Authors Posts by Megan Alley

Megan Alley

Megan Alley
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Listen carefully, everyone, and remember the following: This summer, when the temperature and humidity rise higher and higher, and we are all feeling like oversoaked sponges, exhausted as the heat saps us of all energy, no one, absolutely no one, is allowed to say, “Oh, I can hardly wait for winter and colder weather.”

Meanwhile, half of what used to be our free time has been eaten up by shoveling our way out of our houses and to our cars to enable us to be mobile again. But just be grateful if your job does not involve having to be able to access the streets and side roads across the Island, perhaps to deliver heating fuel, packages, mail, or even medical assistance. If I had to write an essay on “How I spent my winter,” it would read: “Look out window, sigh, shovel, work on jigsaw puzzle, read four books, cancel appointments, build wood-stove fire as subfreezing temps cause my heat to fail every few days, keep letting dog out, keep calling and looking for dog who is enamored of all the snow and apparently feeling she has to check on every tree in the woods in back of the house, and of course, open refrigerator door every hour on the hour.”

The work on the new Oak Bluffs Fire Station is creeping along, and how they are able to work in this weather is beyond me, but working they are.

Carol Carr Dell and a few friends decided to head to the Plane View Restaurant at the airport last week. Suddenly, one of the group said, “This is the first time in a month I have been out of Oak Bluffs.” I am sure this has happened to many people these past months. They were treated to a few humorous signs when they arrived at their destination. The first was a sign on a snow-covered bench outside the entry to the Plane View looking toward the runway that read, “No sitting on bench until summer.” Then someone told them that the previous sign read, “Snow View Restaurant.” At least some still have a sense of humor in this mess.

School has reopened after winter break, and students have returned to school and town. On Tuesday, March 10, there will be a professional development day; all students will be dismissed at noon.

Our Oak Bluffs library offers some interesting programs. At 1 pm on Tuesday, March 10, you can enjoy Movie Afternoon, featuring the family comedy, The Boxtrolls, which is rated PG.

Also on Tuesday, the Graphic Novel Book Club will meet at 7 pm. This month’s selection is Kill My Mother by Jules Feiffer.

And you can enjoy more movies at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse on March 9 at 7:30 pm, with the film Desk Set, a delightful 1957 comedy about a TV research department being replaced by computers. A battle of wits ensues between the department head and the computer firm’s engineer.

There’s a couple of great events coming up for the animal lovers out there, courtesy of the Oak Bluffs Council on Aging. On Monday, March 9, the OBCOA hosts a “Service Dogs Demystified” program at 1 pm. Service dogs are a valuable tool for helping those with disabilities, but do you really know what defines a dog as a service dog? This is a one-hour presentation on what makes an animal a service animal under the current regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as on some of the tasks service animals can be trained to perform. Then on Monday, March 23, at 1 pm, the OBCOA will host a program about ”Building Simple Mental Enrichment Toys for your Companion Animal,” which will show you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create toys for the animal friend in your home. Both programs will be led by animal handler Karen Ogden.

Pat and Kerry Alley, accompanied by their niece Kati Alley, traveled to Glastonbury, Conn., last week to visit their daughter and son-in law, Sarah and Jack Lavolette, and their children. They too have been inundated with snowstorms this winter. After a few days in Connecticut, the group went to South Hadley, where they were the guests of daughter Rachel Alley, Greer, and their children, Jonas and Drew. Former Oak Bluffs residents Charlie and Gaynell Downs joined them for dinner one night, and everyone had a fun evening catching up on the latest news.

We send birthday smiles to Bill Rankin on the 9th, Vicky White on the 10th, and Cindy Krauss on the 11th. Willie deBettencourt, Pauline Gregory, Janice Rose, and Molly deBettencourt share the 12th. Enjoy your week. Peace.

Megan-AlleyAre we there yet? Meaning, Are we almost at the end of this stormy, snowy winter? The snow and ice have brought many planned activities to a screeching halt, but there are blessings scattered here and there also.

For instance, I have found that my car’s gas consumption has been cut in half, because after observing the “weather du jour,” it seems to make more sense to remain home. The automatic-opening doors to the emergency entrance of the hospital have become quite finicky in these extremely low temperatures. On that freezing cold day last week, they would not slide open when someone approached, although maintenance personnel had worked on them tirelessly.

