West Tisbury – Garden chats, Freedom Falls, kids and dogs, community seeds, Mind of Alzheimer’s

—MV Times

The weather has been softly moist. Gray days turn into starless nights, the air visible like walking through a cloud. Pollen is visible too, with thickly floating grains everywhere. Margaret Renkl wrote about it in her May 13 New York Times column, “It’s Not Your Imagination. Your Allergies Are Getting Worse.” Her complaint is white pine pollen, and that warmer temperatures and more rain prolong spring pollen season by 20 days. We had best start preparing for our annual plague of cedar pollen. 

I ran into Eleanor Neubert at Cronig’s last week. We walked together to the Post Office, giving us time for a leisurely visit. She told me that they are awaiting a shipment of 60 day-old chicks at Flat Point, so have been getting the brooder house ready for them. Emily Fischer has two sets of twin goats and two new calves at the farm.

Rex Jarrell ambled along the Post Office porch to join our conversation. What’s coming up in our gardens? This is the time of year when everything most fragrant is blooming. Violets, lilacs, lily of the valley. Eleanor and Rex both have white lily of the valley, and I have promised them each a pot of the pink variety. I got a few pips from a friend many years ago, and they have now made good-size patches wherever I planted them around my yard.

Last Thursday, Iyla Bohan’s second grade class at Chilmark School put on a program about a colonial village they named Freedom Falls. Each student had a job that supported the community: a blacksmith, a weaver, a gardener, an apothecary, a cooper, a carpenter. I apologize that I can’t remember all of them. They made houses with fireplaces and chimneys, a church, barns, and workshops, and spoke about what each job involved, their families, how they came to Freedom Falls. Freedom Falls had strict rules that all of the settlers were expected to obey if they wanted to remain in the community.

I was lucky that Thursday is our regular day together, so I was able to be there for the program. Iyla was the town’s milliner. Her shop had displays of men’s hats and ladies’ decorated bonnets. She showed us all how she made the hats as we walked around to look at the displays and talk with the students. It was an excellent presentation, and I learned some new facts about colonial life.

Carole Early and Dorie Godfrey are the organizers of a series of postcard-writing parties that will meet on Mondays from 4:30 to 6:30 pm at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center, beginning June 3 and continuing through June. Writers will move to the Unitarian Universalist Church for July, August, September, and October. Voters lists, postcards, some stamps, and fine-tip magic markers will be provided, although attendees are free to bring additional supplies. Everyone is welcome to help get out the vote.

At the library this week:

Thursday, May 23, 11 am, Family Yoga for ages 0-5. Also at 11, Rachel will be at the Howes House to help with any smartphone questions/problems.

Friday, May 24, 3:30 pm, West Tisbury Animal Control Officer Kate Hoffman will lead a program for kids about getting to know dogs, dos and don’ts, and a real dog to practice with.

Saturday, May 25, 10 am to noon, the M.V. Community Seed Library annual seedling swap. Bring heirloom vegetable, flower, and fruit seedlings or cuttings to swap and share. At 1 pm, build a Rube Goldberg-esque contraption with Hugh Phear. There will be a closing reception for artist Rosemary Confalone from 3:30 to 4:30 pm.

The library will begin summer hours, closing on Sundays until the fall. Closed this Monday for Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 28, the knitting group will meet from 5 to 6 pm. All ages and skill levels are welcome to bring a project or supplies. At 5:30 pm, the LGBTQ book club will meet to discuss “Greenland: A Novel,” by David Santos Donaldson.

Wednesday, May 29, 1:30 pm, kids are invited to celebrate the half-day of school. Meet on the lawn at the Field Gallery to play Capture the Flag.

Katie Viera of the M.V. Center For Living will be at the library on Friday, May 31, 1 to 2:30 pm, to lead a discussion of “On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s” by Greg O’Brien. Get a copy of the book at the library. Sign up at wt_mail@clamsnet.org, or just come to the program.

It’s shocking to find ourselves at Memorial Day already. The summer begins.