West Tisbury: Ticks have been horrible, and Foc’s’le Locker bookstore

—MV Times

November is the best month of the year. My birthday and Thanksgiving are both in November. The weather is usually still pleasantly warm and the colors are lovely. On our walk with Abby, we admired the low light silhouetting trees and grasses. It will soon be coming through our west-facing windows in the afternoon, making my living room sofa the best place to read or knit all winter. But for now, having coffee outside and watching the birds is where I want to be.

A cautionary tale about being outside. The ticks have been horrible. Nelson, my beloved cat, though subjected to rigorous tick checks, has two tick-borne infections. He is on Doxycycline now, but is still “not himself.”

I went to Menemsha Sunday afternoon to visit Ginny Jones at her Foc’s’le Locker bookstore. I love the drive up-Island, something I rarely take the time to do. Then to be in a bookstore filled with Island and maritime treasures, some special children’s books, and shelves full of English murder mysteries. She also sells beautiful patterned wool sweaters. Ginny has decided to close her store at Christmas, so it was time to do a little Christmas and birthday shopping, as well as spend a pleasant hour with my friend. FYI: she is having a sale.

Ginny had sent me an email a week or so ago, in which she mentioned the other shops remaining open along Basin Road. Some are open every day, some on sunny weekends, so it’s probably best to call ahead, or check their websites. Creekville Art & Antiques has paintings, drawings, and original prints by 20th century Island and Island-related artists, paintings by contemporary Vineyard artist Susan Pachico, furniture, silver, china, and glass. “Under the Surface” shows Ben McCormack’s photographs. Copperworks sells copper lighting and weathervanes, and wampum jewelry. Ruel Gallery is owned by painter Colin Ruel and jeweler Nettie Kent. Stanley Larsen’s Menemsha Fish Market is open for lunch or to pick up something for dinner. There are always boats to look at and a walk on the beach is the best.

I apologize for sounding like a travel brochure, but will admit I was surprised at the number and variety of shops still open. When Leslie Baker and I used to go painting around Menemsha, our treat was to stop for chowder and lobster rolls at Stanley’s, then wander down to the beach. Besides Menemsha Texaco, that was the only place open after Columbus Day. Obviously, things have changed, or to be honest, that I have noticed.

Have you ever wanted to learn how to tango? The Howes House is offering a free series of four lessons beginning on Nov. 9, from 3 to 4 pm. Call to sign up: 508 693-2896. Take a look at their other classes, lectures, medical and legal consults, exercise classes, and trips anywhere around the world on Zoom.

The Friends of the West Tisbury Library is holding two pop-up book sales in the Community Room at the library. The first is this Sunday, Nov. 6, from noon to 4 pm. It will feature cookbooks, jigsaw puzzles, trade paperbacks, along with holiday and Vineyard books. If you are interested in volunteering to help, please email WestTisLibraryFriends@gmail.com.

I was sad to see that Maria Moody died last week. I always enjoyed talking with her. My condolences to Herb and family.

When Iyla was here last Thursday, she strung a pail on a ribbon between Mousylvania Castle and a doll bed on my dining table (the outer environs of Mousylvania) so her mouse could travel back and forth. I thought this was such an amazing idea for a child to come up with, and couldn’t wait to tell Mike when he got home that night. “Oh,” he said, “a breeches buoy.” I guess it was.