Later that afternoon we heard a crash, and much to everyone’s surprise a large deer had run directly into the doors. If the doors had been working properly, the deer would have run right into the emergency room waiting area. Apparently the deer was uninjured, and ran quickly across the parking lot and disappeared, while we all looked at each other wondering if it had really happened.

ACE MV classes are starting for the spring session and, hopefully, that must mean that winter is winding down. The classes start on March 3; you can sign up at acemv.org or by calling 508-693-9222. Among the many classes being offered are Fertilizer Safety Certificate (UMass, Amherst), Pesticide Licensure, Understanding Tick and Mosquito Control, ServSafe Food Handling, Financial Planning, History of Cuba (Fitchburg State), Cooking and more.

The Oak Bluffs School spelling bee was held Tuesday, Feb. 17. The competitors were from grades 4–8. Sixth grader Zack Smith and fourth grader Nora Riemer were the finalists. In the end, Nora spelled “phonics” to make it to her championship word, “ipso facto.” The Oak Bluffs School congratulates Nora, and looks forward to supporting her at the Island-wide spelling bee, which will be held on Friday, March 13, at 9:30 am at the MVRHS Performing Arts Center.

Schools are closed this week for winter break, and will reopen on Monday, March 2.

Last week, due to an editing error, some of the information in the item I wrote about Susan Von Steiger was left out. Susan was the outreach coordinator for the Oak Bluffs Senior Center for close to 20 years. She recently retired from that position. Last week, a group of Susan’s friends, 19 in number, wanted her to be recognized for her longtime service to our seniors and the town. So her friends decided to honor her themselves by taking her to lunch at the Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Co. They had a wonderful time sharing many laughs and memories. Congratulations, Susan, and we hope you enjoy your retirement.

We send birthday smiles to Earl Peters on the 27th, Heather Ferreira on March 2, Reggie Kriszewski and Kathie Case on the 3rd. Alison Ferreira, Amy Billings and Christine Buckley celebrate on the 4th, and Marguerite Cogliano on March 5.

Enjoy your week, and stay warm and safe. Peace.

Monday morning, and the temperature is now up to 4 degrees, and what a surprise I woke up to this morning. Only 52 degrees inside my house, because sometime during the night my heater broke. But the sun came out, and when I got home from work, the heater was working again, so Molly the lab and I are starting to get warm.

In the midst of all this snow this month, I was thinking Sunday that we here on the Island have much to be thankful for. In spite of the cold and ice, the highway department personnel have tirelessly kept plowing, digging, and sanding the roads to make them safe for us and travel possible. Delivery people are still managing to bring us our packages, and everyone is struggling to make sure we have what we need. Thank you to all of you who do this for all of us.

Like so many other events that had to be postponed because of the snow, the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse production, “Wicked Good Winter Cabaret,” has been rescheduled for Saturday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available online at mvplayhouse.org.

A Fit in ’15 program, Guided Visualization, will be held at our Oak Bluffs library on Saturday, Feb. 21, from 1 pm to 2 pm. Learn the basics of this technique for help with anxiety and more. Dress comfortably. This a program for adults and older teens.

Wow: 1,414! That is the number of food items the Oak Bluffs School second grade collected and delivered to the Island Food Pantry. This would not have been possible without the generosity and work of many students and their families.

The school wants parents to be aware that in the event of a local outbreak of any vaccine-preventable illness, students who are not completely immunized — meaning they have received all required doses — will be excluded from school for a period of time. The duration of school exclusion varies with each vaccine-preventable illness, but in the case of measles, nonimmunized students will be excluded for a minimum of 21 days. If your child is missing doses of required vaccines, or if you are unsure if your child is up to date, please contact your child’s health care provider. For more of the most current and accurate measles information, please check the Centers for Disease Control web site: cdc.gov/measles.

Susan Von Steiger has recently retired from her position as outreach coordinator for the Oak Bluffs senior center. Last week a group of 19 women from the senior center honored Susan by taking her to lunch at the Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Co. What a great way to show their appreciation to Susan for her years of hard work and devotion.

