West Tisbury: Packing up the holidays

— Kyra Steck

Our Island weather remains a mystery from day to day. I like to watch it happen and be surprised, rather than following the Weather Channel throughout the day. It was lovely to wake up to snow falling one morning, to bright sunshine reflecting off that snow by the following day. Then rain and the snow was gone, washed away. Cold, mild, windy, wet, blue skies, or clouds. It’s all a miraculous gift. I will admit it’s much nicer now that I am mostly at home and don’t have to go out in bad weather.

Mike and I went walking out to the beach with Abby, observing the familiar landscape shapes and colors softened by that coating of fresh snow. The contrast between the whiteness on the ground and the cobalt blue sky above was striking. There were lots of people and dogs out enjoying fresh air in the warm middle of the day.

I have started to pack up my Christmas decorations for another year. My efforts were rather half-hearted this year, so I have nowhere near the usual number of boxes to bring up from the basement. It is a task that invites a meditative calm, wrapping each ornament in tissue paper, and nestling it carefully into a cushioned spot in its labeled box. If you imagine that I am obsessive about my ornaments, you are correct.

Over the years, we have gotten Harry and David fruit for Christmas gifts from some of Mike’s clients. The boxes, divided into maybe a dozen squares, are perfect for packing ornaments. I can bring up one small box at a time, fill it, then return it to the shelf downstairs. It’s much less overwhelming than having lots of disparate things in a huge box. The boxes themselves remind me of the person who sent us those oranges or apples or pears, so delicious and perfect.

Ghost Island Farm has reopened the farmstand after Rusty and Sarah took a bit of a break after Christmas. The baskets were full of winter squashes, onions, salad greens, baby spinach, kale, broccoli, apples, and other vegetables and fruit. They will be open every day from 10 am to 5 pm.

Has anyone decided to run for a spot on a town board? I wrote last week that nomination papers were available at the town clerk’s desk in town hall. Collecting signatures is fun. You see everyone you know and have an opportunity to meet and talk with people you don’t know yet; they just have to be West Tisbury voters. If elected, you have an opportunity to serve our community and also to learn about how our town works. Tara Whiting-Wells’ office hours are Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Town hall, schools, and the library will be closed on Monday, Jan. 17, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Day. The Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center and West Tisbury church in partnership with the Martha’s Vineyard NAACP will hold a special Friday evening Shabbat service in honor of Dr. King and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. The service is only on Zoom and begins at 5:30 pm. If you are interested, check the websites or call the offices to get the Zoom invitation.

The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury Community Suppers begin Wednesday, Jan. 12, and will continue weekly through April. Participants are asked to register online, by email, or telephone — wtcomsuppers@gmail.com or 508-693-2842. Meals will be delivered or may be picked up curbside outside the church. Please let Marjorie Peirce know if you are interested in volunteering to help.

The library is seeking nominations for a new West Tisbury poet laureate for 2022 through 2025. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 1. For more information, stop by the library or look on their website: bit.ly/wtpoetlaur.

I ran into Robyn Maciel at the bank last week. During our conversation, she mentioned that her brother, Jesse, and his daughter, Emily, share a birthday, Jan. 6. Happy Birthday wishes to both of you. Hope you had a great day.

I am writing late at night tonight. It’s been windy and cold all day. The temperature is supposed to fall into the low teens. I just filled the woodstove for the night, grateful for its warmth. Maybe I’ll read a while before going upstairs, or maybe I’ll just sit here thinking of “shoes and ships, and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings.” –Lewis Carroll, from “Through the Looking Glass.”



  1. Hello Hermine, In answer to your question, has anyone decided to run for a position in West Tisbury? I picked papers on the 3rd and returned them on the 5th of January to run for the One year term as a Select Board member. I currently have been serving on the Personnel Board, the Affordable Housing Committee, and the Howes House Feasibility Committee. I have attended all but 6-7 Select Board meetings over the past year and believe I can be of service to the Town even more.
    I have served in the past as Associate Commissioner of Elder Affairs for the County of Dukes County, The Finance Committee in Oak Bluffs, the Personnel Committee on Oak Bluffs.
    I am on the Board of Directors for the Center For Living, a native of Martha’s Vineyard, My Mother was a Luce, her Mother Mayhe, this home.

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