No Snow on the Vineyard

Good Monday morning, and Happy Halloween!

To those of my friends in western Mass (I still can’t reach you via either phone or e-mail), I hope you are doing okay! It is no consolation, I’m sure, but I say, “Gee, how awful,” when I see the news footage of those snow banks.

And I feel a bit guilty for sitting outside now, typing this on the patio. Sort of like deja vu all over again. (I know, that’s redundant.)

Anyway, have a happy day – friends coming from the west coast to visit the island tomorrow, so I shall don my tour guide cap and head up island to show them the sights. Stay tuned for pics on Wednesday! And in the meantime…watch out for goblins and eat chocolate!


Not much to say today…a bit of a grey day, waiting for the snow!?!

I thought I’d give you one last look at a Halloween gingerbread “scarecrow” – this one is in front of Edgartown Books. It turn out these are being done by the kids at the Martha’s Vineyard Charter School, and they are popping up all over the island. Love this place.

And now for something completely different: in the interest of the impending winter (argh), I have decided to trim my blogging days to Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I did not want to bore you – I mean, lovely as they are, how many library photos can you stand? Or pics of the crackling fireplace at The Newes?

Not to worry – iIf anything truly exciting arises, I promise to add an extra post in here or there. In the meantime, stay out of the nor’easter!

Pretend it’s a Plate of Brownies

Remember the brownies I didn’t bring to the potluck in Chilmark last Saturday?
Well, last night I went to hear an author talk at the Ag Hall in West Tisbury. Admission was $5 or a dessert. I made the brownies. (Forgot to take a picture, though.)

As always, the attendance was incredible…maybe 150 people in the hall to hear the author of SIGSSINGHURST, the story of a castle in England that has been trying to come back to its former greatness. It was fabulous.. And, once again, I am amazed at how Vineyarders will go out, even on a dark and stormy night like last night, to support these kinds of cultural things.

Not to mention that I’m glad the brownies are at last out of my kitchen.

Top 10 Things to Do on a Rainy Day on the Vineyard

I have my own kind of Top 10 List. What to do when I’m bored. What to do when I’m happy. What to do when it’s sunny. Today’s selection is What to do when it’s raining, because it is absolutely pouring.
1. Go to the Edgartown Library!
2. Go to the movies.
3. Go to The Newes and sit by the fire with a bowl of soup.
4. Drive up island and look at the Gay Head Cliffs in the rain.
5. Go to the MV Museum.
6. Go to Chappy because it’s fun to be on the little ferry when the current is whipping this way and that.
7. Go to Vineyard Haven and watch the big ferry load and unload. (I admit it. I’m a little weird.)
8. Go to Chilmark and watch them make chocolates. (Then eat a bunch and get a massive sugar rush.)
9. Do laundry. (Bleccch. Can’t believe I said that.)
And the MOST fun thing to Do on a Rainy Day on the Vineyard
(you already guessed this from the picture):
Which is where I will be if you need me.

Question of the Day

The Old Whaling Church seemed packed to me. Turns out, though, they were 20 people short of a quorum.

Imagine, 20 people in an entire town. Probably the number of folks who were having dinner at The Newes. Or those who had huddled into the library for the Tuesday night movie. (Last night it was “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”)

I was ready though…along with about a dozen others who sat in the back, in the designated “Non-Voter” pews. I was eager for the proceedings to get underway. I wanted to see local government at work, to see if it really was as feisty and combative as I’d written in a scene in my PLACES BY THE SEA. (Can’t recall if Ben ever did get that variance for his museum. He really should have! He was one of my favorite guys, er, characters!)

But back to reality. Like I said, they were 20 folks short.  I considered asking my non-voting neighbors if we should register right then and there. Heck, then we could dash to The Newes and pull out a few others. It’s not as if anyone there would be watching the World Series.

Too late.

Someone banged a gavel. The Town Meeting was postponed until next week.

So my question is this: who the heck is going to climb up onto the banner across Main Street and change the date?

P.S. You’ll be glad to know I raced to the library and snuck in the back, only ten minutes late for the movie.

Town Meeting Tonight!

Town Meeting tonight! Town Meeting tonight!