Congratulations to Richard and Lorraine Mavro, who celebrate 66 years of marriage today, Feb. 19. Hope you celebrate in style.

We send birthday smiles to Brenda Lehman and Linda Scott on the 21st, and Katy Marchand and Rita Jeffers on the 22nd. Melanie Marchand, Kristen MacLean, and Paul Buckley Jr. share the 23rd, and Benjamin Peters, Wendy Macey and Linda Rice celebrate on the 25th.

Enjoy your week, and remember that next week is school-vacation week on the Island, so many kids will be about — and it looks like they will be sledding a lot! Peace.

One look out the window this Monday morning says it all. Everywhere I look the scenery is white, and more snow is coming. It will stop sometime. It always does, but in the meantime, here are a few reminders that will make life a little easier for everyone. If you have a hydrant near your house, please shovel it out, so if it is needed the fire department will have quick access to it. Check on your neighbors to make sure they are well and have heat and food, and remember the streets and sidewalks are coated with ice under all the new snow that is still falling. Most of us have now learned to do the “penguin waddle” as we maneuver over the icy paths.

Carol Christopher Clark is very grateful to everyone who donated to or attended her fundraiser. As a result of your generosity, she has been able to resolve some of the medical expenses that were incurred during her extended medical treatments. Thankfully, Carol is now in remission from her illness.

Back in the day — way, way back in the day actually — Saturday-night movies at the Capawock Theatre in Vineyard Haven were our wintertime entertainment. Now the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, along with Island Entertainment, has launched a Monday Night at the Movies program. On Feb. 6 at 7:30 pm, the feature will be Batman, the Movie. So venture out on that night and enjoy 105 minutes of constant action and excitement that will bring a pleasant interruption to this dreary winter.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum has a new exhibit, “Victorian Secrets.” The museum is exploring underwear’s place in history. “Victorian Secrets” will open on Friday, Feb. 13, with a reception from 5 pm to 7 pm in the Museum Galleries. Admission is free to members and $7 for nonmembers. The exhibit will be open through May 25.

Here is a story to warm your hearts in these cold days. Jodie and Bob Falkenburg decided to use their Christmas gift card for Offshore Ale last week to celebrate 65 years since their first date. While seated in the restaurant, they mentioned to the waiter that this was a special night, and told him why. Two men seated at the next table asked them if it were really true that they had their first date 65 years ago, and they told them it certainly was. They enjoyed their dinner, and when they asked the waiter for the bill, he said that the men sitting next to them had already taken care of it. Needless to say, they were overwhelmed by such a generous act from people they didn’t even know. The Falkenburgs are hoping that perhaps the men read this column and then will know how much they appreciated their generosity.

More interesting programs are coming up at our Oak Bluffs library. The Valentine Party for Kids will take place on Saturday, Feb. 14, from 10 am to 12 noon. There will be special crafts, candy, and more at this event for all ages. Enjoy Hearts and Hot Chocolate, also on Saturday, from 10 am to 2 pm. You can write a valentine to your favorite character in literature, and the best valentine wins a prize.

Birthday smiles for February to Woodside Village residents Rita Reynolds, Dennis Morrow, Glenda Cataloni, Ada Macomber, Rosemary Brown, Norman Either, Jeffrey Sullivan, John Bettencourt, Jack Shimmelman, Anne Sylvester, and Elaine Goldin. Smiles to Tory Pasqualino on Feb. 13, Susan Christopher on the 14th, brothers Eric and Michael deBettencourt and Lorraine Mavro on the 15th, Carol deBettencourt, Kathy Farrissey, and Fr. Michael Nagle on the 16th, and Carrie Tankard and Joel Rebello on the 18th.

Bring your hearts to the Linden Tree

Please join Sense of Wonder Creations’ young people this Saturday, Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, from 10 am to 2 pm and after to place your homemade heart (make it waterproof if possible, or we can help with that) on the Linden Tree on Main Street in Vineyard Haven (next to Capawock), with your heartfelt hopes, dreams, or prayers for your family, friends, the world, or anyone you know who is in need. Then it is up to you and universal love to make your valentine promise come true. See you on Saturday. Write Pam Benjamin with any questions: psb@senseofwondercreations.org.

