Authors Posts by Katie Carroll

Katie Carroll

Katie Carroll

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Basking sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, are recognized by their huge size, conical snouts, sub-terminal mouths, extremely large gill slits, and curved tails. It is the second largest fish, growing up to about 33 feet long, only surpassed by the whale shark. I was one of the lucky ones who had the opportunity to view one up close on Menemsha Beach last Sunday. I am sorry to say this one had succumbed to the will of the ocean, but it was fascinating to examine it. It appeared to have a long length of line wrapped around its snout — perhaps from a gill net? Brooks and I discussed how we felt a bit like marine biologists asking questions about what may have caused its death, how all of its body parts worked, and so on. It prompted a little research thanks to the power of Google. Read on if you want to know some of the basics that we found out.

They have numerous small teeth which are of little use. Basking sharks open their cavernous mouths wide and are capable of processing about 1,500 gallons of water per hour. This allows water to pass over their gill rakers, which strain small fish, eggs and other tasty bits out of the water for pleasurable consumption. They are often seen feeding near the surface — hence the name sunfish which they are often called. Their bodies can be grayish-brown, slate-gray, or black, sometimes with lighter patches on the dorsal side. They are generally found in temperate waters of both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. According to the little research I did, they have been sighted along almost every coastline bordering both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Along the west coast of North America, they have been sighted from British Columbia to Baja California, usually in the winter and spring months. This trend is reversed in North Atlantic area.

Gather with friends at the Library for yet another installment of the Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire Film Festival. This week’s Free Friday Movie is the 1954 version of “Sabrina.” Humphrey Bogart, William Holden, and Audrey Hepburn star in this Cinderella story directed by renowned filmmaker Billy Wilder. Free admission, popcorn, juice — and all are welcome. Dial 508-645-3360 for more information.

It was a double-header birthday party jamboree this past Sunday. Silas Abrams celebrated his first double-digit birthday, also known as ten, surrounded by the boy posse and his little cousin Hazel Hearn. Hazel, with two older brothers, Hoffie and Harper, can hold her own for sure. Grandfather Nat Benjamin pointed out that little Hazel was the only one to use a napkin. The boys held numerous rounds of capture the flag, which landed most of them in the mud, but they all managed to happily settle down for cake.

Happy number nine to Cali Giglio. Cali’s mom, Lauren, is a great photographic documentarian so, if you weren’t there in person to celebrate but get the chance to look at her pictures, you will feel as if you were there. You will be one with Cali.

Shout out a happy birthday to Susan Stevens, Chilmark School principal, who is celebrating today. Others celebrating this week are Sarah Shipway, Peter Darling, Sara Smestad, Heather Gude, Nicole Cancellare and likely more that I have inadvertently overlooked.

Saturday, January 18, from 7 to 9 pm, step out and enjoy the first Collaborative Arts Installation at Pathways Gathering Space housed within the Chilmark Tavern. Saturday evening’s event honors work, according to Marianne Goldberg that is ” currently in process, or recently realized, as artists and writers embark upon projects in visual arts, videography, performing arts, spoken word, poetry, music, and more.” Kara Taylor, Christopher Wright, Cody Jephcote, James Masek, Ed Schulman, Christine Radant, Nick Fournier, Marianne Goldberg, Joan Lelacheur, Jesse Keller, Richard Skidmore, Christine Radant, William Waterway, Scott Crawford, Rick Padilla, Ted Perry and more with certainly amaze you with the many facets of the artistic world that they each represent. The ArTbaR and Writing Room open at 6 pm for writing, drawing, camaraderie and conversation. All of this for free admission.

Four-day weekend for our kiddos. Do any of you have cool plans?

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Diversity in focus. Does that make sense to any of you? It’s going to be my motto — at least for the time being. I have a broad spectrum of tasks to accomplish. Some are as simple as remembering to pass on a little tidbit of information; others involve coordinating a huge fundraising event for the PTO. Let’s see how many tasks I can touch on here.

