West Tisbury: We needed the wood stove

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— Kyra Steck

Another week of weather that changed by the minute, at least by the day. The wind last Tuesday almost blew Abby’s fur off. The rest of the week started with sunny mornings that quickly turned cold by early afternoon. We needed the wood stove to warm the house up by evening, then again in the morning. A sweater and an afghan helped, too, until it warmed up to T shirt weather again. Not too hot. Nice to work outside. A good week.

The Friends of the West Tisbury Free Public Library need a new place to hold their 63rd book sale this summer. The school gym, its usual venue, is unavailable. Besides being large enough to hold tables full of books, the space would have to be usable for the whole month of July, when the tables and thousands of books are moved in by the Friends and other volunteers to be sorted, priced, and arranged. If you think you have a suitable spot, please leave a message at the library, 508 693-3366, or wt_mail@clamsnet.org

At our library this coming week: 

An outdoor pizza-making class with Nina Levin of Stony Hill Pizza on Saturday, April 30, at 12:30. Learn the basics of pizza making, then create your own and bake it in Nina’s mobile, wood-fired oven. The class is limited to 10 participants, so sign up at wt_mail@clamsnet.org. The rain date is Sunday, May 1, at 1 o’clock.

Public health nurse Lila Fischer will be at the library between 10 and 11 o’clock on Monday, May 2, for a free drop-in wellness clinic and blood pressure screening. There is no sign-up necessary.

On Tuesday, May 3, at 7 pm, professional storyteller Terry Wolfisch Cole will talk about her recent experience as a contestant on “Jeopardy.” The program will be on Zoom, so email

wt_mail@clamsnet.org for the Zoom link.

Roger Dennis was a painter and friend from Connecticut, a second-generation American Impressionist of the Old Lyme School. I visited him around this time every spring to pick up paintings when I had my gallery. He and his wife, Dot, had a lovely old stone house in Niantic, surrounded by colorful gardens that Dot designed and tended. Along the front of the house was a particularly striking combination of quince bushes with orange flowers, underplanted with magenta money plants and blue grape hyacinths. In her way, Dot was an artist, too. 

My mother always had quince bushes that she made jam from. I never thought about them much, being into white flowers in my early gardening days. Still, something about this colorful grouping stayed with me over the years, and I recreated a version of it between my porch and dining room. As I am writing this column, the quince bush is covered with orange flowers. The money plant is covered with magenta blooms. The grape hyacinths haven’t proliferated as I had hoped, but they are deep blue-purple. The double-flowered Sir Winston Churchill daffodils I added are cream-colored, and smell delicious.

Daffodil season always amazes me with its abundance. My house has been full of bouquets for weeks, both enormous arrangements of different colors and varieties, and an elegant single flower in a slender vial. To look at what remains outside, you would never think I picked anything. I can’t draw or paint them fast enough.

Another sign of warm weather is that the number of fire, ambulance, and accident calls has increased. It was a busy weekend for our firemen, policemen, and EMTs. Thanks to everyone who was called away from work or dinner, or awakened in the middle of the night.

Then there are ants …