Apologies for long silence — work does tend to get in the way of life, even when you basically like what you do for a living. Two of the three jobs I’ve had in since mid-December were delivered either on time or (gasp!) early. The third — well, the third is gonna be a little bit late, but we’ll make up the time in the clean-up phase.

So there’s no shortage of things to write about, just an acute shortage of time to chunk them down into manageable bits and think about what I think of them. Best remedy for that is Be concrete! Don’t think too much!

So last night I finally got to meet Waylon the (former) Wanderer. Thanks to his two-week walkabout, Waylon has fans all around Martha’s Vineyard, not to mention across North America and on at least two other continents. It was like meeting a celebrity, the kind of celebrity who isn’t spoiled by fame, or even aware of it. Betsy invited a few current and former Martha’s Vineyard Times staffers — Betsy’s tenure as photography editor overlapped mine as features editor, and she’s still my favorite island photographer — which meant there were more people in the house than Waylon had ever seen before.

Waylon presided first from a couch and then from his favorite chair. He was wary but not stressed. Not surprisingly, since he was covered with ticks when finally caught and this is Martha’s Vineyard after all, he’s got Lyme disease and is currently on Doxycycline; when it’s caught early, nearly all the dogs I know who’ve had it recover soon after they start on antibiotics. Trav’s already had Lyme once. Rhodry had it a couple of times, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis too.

Supper was potluck. When I look back over the decades of my life, I see two common threads: I gravitate toward places where I can wear barn clothes 24/7, and places where potlucks are the norm. Being the daughter and granddaughter of indifferent cooks, I’m intimidated by people who can produce a meal for several people at which all the dishes are finished at the proper time. I also like to eat stuff that I didn’t cook. On Martha’s Vineyard, potlucks range from the small and homey to the astonishing spreads that appear at memorial services, fundraisers, and the West Tisbury town holiday party.

This is pretty much all that remains of last night’s supper:

Betsy made the meatloaf, the mashed sweet potatoes, and the asparagus that you can’t see because it’s in the Dutch oven. Tara brought the salad in front, and Susanna the predictable brought the bread. Mae’s coconut cake was waiting in the kitchen and missed the photo op.

About Susanna J. Sturgis

Susanna edits for a living, writes to survive, and has been preoccupied with electoral politics since 2016. She just started a blog about her vintage T-shirt collection: "The T-Shirt Chronicles." Her other blogs include "From the Seasonally Occupied Territories," about being a year-round resident of Martha's Vineyard, and "Write Through It," about writing, editing, and how to keep going.
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4 Responses to Potluck

  1. susan robinson says:

    I think you represented not only yourself but all the friends of Waylon you’ve made for him. I hope they got his ticks in time. He sounds lovely on the couch and in the chair and that sounds calm with several guests. Nice dog.


  2. Pam Coblyn says:

    Martha’s Vineyard must have more pot lucks per capita than most places in the US. Well, at least it’s got to be way above average. It’s a testament to a sense of community, socialibility and sharing. Friends create a party in a heartbeat simply by cooking too much stuff and calling friends to bring somhelp eat it ething else and eat it all up!


    • I wonder about this. I moved to MV from DC, specifically the DC women’s community. Potlucks were a way of life there too. Way back in 1971 I went to Mississippi as a poll watcher for Charles Evers, brother of Medgar, who was the first black man to run for governor of that state since Reconstruction. During my 10 days in state, I feasted at some miraculous potlucks, mostly church-related. I think potlucks come naturally to communities where everybody works and no one has time or resources to prepare a four-course meal from scratch. Me, I love sampling everybody’s favorite dish and knowing that no one went crazy preparing supper.


  3. Sharon Stewart says:

    Mmmmmmmm .


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