West Tisbury: One of my favorite weekends of the year

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— Kyra Steck

This is one of my favorite weekends of the year. First off, Chilmark School has a half-day today, so Iyla and I get to have lunch together, read extra books, and play with our mice for extra hours. Grilled cheese sandwiches. Yippee. Then it will be Halloween. Then it will be my birthday. Nothing but special days to look forward to.

Our woods are still green, but the open fields to our beach walks have been glowingly red. There is loads of sumac, and the faded grasses have turned a warm pink. The water in the Great Pond was bluer than blue, dark below a paler, cloudless sky. That view never fails to thrill me. I am so lucky to see it as often as I like, especially on the days when we are the only ones there.

Last week’s list of chores is mostly done. Mike washed the windows so all I had to do was bring houseplants in. Some needed repotting, but something always needs to be done. It’s been the culling of years to finally whittle down the number of houseplants we take out and bring in, repot as needed, spend the winter watering and feeding, pruning back to have a full shape. I don’t want to do it anymore. I don’t want the whole room to be filled with things to be done. Still, it’s nice to have flowers and color through the winter, so big geraniums, some orchids, and amaryllis fill the windows in our greenhouse. I will never get rid of the two huge Christmas cactuses that were my mother’s; I have had them since she died over 40 years ago, and they are my most special treasures.

Jeremy Berlin and Eric Johnson gave a fabulous jazz concert at the library last Saturday afternoon. It was well-attended, wonderful to see so many familiar faces after hardly seeing anyone these past couple of years. It couldn’t have been a better setting, too. We were surrounded by abstract paintings, the current exhibition by Wendy Weldon, Rob Hauck, and Marie-Louise Rouff. I sat there marveling at how progressions of musical notes or colored brush marks could be  arranged into musical variations on a theme or carefully composed visual statements, to make art.

The library’s Halloween party will be Halloween afternoon from 2:30 to 4 pm. Parks and Recreation will hold their party at the Ag Hall from 6 to 8 pm. There will be delicious treats, games, crafts, and hayrides at both parties, so dress up in your costume and have fun.

Trick-or-treating on Halloween will be less worrisome after I tell you about an “Ask Well” column from the New York Times that said, “The fat in chocolate is not as harmful as the fat in meat.” Chocolate contains a healthier blend of fats apparently, and beneficial plant-based nutrients, according to Alice Lichtenstein, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. It did say that a small amount daily is okay, but not to go overboard. Still, it sounds good to me. If you want to read the details, the article appeared in the April 5, 2019 paper.

Prolific author Tom Dresser has a new book coming out. “Martha’s Vineyard in the American Revolution” will be published on Nov. 29 by the Historical Press. He will be busy with talks at the island libraries and the book will be available at both island bookstores.

Cape Light Compact will be at the Grange Hall next Saturday, Nov. 6, 10 am to 2 pm, an opportunity to bring your old dehumidifier and get a little cash. There will be a $30 rebate paid for each dehumidifier turned in.

ACE MV will offer an online series of financial literacy workshops designed for ages 16 to 26. Classes will be held on Monday evenings from Nov. 1 through 21, 5:30 to 6:30 pm. The series is free to that age group and $10 for attendees over 26. Register at acemv.org

A couple of weeks ago on a morning walk, Abby greeted a man walking toward us as a long-lost best friend. He turned out to be Henry Kirwin, a.k.a. Hutch, a regular walker with whom Abby is well acquainted. He was accompanied by Tom Gasek, his oldest friend, who was visiting from Utica, N.Y., where they had grown up. It was nice to meet Tom and to hear a little about their long history.