When I was a kid, my family went to Cape Cod on vacation. I clearly remember going to Provincetown, where a Town Crier – dressed in colonial garb – marched through the streets, ringing a brass bell, making all kinds of important announcements. I can’t recall what he said, but I was mesmerized by him.

I keep looking for a Town Crier to march up and down Main Street in Edgartown now, telling all who can hear that tonight is the Town Meeting at the Whaling Church! (Where is a brass bell when I need one?) Anyway, I’m told that the meeting shall be a memorable experience.

And if the banner itself looks familiar…well, remember JAWS? A eerily similar banner was stretched across the street – practically the same location – announcing the 4th of July Celebration. Yikes. I hope no great whites show up tonight.

Halloween in Edgartown

Just when you thought it was safe to walk down Main Street in Edgartown…along come these fabulous, “frightening”, reminders of the season!

Each year the MV schoolkids create their own versions of scarecrows like the one seen here, and Medusa shown below. (They are judged and prizes follow!) The fun part is to see the awesome creativity behind all the entries. My favorite is a Tin Man – get it? A Tin Man as a scarecrow? Very funny. I couldn’t get a good picture of him, though. Sorry.

Oh, by the way, the Harvest Dinner was incredible. The Chilmark Community Center was packed with people. (It was more fun than the scene in my book, THE SUMMER HOUSE, when the town had to evacuate to the center because of a nasty hurricane.)

The pie was great. But so were the Wampanoag selections of venison chowder, cod with sage stuffing, “journey cakes” made from corn meal, and variations on recipes from this year’s abundant cranberry crop. Yum, indeed.

Best of all were the talks given by a couple of Wampanoag Elders about growing up on the the Vineyard, where their families were sustained by all the wonderful foods and shelter that the island has to offer. Great accompanying documentary film, too. Nice job, Slow Food folks!

Harvest Dinner with the Wampanoags

I was going to show a picture of the pie I plan to bring to the Harvest Dinner tonight out in Chilmark. It’s put on by the Slow Foods folks, and is to celebrate all things good to eat on the island.

Several Wampanoag women are going to speak about growing up here – some before electricity was put in up island. They gathered nuts, berries, and many things I don’t know about yet. I thought it would be lots of fun to attend. Plus, I will learn a whole lot about the diverse culture of this wonderful place.

Trouble is, the dinner is a potluck.

So I thought, Brownies! Everyone loves brownies! I went to the store (a Stop ‘n Shop now – no gathering of berries for me) and bought the essentials. When I got “home,” however, I re-read the article. The folks have asked that for the potluck, you bring something made from island foods.

I’m not totally sure, but I don’t think Duncan Hines is from Edgartown.

So…I looked through the newspaper and found an ad for Morning Glory Farm…and their homemade pies! Apple and Cranberry! Yum! I hope that will get me in the door of the Chilmark Community Center.

Anyway, back to the picture. I got up bright and early and drove out to Morning Glory Farm. The pies won’t be ready until 2:00pm. Hmm. So I took a picture of these lovely flowers that they have on display. I’ll go back later for the pie.


Ever wonder how to build a beach?

Take one dump truck.
Fill it up with sand.
Bring it to the water’s edge.
Get a big Tonka truck.
Spread the sand all around.

I have a feeling it’s a little more sophisticated, but from this urban-dweller’s eyes it looks pretty simple. Not sure if it’s needed due to the aftermath of a summer filled with rambunctious beach-goers, or just general erosion (ugh, either way).

Of course, this gets me to wondering where the new sand comes from. Another beach up island? Or is it hauled in from an exotic shore in the Caribbean? The Riviera? Atlantic City? Seems as if it has to come from somewhere. I mean, beach sand isn’t man-made, is it?

Hmm. The questions that come to mind when one apparently has way too much time to ponder out here on Martha’s Vineyard in the middle of the sea.

Still Life on a Rainy Day

Thought you might like to see what I do here when it rains. I’m at my “special” seat in the library – notice rain drops on the window – looking out toward the Chappaquiddick Ferry.

Another good part about the rain? It’s nature’s great iron on the island. In fact, even sunny days have enough moisture in the air to keep clothes neat and tidy: no mess, no fuss, no wrinkles!

Except in my hair, of course. That could use a good iron and a bit of spray starch.