Oak Bluffs: Right in the middle of winter

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Winds blowing across the already frozen snow make me realize how in years past, people could be lost during blizzards on the plains, where there were no landmarks to guide them to safety. Now there is no sign of the driveway, and the cars I know are parked in the yard have disappeared, and only large piles of hilly snow are seen in their places. A few leaves blow back and forth across the snow as if searching for a resting place, only to be pushed along by the increasing wind gusts. As the storm slows down, we look forward to upcoming events for this week.

The new free series of six self-care education sessions starts in March at the Up-Island Council on Aging. “Powerful Tools For Caregivers” will be held on Mondays from 2 to 4:30 pm, starts on March 7, and runs until April 11. The sessions are designed to help family caregivers handle the unique challenges of caregiving. All attendees must register by calling Mary Holmes at 508-560-6012 or emailing PowerfultoolsMV2016@gmail.com.

The Island Wide Youth Collaborative (IWYC) develops and provides an Island-wide integrated system of behavioral health care. It maintains on-Island treatment options for our youth and young adults and their families. IWYC was formed in 2013, and its partners include the Youth Task Force, YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard, Martha’s Vineyard schools, the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, and Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, which also serves as program director. For a list of the many ways the IWYC can assist you, and a list of their programs, check out its website, mvcommunityservices.com/iwyc.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum exhibit “Inventive Islanders” opens on Feb. 12 from 4 to 6 pm, and will run through Memorial Day. The exhibit shares a few stories of the Island’s many inventors, including John Painter, Orin Norton, John Crowel, and many others. The inspiration for the exhibit can be credited to Chris Baer, chairman of the art, design, and technology department at MVRHS, who discovered that Google had posted a massive database of records from the U.S. Patent Office, and that you could do a search on anything. Admission is free to members, $8 for nonmembers.

This week of Feb. 8 through 12, the Oak Bluffs School will be holding its annual food drive for the Island Food Pantry. All members of the school community are encouraged to give generously to others during this week, as we also celebrate Valentine’s Day. Help for hunger is a global concern, but we cannot overlook our friends and neighbors right here at home. This will mark the 25th year of collecting food for the pantry at the school. Please send nonperishable food items this week. The second-grade classes will be counting and graphing the food collections from each homeroom, and will deliver the food to the Stone Church in Vineyard Haven on Friday.

And a reminder that school will be closed on Presidents’ Day on Monday, Feb. 15.

I erred in reporting that the Friends of Oak Bluffs Dine to Donate event was last Thursday; it is actually this Thursday at Offshore Ale, for lunch from 11:30 am to 4 pm and dinner from 5 to 8:30 pm. There will also be a silent auction supported by donations from local businesses. So you can enjoy a meal and bid on something special and support this great group.

We send birthday smiles for the month of February to Woodside Village residents Rita Reynolds, Glenda Cataloni, Ada Macomber, Rosemary Brown, Norman Ethier, John Bettencourt, Anne Sylvester, and Elaine Goldin. Smiles to Melissa Kalagaher and Simone Davis on the 12th, Tory Pasqualino on the 13th, Susan Christopher and brothers Eric and Michael deBettencourt on the 14th, Lorraine Mavro on the 15th, Carol deBettencourt, Kathy Farrissey and Fr. Michael Nagel on the 16th, and Carrie Tankard and Joel Rebello on the 18th.

Enjoy your week. Peace.