First task: Happy belated birthday to another friend and neighbor who celebrated on January 1. Linda Coutinho, you were on my handwritten list, but somehow I overlooked typing your name when I sat to write my column. I hope you have had a warm and happy home with both Zack and Cody under one roof. Throwing Jenna Zechner into the mix must have certainly added to the fun, too. Jenna, while on spring break from Merrimack College, joined the Coutinho clan for a week. She said a week wasn’t nearly long enough.

Second task: Let’s spread the word about the Chilmark School PTO/Outing Program February fundraiser. It’s the party you’ve all been waiting for. Buy your ticket, kick up your heels and get funky with a whole slew of boogie down friends to the tunes of Johnny Hoy & the Bluefish. Another reminder to mark February 8 on your calendars as the date to come out and support the PTO and Outing Programs. The Outing Program has completed 20 years of teaching our children outside the classroom. Sailing, kayaking, and skiing are just a few of the things that make the Chilmark School unique and it’s thanks to all of you for your continued support. Not only are we looking forward to dancing and socializing with you, but we are looking for auction items too. Would you like to donate something? A hand-knit sweater, a jeep tour of your favorite dirt roads, a gift certificate to your shop, guitar lessons, a great book, or anything in between would be fabulous. Give me a shout at the Texaco 508-645-2641 or email me at

Third task: On behalf of all of the wee ones in town I’d like to thank everyone who helped with the Volunteer Firefighter’s Association Christmas Party. In addition to the fire department members, a shout goes out to Warren Doty, Janet Weidner, Linda Coutinho, Ellen Biskis, Holly Norton, Connie Taylor, Mary Boyd, Jessica Roddy, and all of the other peeps who made the night a success.

Fourth task: Pam Goff asked that I please remind you all that Tuesday night soup suppers at the Church are a go once again. Warm your insides with some soup and light fare and your soul with some good conversation. 5:30 pm is the time. The Chilmark Church is the place.

Fifth task: Lovely librarian Irene Tewksbury ask that I remind you all about the winter movie series at the Library. 2014 sparks an Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire

film festival extravaganza. Tomorrow nights showing will be the 1957 classic “Funny Face,” starting at 7 pm. Put on something comfy and get ready to nestle in for a great film along with good company, popcorn, and juice. The film series will continue until March 7. Irene is pretty good about keeping me in the film loop, so I shall do my best to pass the info along.

Sixth task: I know it’s not a Chilmark thing, but I grabbed some info from a Chilmark gal. Zoe Pechter Thompson, the remarkable children’s librarian at the O.B. Library, shares that they will have mini-golf at the library. You needn’t look too far to be amazed by the unique opportunities that magically arise. Friday night is a 21 and up event, from 6 to 9 pm. It’s $18 per person or $30 for a couple. This could be a truly unique date night. Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm is a free family thing with hot cocoa too boot.

Seventh task: Birthday shout-outs to Ryan Kurth, Brigida Larsen, Cody Coutinho, Joshua Thomson, Jeff Lynch, Will Holtham, and many more.

Eighth task: I will leave you with a quote from one of my favorite movies, “Good Will Hunting.” “You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”

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Today is Thursday, January 2, 2014. 2014. It’s going to take me a while to adjust to writing that, since 2013 just started flowing from my pen.

From my perspective, it’s been a relatively peaceful transition between the years. Friends and family have visited, lights have been twinkling in the summer neighbor’s homes and candlelit strolls have been taken through the woods to celebrate the coming of another year.

Sophie, Susan, and Jason Balaban were at their Wayside Farm home visiting from their other life in New Jersey. They decked the halls with a gingerbread house creation, wandered woodland paths and caught up with friends.

The Powell/Miller homestead at Quansoo sat quiet over the holidays as the gang ventured to see family in Arkansas. Adam, Peter, and William all caught a much-needed dose of Powell family goodness.

My mom, Diana Lees, travelled from her home in Waltham to bring hugs to her grandchildren. She hasn’t been to visit in a few months, so she managed to grab a hug from her honorary grandchild, Bella Thorpe.

The Keene clan embarked on their usual Christmas adventure to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, to catch up with the Noyes grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. John, Hillary, Adelaide, Thea, Ella, and Lathrop were missed at the town Christmas party but, as always the Colorado family was thrilled to have their company. They even managed to catch up with our summer friends Grady, Allie, Quinn, Lori, and Craig Keefe since they call Steamboat their winter home.

