Authors Posts by Valerie Sonnenthal

Valerie Sonnenthal

Valerie Sonnenthal
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Checking it twice... –Photo courtesy share.org

I was thrilled to get to hear Shirley Mayhew read from her new book, Looking Back: My Long Life on Martha’s Vineyard, at the West Tisbury Library last week. I had heard Shirley read her stories before when we were both in Howes House Writing Group when I first moved to the Island. Although she says she wrote this book for her family, anyone with a love of the Island will appreciate Shirley’s wonderfully written stories. The book is available at both Island bookstores and makes a perfect holiday present.

On December 11 Marianne Goldberg and the Pathways team had their season opener where last year’s awards recipients shared a taste of the fruits of their labors in writing, music and the visual arts. Chilmark residents Nancy Aronie read from the fiction she has been working on, and photographer Peter Simon shared his aerial shots of the Island. A great evening was enjoyed by all with offerings from many new and some familiar local artists and musicians. If you want to be inspired or are looking for a place to write, or just want to check out locally-made jewelry, prints, books, music and art stop by Pathways Living Room Gallery and Bookshelf (Chilmark Tavern), closed on Wednesday and Sundays, and open all other days from noon to 4 pm.

The best “Holiday to-do list” I have seen is on Share’s Facebook page. Share is a non-profit organization that supports girls’ education in Africa. So as life gets a bit more hectic and crazy around the holidays perhaps you can adopt some of the wisdom of their to-do list. And you can continue celebrating at The Chilmark Library’s Holiday Party, today, Thursday, December 18, from 4:30 to 6 pm. Make swags to bring home and lift a glass and celebrate all the joy our library offers our community.

There was a change in the line-up of artists at Santander Bank, so be sure to stop by Candy Shweder’s Up-Island Pottery display through December 26 and pick up some last-minute presents — you cannot go wrong with her timeless work. Also there is a box of non-denominational handmade holiday cards by Jess Bradlee for sale using gorgeous papers.

If you are still looking for presents with a local flavor be sure to stop by Lambert’s Cove Glass and Books in Menemsha, get some gas at the Texaco Station and warm up with hot chowder or lobster bisque at Menemsha Fish Market. Remember Josh Aronie’s Food Truck operates 11 am to 2 pm, Monday–Saturday, in front of Chilmark General Store. I love their breakfast burrito any time of day!

Come to the Town Committee on Squibnocket public information meeting tonight, Thursday, December 18, at 7 pm in the Chilmark Community Center to learn about the latest plan and express your comments. The next Chilmark Planning Board Public Hearing, a continuation from the December 8 meeting about accessory apartments, is scheduled for Monday, December 22, at 4:30 pm.

Come and share in the joy of the season and join in at The Chilmark Community Church on Christmas Eve, Wednesday, December 24, at 5 pm, sing carols with guest musicians, pass the light to your neighbors and listen to stories of the ages at the informal service where all ages are welcome. Best wishes to all this holiday season.

If you care to make a dish to share with those on duty at United States Coast Guard Station in Menemsha over the holidays, contact Tom Ruimerman or Janet Weidner at 508-645-7830 to offer your seasonal cheer.

The other day I drove down to blustery Menemsha to get gas. It was nearly closing time, and no one was visible. I popped my head inside the store and called out, ”H-ell-o, hello.” No one answered. I figured they couldn’t be far since everything was open, so I headed back and began pumping gas. After a few minutes a tall woman emerged and apologized for not realizing I was there as she had gone dockside to tidy up before closing. It was a pleasure to meet Deanna Withers, who followed her best friends to the Island. Originally from Colorado Springs, she has been back on Island for two years now. I had to ask if she was named for anyone special; when she answered “yes,” I wondered if it was Deanna Durbin, which shocked her since younger people haven’t a clue.

Although I have not been able to participate except for one time with the MV Gleaners, I did volunteer to roast vegetables for their Island Grown Gleanings Annual Appreciation Party. When I dropped by the two large serving dishes of roasted root vegetables, I passed Debbie Athearn following the youngest walking member of her family and had a chance to say hello to Philipe Morin, Betty Burton, and Uma Datta. Gleaning is a great way to stay in shape while making new friends and helping a great Island cause, but Island Grown Initiative does many things; learn how you can become involved at islandgrown.org.

We’ve had much-needed rain, enjoyed the full moon, and more rain and cold. Holiday lights and cheer greet us in the early dark of evening. There are so many activities going on for the holidays, but you may enjoy the Annual MVRHS Minnesingers Holiday Concerts at The Old Whaling Church on Friday, December 12, at 8 pm; tickets $15 or the Family Concert on Saturday, December 13 at 4 pm; tickets $10, children 12 and under free. Look out for Chilmarker Delilah Meegan; she has a beautiful voice which you can check out on Youtube.