Enjoy your week, and don’t forget your special Valentine person Saturday. Peace.

What an experience this last week has been. Snowbound for most of last week, I was feeling as if I were in another world consisting of absolutely no color but white. Being forewarned, I felt I was well prepared with food, water, flashlights, battery lanterns, and wood for my wood stove in case I lost power, but one important item I had forgotten. My snow shovel was safely stored in the woodshed, and I was about two feet too short to get through the snow to reach it. It wasn’t as if I planned to shovel miles of snow, but it would have worked much better than the broom I had to use to push snow away from my doors in order to open them. Tuesday night, grandson Matt came by in attempt to plow me out, but the snow was too high and too heavy to move. He quickly shoveled a path to the front door and a space for my lab Molly to get to, and said a Bobcat was needed to clear the driveway. My kids and grandkids kept a check on me and brought me groceries, which were needed, as I was housebound until Thursday night when Marc Rivers of SOS Services came with his Bobcat and I was FREE! So I stayed home, but had plenty to occupy my mind, between looking out at the snow and my nonelectronic “toys,” books and a jigsaw puzzle I dug out of the corner of a seldom-used closet. I am still working on the puzzle, and it has replaced television as my source of entertainment.

Our library will hold an author’s talk with Al Woollacott on Saturday, Feb. 7, at  2 pm. He will read from his book, The Immigrant. A question-and-answer session will follow. Refreshments will be served. And here is a sweet treat for the kids: the Valentine Cookie Decorating for Kids program. It will be on Saturday, Feb. 7, 10 am to 12 noon, and they may make a special cookie for someone. All ages are welcome to attend. The Graphic Novel Book Club meets Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 7 pm, when they will discuss Pyongyang by Guy Delisle.

Remember, back in the day, when ham and bean suppers were the primary fundraising events for many organizations? Well, here is your chance to enjoy them again. The First Baptist Church in Vineyard Haven will be serving ham, baked beans, coleslaw, cornbread, dessert, and a beverage. Takeout is available, and there will be a free-will offering. This great supper will be held on Saturday, Feb. 7, at 6 pm.

The Oak Bluffs School seventh grade ski trip was postponed due to the blizzard. It has been rescheduled for Feb. 9, starting at 5 pm, until Thursday Feb. 12 at 6 pm.

Here are a few programs that might be of interest to many of you. It’s the big T (tax) time again, and the AARP Tax Aide Program, which provides trained volunteers to offer you assistance with filing annual federal taxes, will be starting up. Volunteers will be at the Oak Bluffs Library on March 3, March 27, and April 1. Call Rose Cogliano at 508-693-4509, ext. 3, to make an appointment. The volunteers are also offering assistance in other towns, so call local Councils on Aging in your towns for more info.

Our Y is offering a new program called the Memory Café. It is a social club for people experiencing memory loss who want the opportunity for social connections and friendships. Itwill meet Thursday mornings, starting today through June 25. For more info and times, call the Y.

We send birthday smiles to Maureen Anderson, and Bella Pasqualino today, Kelly Irene Pacheco on the 6th, Chloe Hoyt, Marc Rivers, and Sally Scott on the 7th, Adam Barmakian, Nelson deBettencourt, and Richard J. Mavro on the 10th, Juanita Suarez Espino and Cody Pachico on the 11th, and Melissa Kalagher and Simone Davis on the 12th.

Please drive carefully through these wintery episodes, and keep your eyes on your neighbors, checking on the housebound to make sure they are safe and warm.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

On this cold and snowy Monday as I am writing, everyone is preparing for a winter blizzard that is predicted to be one of historic proportions. Hopefully it will not be as severe as predicted, but better safe than sorry. My children and grandchildren have seen that I am well supplied with wood for the stove, and plan to plow out the driveway; they have given me strict orders not to try to drive my car before the storm is over. I have whatever I need, so no need to venture outside, but my yellow Lab and I have to come to an agreement about how often she has to go out.