Congratulations to Prudence Fisher on the birth of her daughter Brooke Elizabeth Peters. Prudence has cared for many of our children over the years. I am sure little Brooke will be well loved and will certainly be comfortable around horses. I am sure we will see her giving winter sleigh rides with her grandfather Freddie in no time flat.

Can’t decide what to have for dinner? Pick up the phone or stop by Menemsha Fish Market. Stanley and Lanette Larsen are celebrating their 10th year of having winter hours. This past weekend, wild salmon was the special at $16 per pound. They always have a special of the day, so give a call to see if it tickles your taste buds or just call ahead for a cooked lobster or two 508-645-2282.

It’s about time to plug the Chilmark School PTO/Outing Program winter fundraiser. The annual event will take place in just about a month’s time. February 8 is the date you need to mark on your calendar. Rock away those winter blues with Johnny Hoy & the Bluefish. The hours are 7 to 11 pm, and the site is the Community Center. There will be a silent auction, live auction, dessert bar, kick-up-your-heels dancing, and so much more. Tickets are $15 and available online at, at the school, at Menemsha Texaco and through all school parents. The PTO is once again looking for auction items, big or small, give me a shout if you’d like to contribute. And, a big thanks to those who have done so in the past.

I will you all happiness, joy and peace in this new year. I look forward to catching up and swapping stories with you in the year to come.

Oh! How could I almost forget! A very happy sixth birthday to Miss Emily Boyd, my most favorite New Year’s baby. And a very happy New Year’s birthday to Sarah Andresen and Jenny Christy. A birthday tune should be sung for Sam Eddy, Steve MacQuiggin, Chris Fischer, Cody Coutinho, Alec Gale, Mathea Morais, and Rebekah Thomson.

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The Leports, Mayhews, Carrolls, Brodericks, Glasgows, Favreaus, Scotts, Bacon/Zacks, the kiddos in the preschool late day program and more licked on candy canes, ate cookies, ran amuck across Beetlebung Farm and sang a few tunes while wassailing about the center of town. We overtook the bank, the post office (Sorry Leigh, I know it’s a busy time of year and we added to the mayhem.), the town hall, the library and Louis Larsen’s front yard and Rena Fischer’s living room. There are a whole lot of verses to many a classic Christmas tune that I never knew until I used the power of the Internet to compile some handy-dandy song sheets.

Valerie Sonnenthal, owner of Peaked Hill Studio, will be teaching two Foot Fitness Workshops at Edgartown’s new yoga studio, Yoga on The Vine, over the holidays. Workshops will offer students time to focus on their feet, reconnect with their feet, and learn how to relax, exercise, and relieve pain in their feet. The two workshops will be held on Friday, December 27, from 12 noon to 2 pm and again in Saturday, December 28. Workshops will be limited to 10 participants. All materials will be provided. Comfortable clothing and pants that can rolled to your knees are suggested. If you are interested, you can sign up through Yoga on the Vine and opt for one or both workshops, $35 each or both for $55. Valerie will be traveling to Portland, Oregon, to train in GYROTONIC® applications for healing and rejuvenating the hands and feet course.

Well wishes go out to Buddy “Uncle Bud” Mayhew. He’s been ailing for a while but, I hope with the assistance of modern medicine and some savvy doctors he will return to his Chilmark home soon.

Condolences to Miss Bella Thorpe on the passing of her sweet bunny, Milkshake. He was an adorable fellow who truly enjoyed his time basking in the sun and the nibble of carrots he was treated to. May his resting spot be visited and looked over by his friendly wild rabbit cousins.

Johnny Graham is back in town for the holidays. He stopped in to the Texaco with good friend Joe DaSilva to catch up on the comings and goings around the harbor. His lovely bride-to-be, Lori Robinett, will join him shortly for a road trip to New Year’s in New York then back across the country to Missouri.

