Our weather has continued in the same warm, gray, drizzly pattern we have had for weeks. We had a day of wet snow, but I don’t think we have had a real freeze yet this winter. I have barely needed a coat, except to keep the rain off. Still, it’s nice to want to be outside and pleasant to get chores done, but I know it has to be a sign of our planet’s unnatural warming.
I have already taken the first ticks off Nelson, and he has started leaving dead mice on our porches. At least, he is leaving them outside for now, and they are already dead.
Make sure to check yourselves and your pets for ticks.
Ghost Island has posted its winter hours: Open daily, 10 to 5. There were abundant displays of gorgeous produce when I was there earlier, and flats of newly emerging greens lining the cool entry porch. It’s inspiring to see, but I relish the quiet of winter, and am not ready to give it up with fantasies of an early spring. The groundhog will let us know in a couple of weeks.
Steph DaRosa and I have been going through catalogues and websites, then having detailed discussions of our findings. Which is the most beautiful color or flower shape? What is the best tasting bean or tomato? What did well last year? What didn’t? What new possibilities look the most intriguing? Steph has a greenhouse and propagates the earliest, sturdiest plants. Her preschool students help with her garden, and they do a splendid job. I am not a vegetable gardener anymore, even though I still fantasize, so I am thankful for Steph’s weekly deliveries when she comes to pick Iyla up on Thursday afternoons.
I hate to admit that gardening no longer excites me the way it did 40-plus years ago. I love the early bulbs and my rhododendron hedge, but once that has passed, I would be perfectly happy to have some shrubs and a few pots of impatiens in what has been my kitchen garden. I have lovely memories of beautiful bouquets of flowers, or walking out to the garden to pick vegetables for dinner. Now I’m happy to have enough for small arrangements around the house or for gifts, and for Steph or one of the farmstands to supply our dinner table.
Speaking of dinner tables, this is the season of community suppers at the island’s churches. West Tisbury’s night is Wednesday between 4:30 and 5:30. Dinners are delivered curbside or to homes, and must be preordered by calling Marjorie Peirce at 508-221-0314. Marjorie will be glad to hear from anyone interested in volunteering to help, too.
Vineyard Smiles is a program that offers free dental cleanings for Island residents, 18 and older, who don’t have access to regular dental care. They have just announced two weeks when islanders can make appointments. The first will be February 20 to 24, and the second April 17 to 21, to be held at the First Baptist Church Parish Hall, 66 Williams St., Vineyard Haven. To register, text 978-459-0659, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Vineyard Smiles, which sponsors the program, is supported by the Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation and the island’s Boards of Health. Thanks to you all.
My first snowdrops are blooming, tiny white blossoms, so delicate. They will be fine if our weather turns cold. Even if it snows again, their stalwart flowers will remain, undaunted.