The Martha’s Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative’s fifth annual Job Shadow Day and reception will be held on Friday, Jan. 30, from 5:30 pm to 7 pm. The reception will be hosted by the Harbor View Hotel for invited guests, MVYLI parents, mentors, and supporters, and the MVYLI Advisory Council. The MVYLI youth will work with their mentors from 2:15 pm to 5 pm. The Pat Gregory award will be presented at the reception. Pat was a mentor for the first MVYLI Job Shadow Day in 2010, and a longtime supporter of the initiative. Pat’s family will be present for this special occasion. You may RSVP to mvyouthleaders@gmail.com.

Condolences to the family of Bea Viera, who died this past week. She will be missed by family and many friends.

This winter, the Martha’s Vineyard Museum is giving three different classes from the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School the opportunity to guest-curate their own exhibits. The first opening will be Friday, Jan. 30, with a reception from 5 pm to 7 pm, when Chris Baer’s photography class will unveil “Oak Bluffs Portraits: As Time Goes By” at the Pease House Galleries at the museum. Admission to the reception is free to all. The exhibit will be up for the entire month of February.

My granddaughter Talia Rogers and John Gibson greeted their son Eagan Gibson in the wee hours of Monday, giving me my fourth great-grandchild. Eagan weighed in at 6 pounds, 8 ounces and was lovingly greeted by his older brother Isaiah and grandparents, uncles, aunts, and numerous cousins. What great fun!

The Oak Bluffs School changed the schedule for the ski trip because of a winter storm that  was scheduled to impact the Island last Monday evening. It was predicted to be a significant storm, so they left on the ski trip on Monday morning, ahead of the storm. They did not add additional nights to this trip, so they will return a day earlier than planned. You have to be flexible to live in New England, and especially on the Island.

Maureen and Bill Anderson have returned from their annual Christmas visit to their daughter Kristen Anderson and grandson Ian in Florida. They arrived in that warm state just before Christmas, and enjoyed the warmth and visits with family members. Their return trip was a bit more adventurous, as they ran into some snowy weather, so now they are back in Oak Bluffs where they will be able to enjoy snowy weather here this week.

We send belated birthday smiles for the month of January to Woodside Village residents Mark Kurth, Joan Hyer, Clare Currier, Millie Scott, and Ira Yaffee, and Aidylberg resident Arlaine De Lancey. Smiles to Otis Rogers, Mike Giordano, Barbara Spain, Jarek Peters, Bethany deBettencourt, and David Madeiras on the 31st, Noah Hoyt and Judy Searle on Feb. 1, Emma Williamson on the 3rd, and my grandson Matt Rivers on the 4th.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

Such a short time ago we were celebrating the start of the year 2015, and now January is already almost over. We have certainly have been experiencing a variety of every kind of weather this past week, including rain, snow, sudden onset of black ice–covered roads, and temperatures ranging from single digits to springlike warmth. The view of the landscape has certainly changed in many ways also. The sound of buzzing chainsaws has been filling the air in my neighborhood, as many oak trees inflicted with a strange fungus or disease and either dead or dying are being cut down. Hopefully this will halt the spread of this devastating blight.

And now when I drive past the area where the old fire station was, what a surprise as along with the station, the Fire Department Museum has vanished. Thankfully, I am told that it has only been removed from the site while the new fire station is being constructed.

Friend Ginny Hall died last week after a determined fight against lung cancer. Ginny was a friend to so many people and was always ready to lend her assistance whenever and wherever needed. Sincere condolences to her daughter Heather and son Fred and his wife Helene, her much loved grandchildren and her many friends of all ages, and so many young adults who called her, with great affection, Aunt Ginny. We share your loss, and are so sorry.

“A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place” sounds perfect to me, and is the name of  the workshop that Kim D’Arcy of the National Association of Professional Organizers has scheduled for two Wednesdays: Jan. 21 and Jan. 28 at 6:00 pm to help members of the Vineyard community start the New Year off right by getting organized. Visit organizemv.com or facebook.com/organizemv for more information.

Would you like to learn about hands-on science from the next generation of scientists? The MVRHS 2015 Science and Engineering Fair takes place on Saturday, Feb. 7, at the high school from 11:15 am to 12:15 pm, and is open to the public. These students ask great questions about interesting topics, and then work out methods to obtain data and test ideas. The culmination of their projects is to present their work to judges, parents, peers, and to you and me. Come and enjoy and mingle.