As 2013 begins its journey to the end and the days begin to slowly get a bit longer I leave you with this:

My Christmas wish for you, my friend

Is not a simple one

For I wish you hope and joy and peace

Days filled with warmth and sun

I wish you love and friendship too

Throughout the coming year

Lots of laughter and happiness

To fill your world with cheer

May you count your blessings, one by one

And when totaled by the lot

May you find all you’ve been given

To be more than what you sought

May your journeys be short, your burdens light

May your spirit never grow old

May all your clouds have silver linings

And your rainbows pots of gold

I wish this all and so much more

May all your dreams come true

May you have a Merry Christmas friend

And a Happy New Year, too…

— by Ruth Kephart

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In less than a week the man in red will be squeezing down chimneys to leave treasures for our children. The Chilmark Volunteer Firefighters have held their annual party as did the Library. Lights are glistening and sparkling all over town. Trees, wreaths, and poinsettias deck the halls along with boughs of holly. Gingerbread houses have been decorated and likely nibbled by little elves. Christmas cards are making their way to mailboxes around the globe. Mistletoe is hung in doorways for smoochable guests. Fires burn in wood stoves and fireplaces while families gather to tell stories of Christmas past, present and future.

Do you have a story you would like to share? Something historic? Something about your present day holiday plans? Email me: ’tis the time to share of ourselves.

Are you still shopping? I know I am. There’s a great opportunity to pick up some goodies from your favorite local vendors at the Winter Farmer’s Market this Saturday, December 21, from 10 am to 1 pm You can find goodies for gifts and few things for yourself, too. Thank you to Linda Alley for always keeping me posted.

Billie Hancock arrived this week, after a shopping pit stop on the South Shore with daughter Buffy, to celebrate the holidays with her dear grandson, Christian Carroll. Buffy, Gil, and Christian will be sure to have the wood stove cranked up to keep Grannnie’s Florida bones warm. She always has such a nice time visiting with dear friends and family when she’s back up north.

The Chilmark School kids will be caroling around the center of town today with anyone that cares to join in the fun. A short stroll, a few classic songs and some hot cocoa will certainly boost the holiday spirit. Care to join? The group will gather at 3 pm outside the CCC to begin the journey. Bring a red hat and some bells to add to the merriness.

Pam Goff reminds us all that there will be a traditional candlelight service of lessons and carols at Chilmark Church, Christmas Eve at 5 pm. Sandra Atwood will bring her golden harp for all to enjoy. The children will fill the crèche and, as always, all are most welcome. Because of the holidays, there will be no soup supper Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, but it will resume service at 5:30 pm Tuesday, January 7.

Don’t forget to reach out to Janet Weidner and Tom Ruimerman, 508-645-7830, if you are interested in contributing to our USCG Station Menemsha family’s Christmas Eve dinner. Contributing some tasty food and good cheer will certainly boost the morale of those who stand watch on December 24.

Belated birthday wishes to Hope MacLeod. She had her cake before they depart for a Christmas in New Brunswick with Finnegan and Linden’s paternal side of the family.

Welcome back to the Glasgow family who travelled to North Carolina to help celebrate Molly’s brother’s 50th. She, Jakie, Noah, and Eric were thankful for the jumpstart they had at Logan upon their return but felt rather disappointed to find out that Pie in the Sky was having their staff party as they rolled through Woods Hole. There were no delicious goodies to tide them over during their wait to board the ferry.

Looking for a way to burn off a little bit of that mince pie or Christmas goose? Put on some comfy clothes and head down to the Yoga Collective at Co-Housing for Boxing Day yoga with Mollie Doyle. The class (9-10:30 am) is monetarily free but a donation of something for Chicken Alley Thrift Shop is requested. Reconnect with your inner self and some friends to boot.

Ghostlike in appearance, patient in personality, territorial, and defenders of their offspring describes the snowy owl. This beautiful Arctic breeder has been spotted in town and captured on film recently by many photographers. Soaring over Squibnocket, around Beetlebung Farm, and perched along tree lines, they are a glorious sight to see. These diurnal carnivorous birds’ average lifespan is about nine and a half years and their wingspan is about four and a half feet. They are a welcome addition to the wintery sky that has hunkered down around us.

