winter with no colds, no flu, no COVID. I read in today’s Martha’s Vineyard Times that there were no new cases of COVID on the Island on Thursday. May it continue.

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