West Tisbury: A gift he thought was funny

— Kyra Steck

The weather was so mild all last week that we had hardly needed a fire at night to warm up the house. Saturday morning was an exception. I came downstairs to find our living room was a chilly 61 degrees, so decided to make a little fire to warm the house before Mike got up. I opened the wood stove door and found, to my delight, that he had laid a fire last night before he came upstairs, and all I had to do was light a match. I stood there thinking I was married to the best husband in the world. That’s my Valentine’s Day story for this year. 

Mike gave me a post hole digger on our first Valentine’s Day together, a gift he thought was funny. When I went up to Alley’s to get our mail later in the day, there was a big bouquet of roses on the counter that Danny Mayhew had sent to his wife, Judy, who worked there at the time. I cried all the way home wondering who was this wise-ass philistine I had married? Fortunately we are both tenacious and have stayed together long enough to have more to appreciate than not.

Mike will be home for dinner this Valentine’s Day. I understand that Chief Pachico changed their drill night from the regular Monday to Tuesday this week after protest from several fire department wives.  

Last week’s Times had a wonderful Valentine’s article, interviews with four long-married local couples. I know the West Tisbury ones, Eileen and Tim Maley, and Beth Kramer and Douglas Reid, well enough that their answers made me smile.

I was excited to find the first snowdrops blooming in my yard. They seemed late this year, despite what I think of as a relatively mild winter. Once I see the first ones, I go looking for more, and they, too, have miraculously appeared from nowhere. Snowdrops begin the progress of spring bulbs that I look forward to every year. At the moment, they are buried under three or four inches of snow that fell overnight.

Mike read the weather report to me that we could expect snow Saturday night or Sunday morning. I waited all day and by Sunday evening he read an updated report that the snow would miss us, so it was an unexpected surprise to look outside when he took Abby out about 10 o’clock. Snowflakes were coming down and had already coated the lawn. By Monday morning, the aforementioned three or four inches had covered lawn, tree branches, rooftops, and walkways. It was beautiful and will remain so for a little while. It’s supposed to warm up again and be sunny for the next few days.

The white outlines really bring out the winter colors that otherwise are more subdued. I am looking out to a wooded landscape of reddish and lavender tree trunks. Evergreen branches droop beneath the weight of what resembles whipped cream frosting. I can never decide which is more beautiful, the subtlety of gray skies, or a brilliant azure blue.

A caveat regarding unseasonably warm temperatures: I have taken ticks off of Abby and Nelson. Check your animals.

Next Monday is President’s Day, a national holiday, meaning that town offices, schools, the library, and the post office will be closed. I’m old enough to miss Lincoln’s birthday on Feb. 12, and Washington’s birthday on the 22nd, having school off on those two random days.


  1. Hermine– I totally get it. Yup, you got a good guy there–
    And I also get the wonderful dynamics of a relationship where that is something to appreciate.
    it is part of the magic that revolves around the gift of heating with wood.

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