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Santa’s elves have been hard at work preparing for the man in the red suit to make a pit stop at the CCC next Wednesday. Yes, six days from now Christmas will officially being in Chilmark. I know, I know, many of you have your lights up and trees have taken center stage in many a living room but, what really marks the season for me is the Chilmark Volunteer Firefighter’s Association Christmas Party. A sleigh to sit in, hot mulled cider, a treat bag and snacks and sweets brought by all of you to share and excited faces on small children makes me want to crank up the Bing Crosby and Burl Ives. It doesn’t matter what faith you are nor does it matter if you believe in Santa but, what does matter, is that you believe in community and keeping up with tradition.

For many, many, decades the guys that may seem a little gruff and sometimes a little surly pull out all of the stops for our town’s children. A volunteer firefighter treks up to the North Pole in the fire truck — since the reindeer are resting for their upcoming worldwide flight — buckles Santa into the front seat, and drives him back to the CCC in order to have a meet and greet with our kids. He hands out gifts that the fire department has purchased for all of the wee ones residing in Chilmark. We couldn’t expect the elves to make more just for us. They have been working around the clock as it is. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for next Wednesday night. Please, if you live in Chilmark, have a child under the age of fifth grade, and haven’t attended in the past, please let me know.

Years ago another town tradition began. Townspeople have put together a Christmas Eve dinner for the Coast Guard to show appreciation. Donations of appetizers, drinks (cider and soda), potatoes or other vegetables, salad are coordinated through Tom Ruimerman and Janet Weidner. Contact them at 508-645-7830. People generally drop items off at the Coast Guard station on Christmas Eve afternoon, but Tom and Janet will accept items earlier in the week if you are headed off Island for the holidays.

The folks at the library have their holiday spirit too. A reminder that December is fine-free month. Bring back your overdue items along with a donation to the Food Pantry and your debts will be erased. The annual holiday open house is the same night that Santa visits, so the center of town will be a hopping place. You can find refreshments, family crafts, and music on Decmber 18, 4:30–6 pm.

Also, from now until December 28 the library will be holding its used book sale. For a small fee you can find some great hardcovers, paperback, movies, and audio books. If you are really looking for a bargain, anything left over from December 24–28 is free. Yes, you read that correctly, free.

Since we are sort of on that gift-giving theme, I’ll remind you about the Christmas Chilmark Flea Market on Saturday and Sunday, December 14 and 15, from 10 am to 3 pm. Many of the summer vendors will be there, happy, for a change, not to worry about the chance of rain on North Road. There will be Christmas items, but also lobster rolls and chowder by the lobster roll ladies of the Chilmark Church. It will surely be a sweet spot to find one-of-a-kind gifts, have lunch, and catch up with friends.

Gabe Ambulos, along with his dad, Perry, and teammates from his soccer team travelled to New York this past weekend to take on some of the top nationally ranked teams at the Massapequa College Showcase. Gabe and his team had quite an adventure over the weekend. They played in the cold, won a couple of games, advanced to the semi-finals, dined on New York cuisine, beat the team that was ranked 24th in the country, and gained a whole lot of attention from the soccer elite. Sadly, they lost their final game in an overtime shootout, but Gabe came home happy and full of stories for his mom, Mary.

A few birthday shouts go out to Jesse Keller, Dickie Vincent, Bob Lunbeck, Barbara Rivers, Sophie Parker, Jakie Glasgow, and Hunter Broderick.

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It doesn’t quite have its foot in the door, but winter has managed to make its way to the front stoop. The rays of light grow shorter and colder, but the drummers drumming, the ladies dancing, and the partridge in the pear tree are sure to bring warmth to your heart and your hearth. Yes, I declare we’ve rolled up our sleeves and dived right in to the holiday season.

The gift giving begins with the library offering its fine free month. This is your big chance to find and return those old movies, magazines and paperbacks you may have accidentally tucked under the TV stand or under your bed. All outstanding fines are forgiven if you donate non-perishable food items for the Island Food Pantry. Tie up a loose end and feel good about contributing to a friend in need at the same time.

Not only is it time to clear up any whoopsadaisies you may have with the library, but it’s time to make the annual pilgrimage to County Road in Oak Bluffs to view the Gatchells’ amazing light display. From what I hear, their lights are on from 5:30–8 pm. Don’t forget, they too have a drop box for the Food Pantry.

