West Tisbury: So many chores

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— Kyra Steck

October really is such a beautiful month. The light has changed to crystal clarity. It’s lower in the sky, hitting the still-leafy trees and making them sparkle like a tossing of Iyla’s green glitter. Lower in the sky means it will soon be warming my west-facing living room on winter afternoons. 

I’m looking at the big windows in what Mike and I call our greenhouse, a small addition off of our living room that faces south, and brings the sun in all day once the leaves fall. When Mike built our house back in the early ‘80s, he planned those south facing windows to provide passive solar heat. They have served us well. But they do need washing, and that’s what I am looking at today. The cooler weather means that my houseplants will soon need to be brought inside and if I don’t wash those windows now, they will remain as they are all winter. 

So many chores that need to be done. Cutting down the garden. Adding compost. Planting bulbs. Washing the rest of the windows inside and out. Decorating pumpkins for Halloween.

Mike mowed the yard last weekend and we wondered if it would be the last time. He was also out pruning. Longtime readers of this column will remember tales of woe through the years, of shrubs or saplings annihilated by my husband when he gets into one of his pruning moods. I try not to take notice anymore. Plants will grow back or they won’t. Mike and I are unlikely to change now; we accept and go on. I did feel some relief when he broke his pole pruner, and spent the rest of his afternoon safely in his workshop repairing said instrument.

Congratulations to Zachary Magid, who won this year’s Derby grand prize boat. His winning bluefish weighed in at 16.65 pounds.

Congratulations, too, to Mary Beth Norton, who was awarded the George Washington Prize for her most recent book, “1774: The Long Year of Revolution.” The prize recognizes the year’s greatest work on the nation’s founding era. Her book tells the story of the crucial developments leading up to the American Revolution, from the Boston Tea Party to the battles of Lexington and Concord. Mary Beth is the Mary Donlan Alger Professor Emerita of American history at Cornell, where she taught for many years before her retirement.

Mary Holmes is the Supportive Day Program supervisor at the Martha’s Vineyard Center For Living. Last week, she spoke at our library about Dementia Friends Massachusetts, part of a global movement developed by the Alzheimer’s Society in the United Kingdom “to help our communities become safer, more respectful, and inclusive for people living with dementia, their families, and care providers.” Mary recently trained as a Dementia Friends Champion, learning about the program, and is conducting information sessions here on the Island. The next program will be via Zoom at the Edgartown library this Saturday, Oct. 23.

FYI: The Center For Living has fully reopened five days a week after closing at the beginning of COVID, continuing the program on Zoom for a year, then slowly reopening in person last April. The Memory Cafe will resume on occasional Fridays beginning this week, 10 to 11:30 am.

The library will open at 11 am this Friday to allow time for staff training. Fairy and Troll House Building Day is this Saturday, 10:30 am, weather permitting. Participants are asked to bring natural materials to use and share. Some suggestions are bark, shells, mosses and lichens, seed pods, feathers, and anything else that captures your imagination. If you stay until 3 pm, Jeremy Berlin and Eric Johnson are giving a live jazz concert. Email wt_mail@clamsnet.org to reserve your seat.

I noticed a pair of pumpkins either side of the entrance to the cemetery on State Road. Pumpkins and decorations are appearing as Halloween nears. For kids 12 and under, come to the West Tisbury library and pick up a free pumpkin to take home and carve, paint, decorate, then enter in the pumpkin carving contest to be held at the annual Halloween party. The party will be  Halloween afternoon from 2:30 to 4 pm. There will be snacks and games on the porch outside the Children’s Room and hayrides will leave from the front drive.

Parks and Rec is planning their Halloween party, too. It will be held at the Ag Hall from 6 to 8 pm. Hayrides there, too. They will meet with the board of selectmen the week before to make sure it is safe relative to COVID statistics on the Island. Masks will be required at both parties.

Mike got home from the firehouse in time to watch the end of the ball game with me. What an exciting game. The Red Sox beat the Astros 12 to 3. Fingers crossed, we will head to the World Series and WIN.

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