West Tisbury: It wasn’t much of a snow

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— Kyra Steck

Mike and I saw snow Sunday morning when we walked Abby. It wasn’t much of a snow, more a fine moisture, but colored enough to no longer be considered rain. If the old adage bears true about the date of the first snow becoming the number of snow days to come, we are in for 28 snow days this winter.

There were several people and dogs out enjoying the day. Lots of running and playing for Abby. Everyone seemed eager to get the last bit of good before many of our walking places close for hunting. Shotgun season began Monday morning and deer hunting will last through much of the month. Don’t forget to wear orange.

Everyone I met at Cronig’s or Ghost Island last week was getting ready for Thanksgiving, for guests, either from off-Island or from just up the road, giving an air of anticipation to an otherwise mundane chore. I’m still surprised to see people I know, for us to be out. Conversations that used to be daily have become rarer. I feel grateful for every encounter.

Judy Birsh was shopping for a crowd. Philip and Odile Birsh with their children, Charlotte and Nikolai, and Alex Birsh with his fiancee, Maddi Knox, and their dog, Mookie, would all be traveling from New York City to West Tisbury. They would stay through the weekend. Judy had a full itinerary of special outings and meals planned, although I got the impression that time with the grandchildren, however spent, would be the highlight of their time together.

Linda Hearn hosted 15 at her table. All three of her children with spouses and some of the grandchildren came from off-Island. Linda commented that five generations of family had gathered for Thanksgiving dinners in her home over the years. The latest addition and fifth generation is Linda’s great-granddaughter, Rayna, who was born on Oct. 5. Her parents are Emily and Derrick Smith of Beverly. Emily is Linda’s oldest grandchild, named for Linda’s mother, Emily Magnuson.

Ann Burt was preparing for a small family dinner. So were the Maleys, Belains, and Segels. Julia Humphreys was invited to a friend’s, as were the Hartmans. 

As were we. Mike and I had dinner with Betty and Bill Haynes. Around the table were Janice Haynes and Jeremiah Brown, and Nathaniel Haynes. Dinner was beautiful, delicious, and conversation around the table was comfortable, as it is with old and good friends.

Mary and Bernadette Bohan came from Connecticut to spend Thanksgiving with James Bohan, Steph DaRosa, and their daughter, Iyla. Thanksgiving Day was a big family affair. The day after, I was lucky enough to have some time with Mary, Bernadette, and Iyla. We went out for a little shopping and lunch, and a lot of visiting together.

A cartoon by Paul Karasik is on the cover of the latest Martha’s Vineyard Magazine. You might notice a familiar top-hatted figure otherwise dressed in typical Vineyard tourist gear. Paul has been a cartoonist at The New Yorker for several years, and collaborated with MV Magazine for this article, a 10-page guided tour of vintage Vineyard-centric New Yorker cartoons.

While perusing the magazine, make sure to read the article about weaver Julia Mitchell.

It’s exciting news that Island Community Chorus will resume their annual holiday concert at the Old Whaling Church. Peter Boak will be leading a smaller group of singers at two concerts, this Saturday evening at 7:30, and Sunday afternoon at 3. Besides music celebrating the season, there will be a premiere performance of “Toward the Dawn” by Thomas LaVoy, a poem and music commissioned by the group last year. The suggested donation is $15.

Our Fire Station 1 across the street was decorated with new colored lights after a radio check yesterday. Mike and I noticed Middletown Nursery’s light display. Several businesses and houses in town have begun putting up lights and decorations. 

For now, in our household Hanukkah candles provide holiday lights. Hanukkah began Sunday night and will continue for eight nights. I treasure lighting those candles in the same menorah that my mother used when we were children, to say the same prayers she taught us. I guess it’s a way of keeping my family alive and with me. Susan Rosinoff and I are giving a Hanukkah program at the Center For Living this Wednesday.

After Hanukkah, Mike and I will begin decorating for Christmas. I have taken out my dollhouse decorations so Iyla and I can put them up this Thursday.

I expect to see everyone at the Ag Hall this weekend. The memorial for Kent and Maureen Healy will be a potluck this Saturday, noon to 4 pm.

I listened to Stephen Sondheim’s wonderful songs while writing this column, surely not alone missing him.