West Tisbury: Snowless winters, Tony Rezendes, planners, and Covid

—MV Times

Walking around the yard, I have seen a few forsythia and cherry blossoms. I suppose I could bring some branches inside to force, but the beginning of January feels too soon for that. Boxwood, pieris, rhododendron, holly, with trails of ivy are proper winter bouquets, and they are lovely. No point rushing the seasons.

I am still longing for snow, as we have had one after another of days in the 40s and 50s. As much as I enjoyed being out in the garden the other day and still being able to easily dig, it doesn’t feel right. We should have snow banked up over our heads, like when I was a child. Ridgefield was always snowbound in my memories. New England winters meant chains on our tires and shoveling walks and driveways, boots and snowsuits, ice skating for hours til our cheeks burned red.

I am sick at heart to write about the passing of our friend Tony Rezendes. He was only 80, way too young, as we are all approaching 80, or have since passed that landmark. We, especially Mike, had a long history with Tony. They were kids together, and shared a lifetime of funny stories to tell about “incidents” neither was allowed to forget.

Mild temperatures held for his graveside service last Saturday. The sun broke through just in time to warm our backs. There was a crowd gathered, of course, a tribute to the regard Tony was held in by all who knew him. I urge everyone to read Tony’s obit in the paper. It is better than anything I could write.

Alley’s coffee group is much diminished by the losses of Tony, and earlier last month of Clifton Athearn. 2023 was a year of too many losses.

Every year I buy myself a pair of leather-covered books for keeping track of where I’m supposed to be and notes taken for this column. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and appointments go into the day planner. This year’s is a dark plum color. Being disorganized by nature, I often forget occasions until past their dates, even though I have noticed that so-and-so’s birthday is coming up. Somehow I never remember to send the card in advance of the day.

The book for my column notes is a lovely magenta. Besides notations of weather and the aforementioned odd blooms, my first real column item is from Tara Whiting-Wells. She will be sending out the street lists soon. They need to be checked to make sure your voter registration is up-to-date. Dog license renewal forms will be included in the mailing.

My second item for 2024 is a thank you from Diane, Tara, Angela, and Jack at the West Tisbury Post Office for all the Christmas treats and good wishes they received. We are lucky to have you taking care of our mail and packages all year. Appreciation goes both ways.

I’m writing this column tucked up in bed with my cat, Nelson. It seems what I thought was sniffles and a few other symptoms has turned out to be COVID, the first time I have had it. Sue Hruby called this morning to tell me that other family members have tested positive. What a crummy end to what had been a special holiday.

Hull/Beecher cousin Dana Terrill and his wife, Kimberly Maroney, came from Washington State to spend the holidays with us. There were lots of walks and outings, and Christmas dinner at the Slocum House. This was their first visit East since before COVID, since Dana’s mother, Rose Hull Terrill, died. John and Dolly Beecher arrived for the New Year’s weekend. We all hope that no one else gets sick.

We are lucky we have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and lots of Clorox. One of my Christmas presents this year was a humidifier. Prescient, and just in time. I guess COVID with its myriad variants will remain part of our lives for the foreseeable future.

As for Mike and me, Jan. 1 is our 39th wedding anniversary. “In sickness and in health” we promised each other, and here we are.

If you have any West Tisbury Town Column suggestions, email Hermine Hull, hermine.hull@gmail.com.