Tisbury: Open House at the Vineyard Haven library

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It was fun! Thanksgiving at the Black Dog was like a neighborhood party. All the best people were there. The meal was delicious, the atmosphere friendly, and the season began with much happiness and thanksgiving for friends, those blessings in our lives.

We had the additional treat of meeting 13-month-old Ryan Angelastro. He is the grandson of the late Laurel Chapman and her husband John. This little sweetheart attracted many to greet him as he enjoyed dinner with his parents, Heather and Paul, and grandpa John.

Did you see the beautiful sculptures created by Jennifer McCurdy? Her striking exhibit is in the window at the Louisa Gould Gallery.

When we lived in southern Maryland years ago, the small churches competed with fair lunches, in the spring offering the best soft-shelled crab ever and lemon meringue pie. Christmas fairs often had Maryland crab soup.

The Faire at the West Tisbury church is this Saturday from 9:30 to 2:30, with lunch served from 11:30 to 2. Fresh boxwood and evergreen wreaths, decorated centerpieces, and even small trees can be ordered in advance at 508-693-2842. It’s hard to tell whether the vintage costume jewelry or baked goods table will sell out first. Framed Island photos and several raffle baskets donated by local merchants are available, along with fair-trade items: coffees, teas, chocolates. All proceeds support the historic church and its community outreach.

I am sorry to share the sad news that Fred Sonnenberg died last week at his home in Florida. A service will be planned for next summer on the Island.

There is an Open House at the Vineyard Haven library this Sunday, Dec. 4, at noon, where you can meet Libby, the new children’s librarian, and Jennifer, the new young adult librarian. Adults and teens age 12 and up can learn how to recycle old books into decorative trees or kissing balls at 1 pm.

Starting in December, see free, new-to-DVD movies on Tuesday evenings at 7 pm at the Vineyard Haven library, with popcorn. The library cannot advertise the movie titles outside of the library. The next two are rated R. The movie on Dec. 6 is based on a provocative coming-of-age novel by Philip Roth and stars Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, and Tracy Letts. On Dec. 13, see the story of a divorced father and his ex-con older brother who resort to a desperate scheme to save their family’s ranch in West Texas. Starring Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster, and Chris Pine.

Sadly, half of all home heating fires occur in December, January, and February. And now you may be bringing a tree into your home as well. Did you know that Christmas trees nearly explode when they catch fire? Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from all heat sources, even radiators and candles. Please be safe.

Enjoy music with the Minnesingers at the parish house in the Campground on Tuesday at 11 am, as the Neighborhood Convention is hosted by the Methodist Church. All are welcome. Bring a bag lunch.

The Vineyard Holiday Gift Shop has moved. Now located next door to Mocha Mott’s, the Island artisans shop is open 10 to 6 daily through Christmas Eve. Shop local and take the chance to win a gift basket full of items from each artist in support of the Vineyard Island Housing Trust.

You can share the holiday spirit when you support the Vineyard Committee on Hunger appeal for a Family to Family dinner. $25 provides a Christmas or holiday dinner — turkey with all the trimmings — to a needy family on Island. Every dime raised by VCOH stays here on Martha’s Vineyard. Write your check to Family to Family and mail it to P.O. Box 4685, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.

Don’t miss “The Nutcracker” ballet at 1 pm on Sunday, Dec. 18, at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center. Tickets at the Film Center or online.

Happy December! Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out today to Porter Fraser. Sunday belongs to Sarah Wajda. You could email happy birthday to Jessie Chandler, who is celebrating in Scotland on Wednesday.

Heard on Main Street: It used to be only death and taxes. Now, of course, there’s shipping and handling, too.