Oak Bluffs: Overcast days

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My forsythia has surrendered to the cold, and the days are mostly overcast now. It’s difficult to keep upbeat in this time of winter. Our old cat Nyko passed last week at 17½ years of age, and the house is sad, but not as depressed as his young companion, 3-year-old Doodle. He has lost his spunk and has no interest in going outside. Even his favorite pastime of watching the birds dart about the feeder does not seem to hold his attention for long. We are trying to boost his spirits by giving lots of attention, some new toys and treats, so hopefully he will start to perk up soon and pick up his old lively and curious ways again. But I wish we could have a heart-to-heart conversation to help him adjust.

The Town Hall Building Committee has been working diligently for the past few years regarding a new town hall. Those who were able to attend the open house yesterday got an up-front view of the condition of the present structure. This building has served our town well, and the fact that those from my family who attended school there range from my husband’s time there, my children, to my grandchildren, should give you an idea of how long it has been in use. Now is the time to be looking into replacing the structure, and the Building Committee would like your input. They are meeting from 3:30 to 5 pm today to discuss and consider the public comments at Wednesday’s open house, and would love to hear your suggestions.

Sympathies to the family of Leona White, who died last week. To me she was a talented and hard-working woman who could do anything from making my wedding cake over 60 years ago to helping my father plant seedlings at the Goodale Christmas Tree Farm. She will be missed by her family and friends, who loved her dearly. We are so very sorry.

The Island Wide Youth Collaborative at the MVCC in Oak Bluffs holds an Immigration Resource Center on the first Friday of each month. The next meeting is tomorrow, Feb. 3, from 9 am to 3 pm at the Youth Collaborative Building. Expert legal advice will be available to those on-Island needing help with immigration issues. An immigration attorney will be in the office during that time to provide advice and assistance with forms. An appointment is required to speak with the attorney, so for more information or to schedule an appointment, call 508-693-7900, ext. 400 for English, or ext. 410 for English and Portuguese.

Martha’s Vineyard Community Services Island Counseling Center will be hosting a six-week support group for loved ones (18-plus) of those experiencing substance abuse who are seeking an understanding of addictions and support. The first meeting will be on Monday, Feb. 6, from 5 to 6:30 pm at the Island Counseling Center. This group will provide a safe space for loved ones to learn accurate, up-to-date information about addiction, recovery, treatment and its effects, as well as to support one another. Preregistration is required, so call 508-693-7900, ext. 215, to register or for more info.

Bill and Maureen Anderson have received exciting news from their grandson Ian Thompson. Ian is the son of Kristen Anderson and Stephen Thomson, and joined the Peace Corps last year.

He is living in Salemata, Senegal, West Africa, and involved in many projects to help the residents there live a better life. He recently learned that a grant he had applied for regarding a garden project was approved. This will enable the villagers to get a well and fencing so that the

women in the village can plant a community vegetable garden to feed their families, and also to sell for income. He has also been interviewing middle school girls for scholarships, and has started a soccer league for middle school girls. Ian is following in the footsteps of his parents, as they met while volunteers in the Peace Corps, stationed in Niger, many years ago. Thank you, Ian, for doing your part to make this world a better place for many.

This month’s Neighborhood Convention will be held at the First Congregational Church in West Tisbury on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 11 am. The program, by the Rev. Cathlin Baker, will be “The Journey: Reflections on Faith and My Sabbatical Journey.” People of all faiths are invited.

Please bring a bag lunch; beverages and dessert will be provided by the host church.

Our Oak Bluffs library will hold Curious George Storytime on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 10:30 am. The program will be a lively storytime for all who wish to visit the curious little monkey named George. You will also sing, listen to a story, and make a monkey craft.

Valentine’s Day crafts take place at the library on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 10 am. The program includes making a paper bug or an owl that hoots its love. Ideal for kids ages 3 and up who want to make a Valentine’s Day gift.

We send birthday smiles to Emma Williamson on Feb. 3, my grandson Matt Rivers on the 4th, Maureen Anderson and Bella Pasquaino on the 5th, Kelley Irene Pacheco on the 6th, and Chloe Hoyt, Marc Rivers, and Sally Scott on Feb. 7.

Enjoy your week. Peace.