You may meet the new Oak Bluffs library adult technology services librarian, Allyson Malik, at our library on Saturday, Jan. 31, from 1 pm to 2 pm. Allyson will be pleased to hear your tech-program ideas. Refreshments will also be served.

The annual PTO Cakewalk at our Oak Bluffs School takes place on this Friday. This is always great fun, so check with the school office for more info. The school ski trip starts Wednesday, Jan. 28, and students will not be returning until Friday, Jan. 30.

The Oak Bluffs School will be a swinging place on Feb. 6. There will be a swing dance featuring Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish, and a silent auction from 7 pm to 9:30 pm. Tickets are a bargain at $10 for adults, and student tickets are only $5.00.

We send birthday smiles to Buddy deBettencourt, Michael Blake, Paul Buckley, and Holly Nadler on the 23rd; Joe Peters and Megan Klein on the 24th; and Wayne Barrett and Julia Bettencourt on the 25th. Caroline Davey and Charleane Corrigan share the 27th, and Michael Edward Perry III celebrates on the 29th.

Martin Luther King was honored and remembered this past Monday. Hopefully his actions and words will be remembered for more than that one day, as they are so appropriate for the times we are living in now. Please practice harmony, not prejudice. Peace.

Can it be that January is half over already?  Students that were here for winter break are returning to their schools, and many residents have already headed to warmer climates. But we have many winter activities to keep us busy and perhaps take our minds off this cold weather.

Get  Fit in ’15 with a new program at our Oak Bluffs library. Saturday, Jan. 24, from 1 pm to 2:30 pm, will see the kickoff of a yearlong program: mind, body, and spiritual fitness. Keep your resolutions going all year long. You will receive information and a demonstration, and have an opportunity to sign up; there will be a door prize. Don’t miss out on the hot chocolate party for kids on Saturday, Jan. 24, from 10 am to 12 noon. There will be face painting, mug craft, and more, and all ages are welcome.

Because the last Island Faces portrait competition was so popular, the Martha’s Vineyard Museum is once again celebrating the faces of Martha’s Vineyard with a second Island Faces portrait competition in collaboration with Featherstone Center for the Arts. Three years ago, the Museum held its first portrait contest, inspired by the National Portrait Gallery’s annual contest. Members and visitors greeted the exhibition that resulted with great enthusiasm, encouraging it to be done again, and now it will be. The museum has begun accepting entries.

A panel of judges from the Island’s art community will jury the competition. The winning portraits will debut in an exhibit opening at the museum on Sept. 4, 2015. The public will once again be able to vote on a separate People’s Choice category, the winners of which will be featured at Featherstone beginning Nov. 8, 2015. Entry forms and additional details are available on the museum’s web site. Visit mvmuseum.org/portraitcontest.

We are sending get-well wishes to Allan “Buddy”  deBettencourt, who fell and broke his leg last week. Buddy remains a patient at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, where he is recovering nicely. Take time to send a card, or call or stop by to visit.

ACE MV will have a walk-in winter registration this Friday from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. It will take place in the MVRHS front-entrance lobby. Come and check out the classes, as there will be 36 different class offerings.

It’s always nice to have a family event to look forward to in the midst of winter. This Saturday, Jan. 17, from 4 pm to 7 pm, head to Dreamland for a family dance party to benefit the Niantic Park playground project. This event is kid-friendly, and includes dance music, games, a raffle, and more. The suggested donation is $5 per person, with a $20 family cap. Sharky’s Cantina in Oak Bluffs is also helping out this project with a dine-to-donate event. From now through April 1, $5 from every kid’s meal sold at the Oak Bluffs Sharky’s will be donated to the Niantic Park Playground Project. As the Oak Bluffs Cantina is closed through Jan. 15, Sharky’s will donate from Edgartown until the 15th.

Missing eyeglasses, anyone? The Oak Bluffs School nurse’s office has quite a collection. There are all colors and shapes, both children’s and adults. So swing by and check them out, as they could belong to you or your child.