The first of the December Winter Farmers Markets is this Saturday, December 7, at the Ag Hall from 10 am to 1 pm. Who knows what you might find to stash away in your pantry or wrap up at this gift-giving time of year. I’m grateful to Linda Alley for always keeping me in the loop in regards to the Farmer’s Market schedule.

Thanksgiving was the right time for friends to make the pilgrimage to town for a long weekend of food and frolic. The Parker clan, consisting or David, Becky (Harrison), Sophie, Meghan, Phoebe, and Isabel, made the journey from Carlisle. They feasted and took strolls with some favorite family members. John, Hillary, Adelaide, Thea, Ella, and Lathrop Keene took on the role of host family. Dinnertime fun included more family favorites. One of the most handsome young men in town, year and a half old Liam Keene, and don’t forget his mom Emily Drazen and dad Peter were in the mix too.

The Frank family swooped in for a festive family get together at their Sheep Hill Road home. Scott, Jennifer, Sophia, Lukas, and Stella had some quality family time and some brisk walkabouts at Hancock Beach. And yes, Stella, 16 and the youngest, gulp, was behind the steering wheel.

The extended Scott family reconvened over the holiday. Malia (Scott), Chris, Eva, Theo and Quinn Stanley cruised down from Dorchester to dine at the Scott family table. Brooks was a bit disappointed we didn’t manage a get together with Theo but, alas, our off-Island adventure and their on-Island adventures just didn’t jibe.

Although I didn’t see them, Susan, Jason, and Sophie Balaban were at their Wayside home to give thanks. I think I can safely say both woodland and beach walks took up a lot of their time.

Are you looking for a way to warm yourself on a chilly night? The Chilmark Church has begun its winter soup suppers. Tuesday evenings at 5:30 pm is when the door unlocks and something warm and hearty awaits your belly. All are welcome to join for food and conversation. Thanks to Pam Goff for the reminder.

Don’t forget, the Chilmark Preschool is selling bottles (and cases) of maple syrup for their winter fundraiser. Orders are due next Monday. Give Lindsey Scott a shout at or 508-648-1353 to order or track down a preschool parent.

One more reminder, the Chilmark Volunteer Firefighter’s Association will host its annual town children’s Christmas party on December 18. Now is your chance to help me update Santa’s list of children living in town, newborn through fifth grade. Shoot me off an email if you know of someone new to town that Santa needs to be made aware of — The man in red is pretty busy at this time of year, so he sure does appreciate any assistance you fine town folk may be willing to offer.

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On this day we give our thanks and set the table to fill our tanks.

When you sit down be sure to hush, not make a sound but ask everyone to share a thought even if they’re not profound.

Before you indulge be sure to listen to everyone’s thoughts and ambitions.

Take a moment to turn your thought to appreciate what is important, like friends, family and neighbors you may have forgot.

Reflect on the past, look forward to the future there a young ones we need to raise and nurture.

Thankfulness is a quality that no one should lack, we should all do kind things and always give back.

My goal is to some how brighten someone’s day, as they stroll and go along their way.

Thankfulness should be inherent, so there really is no reason, why we can’t all be thankful, during this Thanksgiving season.

The Chilmark Preschool is kicking off their maple syrup holiday fundraiser. Various quantities of ArtCliff Diner’s Grade A syrup from Sweet Brook Farm in Williamstown is available for purchase in 8-, 16-, and 32-ounce bottles single or by the case would certainly make perfect gifts for just about anyone — teachers, employee, hostess, holiday gifts, stocking stuffers, etc. The proceeds from all sales support the Chilmark Preschool. Are you interested in doing some easy and tasty shopping? Orders must be placed by December 9, so be sure to contact Lindsey Scott at or 508-648-1353 to do so.

A notice from town hall: Chilmark’s Squibnocket Beach and parking area and the causeway running from Squibnocket Road through the parking lot to the Squibnocket Farm residences have experienced significant impacts from coastal erosion due to rising mean high tide levels and more frequent and severe storms. The board of selectmen, the Squibnocket Farm Association and the Vineyard Open Land Foundation have been working together to seek a long-term concept and proposal that responds to this rapidly changing environment. The concept includes: expansion of the town’s leased portion of Squibnocket Beach, relocation of the beach parking area, an elevated roadway, and more. The Chilmark board of selectmen plan to present the current concept and receive public comment on Tuesday, December 3 at 7 pm at the Chilmark Library. Contact Chuck Hodgkinson at the town hall with your questions.

