Edgartown: Vacation is over

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Welcome back to all of you who traveled over February vacation. The miracle of modern technology allowed those of us who stayed behind to enjoy your vacations with you! Facebook, Instagram and the like are an easy way to live vicariously through others for sure, and it seems that just about everyone from M.V. seemed to travel somewhere last week, most to warmer climates for sure, but some ventured north or even west to colder climates for some snow fun. It also seems that many of those who traveled ran into fellow Islanders on their adventures. I know my kids encountered other Vineyarders at Disney, but I also saw stories of Islanders colliding in Costa Rica and St. John! I hope once you’ve all recovered from your travels and settled back into Island life that you will share some of your stories with me for next week’s column.

Do you have flowers in bloom in your yard? A friend posted a picture to Facebook last week of blooming crocuses in her yard, and lo and behold, within a few days, we had one ourselves in our yard.

February is such a tough month for me to get through. Somehow, the shortest month of the year seems so long. But I think we’ve made it through the worst of winter, and spring is in the air. You can see it in the changing color of the water at the beach and smell it in the air. As soon as I hear the pinkletinks, I’ll know for sure that I made it through another winter. Then, like my mother and Howard Andrews taught me, I’ll be on the lookout for mayflowers! The two of them had quite a competition each year to see who could find them first. I don’t have anyone to compete with, but still carry on the tradition of searching for them in early spring.

There will be a brief ceremony at 10 am on Saturday, March 5, to officially close the Carnegie Library, which has served Edgartown since 1904. Following the ceremony, folks can join the library staff as they parade to the new library, next to the Edgartown School. Parking is available at the Edgartown School, and there will be a shuttle available at 9:45 am to deliver participants to the old library site. The rain date for this event is March 6 at 1 pm.

The Island Wide Youth Collaborative, in conjunction with Martha’s Vineyard Community Services Disability Services Family Support Center, the Youth Task Force, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools, is sponsoring two introductory workshops on the Think:Kids Collaborative Problem Solving Approach with Dr. Larry Epstein, director of training and implementation at Think:Kids, on Monday, March 7, and Tuesday, March 8, at MVRHS.

The workshop on March 7 is designed for parents, and will take place from 5:30 to 8 pm at the MVRHS library. The workshop on March 8 is designed for educators, clinicians, and community members, and will take place from 1 to 5 pm at the MVRHS Performing Arts Center.

Both workshops will focus on the evidence-based approach for helping children with behavioral challenges and promote the understanding that challenged kids lack the skill, not the will, to behave well — specifically skills related to problem solving, flexibility, and frustration tolerance. Unlike traditional models of discipline, the Think:Kids approach avoids the use of power, control, and motivational procedures, and instead focuses on teaching kids the skills they need to succeed.

Another upcoming event through Community Services is Ripple Group. This is an educational and supportive group for loved ones (age 18-plus) of those experiencing substance abuse who are seeking an understanding of addictions and support. This group, which will meet for six sessions, beginning March 3, from 5:30 to 7 pm, seeks to provide a safe space for loved ones to learn accurate and up-to-date information about addiction, recovery, treatment, and its effects, as well as provide support to one another and themselves in their roles as family and friends of those in active addiction or recovery. For more information or to sign up, contact Jaime Schwab at 508-693-7900, ext. 375.

The Martha’s Vineyard Cancer Support Group is having its annual daffodil fundraiser on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, and would like Islanders to come out and support them by purchasing a daffodil bunch of 10 buds for $10. Sales to the public will take place at Cronig’s in Vineyard Haven, Stop and Shop in Edgartown, Reliable Market in Oak Bluffs, and at the gift shop at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital from 9 am to 5 pm or until all bunches are sold.

The annual Edgartown Eighth Grade Auction is coming along fabulously. Mark your calendars for March 11, and join us at the Loft for this exciting FUNdraiser and dance the night away to Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish! The silent auction will begin at 6:30 and run until about 8 pm. Johnny Hoy and dancing will start around 7:30. We’ll have a little break in the dancing festivities around 8:30 to share some fantastic live auction items, and dancing will resume around 9. Some of our exciting live auction items include Patriots tickets and hotel packages, rounds of golf at several of the local courses, a weekend stay on Nantucket with Cape Air tickets included, and Taste of the Vineyard tickets.

I’ll close this week with a feel-good story of two do-gooders who took advantage of their “staycation” here on the Island by cleaning up their neighborhood. Sisters Cassidy and Caroline Kelleher, who stayed home last week because of Caroline’s hockey schedule, take periodic walks along the Boulevard with their mom, Heather Hunt. While taking one of their walks last week, the girls noticed all the trash littering the roadsides, and when they arrived home, Cassidy, the youngest, suggested they take another walk the following day and bring her wagon along to clean up the litter. So out they went the next day, filling the wagon in about 45 minutes with 60 or so old nip bottles, wine bottles, beer cans, Gatorade bottles, and other trash. Their mom wanted to share their accomplishments, so posted pictures and the story to the Islanders Talk page on Facebook, where their story got more than 380 “likes” and 105 comments thanking and commending them for their hard work. They were so proud of what they did and the response that they received that they want to continue their efforts in the future. Great work, Caroline and Cassidy! Thanks for taking the time to clean up and take care of the environment. Maybe your good deeds will be a lesson for others.

Have a great week, everyone. In honor of Caroline and Cassidy, I leave you with this quote by Robert Swan: “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”