On Saturday, Jan. 31, from 10 am to 12 noon, the American Legion Post 257 in Vineyard Haven will hold a traumatic brain injury presentation, panel, and discussion. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has become the signature injury of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the second session of the MV Veterans Support Series, representatives from the Home Base Program, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Providence VA, and SAVE (Statewide Advocacy for Veterans Empowerment) will be speaking on the signs, symptoms, and treatments available for TBI. Following the presentation, there will be an expert speakers’ panel, including an interactive discussion. Lunch will be provided! Please RSVP by Jan. 23 to Julie Meader at 508-693-7900, ext. 222, or jmeader@mvcommunityservices.com.

We send birthday smiles to Shamus Kelly on the 15th, Jessica Peters and Chris Pantalone on the 16th, Katherine deBettencourt on the 17th, followed by Brad Tanner on the 18th. Marcia Valentzas and Patti Linn share the 19th, Alfie Araujo celebrates on the 20th, and granddaughter Talia Roger, Tristan Araujo, Catherine Deese, and Rosemary Hildreth party on the 21st. Enjoy your week. Peace.

The holidays have passed and so has 2014, but we have many days ahead of us in this year of 2015. Like turning the calendar to a new page, this year is new, and what we write on its pages for better or worse will be written for the first time. The weather is already changing from mild to cold, and as I am writing this on Monday I am watching the temperature sink lower and lower. But thanks to my grandchildren, the inside and outside wood boxes are full, and I don’t know who is enjoying the warmth from the wood stove more, my yellow Lab Molly or myself. She is perfectly happy staying close to my side and just has me convinced that we are both growing older and more content with peace and quiet when in the blink of an eye, she will search for a ball, drop it in front of me, do a little dance and then persuade me to go outside for a bit of exercise.

Heads up for a special event: Dine to donate to the Friends of Oak Bluffs on Thursday, Jan. 22 at Offshore Ale. During lunch from 11:30 am to 3 pm, 20 percent of your food bill will go to the Friends. Order off the Pub menu from 3 pm to 5 pm, and 30 percent of your food bill will go to the Friends. During dinner from 5 pm to 8:30 pm, 20 percent of your food bill will be donated. Offshore will take reservation requests on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are not necessary but are recommended. They cannot guarantee all seating requests, however, as all space will also be made available to walk-in guests. An extra attraction will  be a silent auction with several items that you may bid on anytime during the day. You will also need a free ticket to present to the waitstaff at the time of payment, so if you plan to attend, you may either email Duncan Ross at dross157@verizon.net or call him at  508-693-0541 for your ticket or for more info.

Please spread the word that the Federated Church will resume serving free lasagna dinners from 12:30 pm to 2 pm every Sunday starting Jan. 11 thru the final Sunday in March. Everyone is welcome, Island-wide. For questions, or in the case of inclement weather, please email antispung@aol.com.

You need look no further than our Oak Bluffs library to learn and participate in interesting programs throughout the winter. On Thursday, Jan. 15, at  6 pm “In Our Own Voice” will feature presenters with video who will tell their story of mental illness. Presentation structure will be by the National Alliance for Mental Illness. A question and answer period will follow. The library’s mental health collection will also be introduced, and refreshments will be served. Saturday, Jan. 17, from 10 am to 11:30 am, the Dads and Donuts program will be held. Donuts, stories, and songs, and donut decorating and crafts will be featured. This event is for all ages.

The Oak Bluffs Senior Center was very busy this past holiday season, and now everyone is looking forward to the new programs coming up. The Men’s and Ladies’ Luncheons are ongoing on the first Wednesday of each month. If you are interested, please give Rose a call at the center to sign up. Starting in February, there will be a bridge program every Tuesday from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. A program on pets as animal companions will start on Mondays at 1 pm with Karen Ogden.

Alicia Oliveira has returned to her studies at Providence College after spending a brief time with her parents Margaret and David. Alicia will be one of 15 students going to Nicaragua this month to assist in building a school and helping teach grade-school children. She is a political science major and is also a member of the Army ROTC. Upon graduation she will be a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

I want to say thank you to Whit Griswold, who has been my go-to person at The Times these many years. Whit has now retired from his position and is looking forward to free time to pursue writing and other adventures. Thanks, Whit, for your guidance and gentle instruction over the years.