In need of another shop-local Saturday idea? In addition to Scott McDowell’s Copperworks on Basin Road, you can find the well-balanced team of Colin Ruel and Nettie Kent sharing their wares at Colin’s grandmother Roberta Morgan’s Harbor Craft Shop where there will be an amazing display of Colin’s painting and Nettie’s jewelry from 12 noon to 4:30 pm.

Yeehah — You go girls! Phoebe and Isabel, daughters of Rebecca (Harrison) and David Parker, frequent Menemsha visitors, ran in New York with their Carlisle teammates at the USA Track & Field-Regionals. Their team must have had their shoes laced tightly as they earned a spot at the USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships in San Antonio, Texas, on December 14.

Congratulations to proud grandfather Jonias Assis, the handiest of men at the Menemsha Inn, on the birth of his first granddaughter, Isabella.

Various birthdays abound so I wish a happy happy to: Jim Policastro, Jennifer Grace, Carol Merry, Perry Ambulos, Tori Shanok Dolan, Isaiah Scheffer, Philippa Rolins, Louis Larsen, a slightly belated 91st to Trudy Taylor, and any of you that I may have missed along the way.

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‘Tis the season to be thankful. What are you thankful for? Perhaps friends and family top your list. Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones who claims good health. Maybe it’s the simplicity of having a good day with a few minutes to yourself to reflect on what you have accomplished — even if it was something as uncomplicated folding fresh laundry. Good food and drink, warm shelter, a loving pet, a favorite book to read or song to listen to are all things that may top your list.

This is also a time of year that provides opportunities to give of yourself. Consider participating in the Family-to-Family program. For $25 you can purchase a complete Thanksgiving meal for a family in need. This meal includes a turkey, bags of apples, oranges, carrots, potatoes, and onions, along with a squash, stuffing mix, pumpkin pie mix, cranberry sauce and eggs. Please send checks to Vineyard Committee on Hunger, PO Box 4685, Vineyard Haven, 02568 and indicate it is for F2F in the memo field on the check. What a great way to share at Thanksgiving.

What comes up quickly after the turkey and all of the fixin’s have filled your belly? Those gift giving holidays are fast approaching and there are plenty of opportunities to shop for unique items nearby.

Scott McDowell has been busy tapping copper at the Copperworks on Basin Road. You can find Scott or Annette, or perhaps on occasion both, in the shop seven days a week. Monday through Thursday the heat is on and the door is unlocked from 12 noon to 3 pm. Friday through Sunday, their hours are a bit longer, 11 am to 4:30pm. Great holiday gifts are available and shopping can be done through December 31.

Featherstone will open November 22, through December 19 for its 11th Annual Holiday Gift Show. Dozens of Island artists will provide what easily could be a one-stop shopping event for those of you who are a bit leery of pounding the pavement looking for just the right something for Grandpa Joe or Grandma Georgina. The preview party will be held Friday November 22, 6–8 pm. Regular hours will be from 12 noon to 4 pm daily with the exception of Thanksgiving.

In the wake of last spring’s fire at the Grey Barn and Farm the Glasgows had to close their farm stand and draw from within to begin the process of evaluating and rebuilding. The sign is back up at 22 South Road and, without further adieu, the stand is, once again, open daily from 7 am to 7 pm. Organic raw milk along with pork, beef, and eggs are ready to make their way to your stomachs.

Rick and Kim Simonsen were down this past weekend to put their Flanders Lane home to bed for the winter.

Jessica and Mariah Campbell are no longer children. It’s hard to believe that those little girls that used to put on musical performances in my living room, hold dance parties, paint nails and bake cookies during their many, many sleepovers and always leave socks and sometimes shoes behind are now 18. On a serious note, according to the 26th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, they have acquired the right to vote. They will graduate from high school in the spring and head off to college in the fall. How did this happen so fast? This is a very real reminder of the fact that my very own daughter is only a short distance behind. Happy Birthday Riah and Jess. My, how you’ve grown.