We send birthday smiles to Jerry Baric on the 9th, Brenda Leonard the next day, Richard Combra Jr. and grandson Sam Alley on the 11th, Jack deBettencourt and Richard Mavro on the 12th, and huge smiles to Gert Knowlton, who will be 103 on Jan. 13.

Enjoy your week and peace.

If you read last week’s Oak Bluffs Column and thought it seemed familiar you were right. Because of a production error, instead of the newest and correct version being printed in the print version of the paper, the previous week’s column was printed. However, if you read the online digital copy of the Times, you were reading the correct column for December 24.  I am sorry some of the events that I wrote about have gone by already, but I am including the news that is still current.

January will be a busy month at our Oak Bluffs library. To kick off Mini Golf weekend, they will show the 1980 classic with Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, and a furry gopher on  throwback Thursday Movie Night on January 8, at 6 pm. This free event also includes popcorn and trivia.

The third annual Mini Golf Extravaganza will be held on the 9th & 10th. On Friday, January 9, from 5 to 8 pm you may enjoy food, beverage, and fun and play on the 18-hole indoor course.  This event is for those 21 years and up. The cost is $18. On Saturday, January 10, the mini golf runs from 10 am to 1 pm and is for all ages and free and is great family fun.

Are you ready for lobster rolls again? Then mark your calendars for Sunday, Jan. 4 from 12 noon until 2 pm. That is when Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven will once more serve winter lobster rolls. Their prize-winning rolls, with chips and beverage, are a bargain at $17, or you may enjoy  hotdogs for  $3 and assorted pies for $4 a slice. For info or advance orders call 508-693-0332.

Congratulations to Ashley and Jared Andrews who became proud parents of a son on Wednesday, the 17th of December. Cooper Christopher Andrews arrival also made Lynn Rebello of Oak Bluffs a first-time grandmother. What a great Christmas present.

The  community suppers at Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven will be held every Friday starting Friday, January 2, and run through March 26 from 5 to 6:30 pm. Everyone of all ages is welcome at these free suppers. There will be good food, a comfortable setting and a warm welcome. For info, call 508-693-0332.

Big changes at the four corners by the Fire Station in Oak Bluffs. The fire station is now surrounded by a safety fence and the demolition of the old station has already begun. It will be interesting to watch the progression of the new station.  The original station was constructed in the 1980’s. The foundation and finishing touches were put on that steel building mostly by volunteers and — you guessed it — they were  firemen, and the cost to the town was around $45,000.

We send belated birthday smiles to Roger Schilling Jr. on the 26th, Richard Tarter on the 28th. Smiles to Ava BenDavid, Anita Combra and Claudia Metell on December 31; Jen Araujo,  and  Michelle  Bettencourt on January 2, Nola Mavro, Chris Alley, and Nicole deBettencourt share the 3rd, Kate Feiffer and Jules BenDavid on the 5th, and Michael Araujo and Kelly Irene Pacheco on the 6th.

Many of us have lost dear friends and relatives this past year. Among those we hold close to our hearts and in memory are: Lester White, Gerry Davis, Scott Francis, John Potter, Ruth and Michael Davon, David Wessling, Henry Fauteux, Eddie Drew, Stacy Viera, Ann Margetson, Patricia Costa, Eddie Landers and Ann Tuccelli.

This poem by William Henry Harrison Murray says it all this season.

Ah friends, dear friends,

As years go on and heads get gray,

How fast the guests do go!

Touch hands, touch hands,

With those that stay,

Strong hands to weak,

Old hands to young, around the

Christmas board touch hands.

The false forget, the foe forgive,

For every guest will go

And every fire burn low

And cabin empty stand.

Forget, forgive,

For who may say that Christmas day

May ever come to host or guest again.

Touch hands!

However you celebrated this season, I hope that you celebrated together in peace.

Editor’s note: due to a production error, the Times printed the December 18 Oak Bluffs column in the December 24 newspaper. The correct column was published online and can be found at: mvtimes.com/2014/12/22/oak-bluffs-poem-season/.