There has been some noise and excitement at Native Earth Teaching Farm this past week. At least two of their young barn owls have taken to the sky on their first flights. These lanky birds with their pale bodies and big eyes are strictly nocturnal silent predators. Go outside, listen for their trill raspy call. It’s what you expect to hear on a dark fall night. When you hear them, you know they are out on the hunt. Perhaps you are lucky enough to have one near you eliminating the abundance of rats and mice this time of year.

The Chilmark School kids are headed to Native Earth tomorrow. Randy and Rebecca have some fun plans for them and maybe a story about their owls taking flight will find its way into conversation.

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I don’t know about you, but at this time of year, which is chockablock full of holidays and such, I must do a little planning ahead. The calendar is beginning to fill. A few of the notations on my calendar may be of interest to you.

First of all, grades two through five will head off tomorrow for a day long adventure at America’s premier living history museum. Although William Bradford’s journal Of Plymouth Plantation (the story of the Pilgrims from 1608-1647) may be a tad too complex for their young souls to appreciate, a wander back in time at Plimoth Plantation is right up their alley. Jackie, Jennifer, and Gretchen’s students will take in the 17th century English village, the Wampanoag homesite, the Mayflower II, and more. I hope they go with lots of questions and return with plenty of answers.

This Saturday, November 16, is the fourth winter Farmer’s Market at the Agricultural Hall from 10 am to 1 pm. According to Linda Alley, it’s time to order all your fixin’s for Thanksgiving dinner. You will find soups, turkeys, pies, baked goods, cranberry condiments and plenty of winter veggies. And, don’t forget, some of our favorites, Ethel and Ralph Sherman will be on hand with some of their goodies and, if you are lucky, a quick moment to chat between sales.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, do any of you have plans you’d like to share? Are you venturing off Island to Uncle Jim and Aunt Jane’s? Are you tending your fire and rising early to put a slow-roasting turkey in the oven? Will you wake the visiting family and friends with its warm, juicy aroma? Do tell.

The school children are preparing, along with phys ed teacher Channon Capra, for their annual Turkey Trot. Tuesday, November 26, they will lace up their running shoes, don their sweatbands and race down Middle Road from Beetlebung Corner to the end of Keith Field and back. Parents, friends, neighbors, and alums are welcome to join or cheer. Alums are welcome for the trot but need to be chaperoned by a parent or designated guardian. If your kiddo is a Chilmark School graduate and wants to continue on with the tradition please call Susan Stevens at the school for the low down, 508-645-2562.

Miss Emily Boyd, the five-year-old offspring of Mary and Jonathan, ventured to New England Sports Academy with her team from Island Gymnastics Training where she participated in a fun meet. Emily competed in bars, vault, floor, and beam. Although she was the youngest competitor there, she made a rock-solid showing, taking home all third and fourth place ribbons. Nice going, Emily. Next time I see you we shall exchange high-fives.

The offseason Library Cafe is open again. Coffee, tea, cocoa, and cookies are available in the meeting room during regular library hours. Cozy up with a cup to warm your insides. Nestle in with a good read to broaden your mind. Chat with a friend or two as you watch the seasons changing through the window. Do it all at the Library.

It might seem a bit early, but the Firefighter’s Association is preparing for Santa’s visit to our children next month. Santa has asked for an updated list of the children in town from newborn through fifth grade. So, if you’ve added a wee one to your mix or if you are new to town (since last December) please email me with your kids’ info. To the rest of you moms and pops, if you have any questions regarding the upcoming visit from the big guy in red, don’t hesitate to shoot me off an email. Wednesday, December 18, is the big night.

Oh, and since we’re on the topic of relaying information, email is the ideal method to get in touch with me. After multiple issues with our home phone going in and out of service with no apparent rhyme or reason we have jumped into the 21st century and gone completely cellular. Email me That’s my chosen method of communique. But, if you are Bill Edison or would like to be Bill Edison-like, a hand-written note on yellow lined paper in a sealed white envelope would be a joy to receive.

I’d like to wish my fellow columnist, Molly Purves, a very happy birthday week. May all the wishes you made when you blew out your candles come true.