Aquinnah designer Jessica Kramer has a show of her fantastic jewelry, affordable and interesting, at Santander Bank through December 12. Next up is a show of Anne Reveruzzi’s photographs, another lady of Aquinnah, December 12–26.

If you do not want to stray far from home come on over to the Chilmark Community Church for their Holiday Flea Market and enjoy lobster rolls and Christmas specials from 10 am – 2 pm on Saturday, December 13.

If you’re looking for Santa, an elf told me he’ll be arriving at the CCC on Wednesday, December 17, at 5:45 pm. If you are bringing your child for the first time, please let Katie Carroll add their name to Santa’s List. Drop her a line at squidrow@vineyard.net. Be sure to thank the Chilmark Volunteer Firefighter’s Association for securing Santa’s safe arrival.

If you need a little help decorating, stop by the Chilmark Public Library for their Holiday Party where they will supply the greens, wire, ribbons and pruners so you can head home with your holiday swags, and don’t forget to enjoy the food and drink on Thursday, December 18, 4:30–6 pm.

I was very sorry to learn about Herbert Slater’s death and that I never had the chance to know him. Sending Jane Slater, the love of his life, much strength of heart as she adjusts with the support and love of her extended family and community to this great loss.

And don’t forget to get your chocolate shopping done at Chilmark Chocolates before they close for the year on December 18, though you do have a few extra shopping days as they have added Tuesday, December 16 and Wednesdays, December 10 and 17. They will open again on Saturday, January 31, 2015.

Now that Thanksgiving is over and left-overs are being stretched a bit longer, I am enjoying lingering over delicious food and memories of our first Thanksgiving celebrated in New York. It took one of my sons coming from Ohio only an hour longer than the other one who had taken a bus from Boston. Safely home and together. Now that we’re empty-nesters, these times together become precious; our walks with dogs and just hanging out. So much to be thankful for.

I went with Chilmark summer resident Emily Keating to see “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs” and Robert Gober’s installation “The Heart is not a Metaphor” at The Museum of Modern Art. We ran into photographer/activists Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson. Cyril explained to Emily there is an important need for songwriters to write about environmental issues and hoped as a singer she may take this challenge up. Emily moved to Portland, Oregon, after she left the Island this summer and has recorded a new song while working in childcare. I have known Cyril since we were 19 years old and were the only daily attendees of films by photographers presented during a winter break at The New York Cultural Center.

Gay Head Gallery owner Megan Ottens-Sargent, an environmental activist and owner of Aquinah’s Gay Head Gallery has presented work by Cyril and his wife, Marie. To learn about their important work saving elephants see christoandwilkinsonphotography.com. Also we ran into Chilmark Planning Board member Jessica Roddy and her daughters in the Gober exhibit. We hope they had a wonderful holiday and visit to NYC.

While in NYC’s Beacon Theater, I ran into author and historian Sean Wilentz as we headed to our seats at the Bob Dylan concert. When I remarked that the last time I had seen him was when I enjoyed hearing him speak at the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival in Chilmark in August 2013, he replied with a beaming smile, “That was such a fun audience, I loved being there.” On that Sunday, August 4, Sean gave a fascinating lecture and played musical cuts from his latest book, 360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story. While cooking or curled up next to your wood stove or fireplace this winter you can enjoy watching/listening to authors speaking, and panels from the 2013 Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival and 2014 Author Lecture Series at mvbookfestival.com.

Hannah Maxner has returned to the Vineyard and is now running Netherfield Farm in Chilmark. The farm has full and rough board stalls available for year-round or winter boarding and training. Hannah will be teaching lessons for dressage and hunter/jumper riders of all ages and levels throughout the winter in the farm’s beautiful indoor riding arena. For more information, contact Hannah at 508-566-5235.

Come to The Chilmark Public Library on Wednesday, December 10, at 6 pm to enjoy a holiday concert by the Vineyard Brass Ensemble. Though admission is free, non-perishable food donations to the Island Food Pantry will gladly be accepted. And for boo- lovers, the Big Used Book Sale begins on December 10 and runs through Saturday, December 27, at 12 noon. Hardcovers, books on tape, and movies are $1 each, paperbacks are 25¢ each until Tuesday, December 16, through through December 20 when everything is two for the price of one and after that everything is free until the library closes on December 27.

Some of you may have noticed that Josh Aronie’s Food Truck has moved from Menemsha to its permanent winter location in front of the Chilmark General Store. Just don’t forget you can still do holiday shopping, get gas, and enjoy a meal in Menemsha: Stanley’s Menemsha Fish Market still has his full menu, perfect for take-out, and if it is warm enough you can brave the outdoors.

Guests at Cindy Kane's Helmet Project opening in NYC on Tuesday, November 18.

This week in New York City I was able to attend Island artist Cindy Kane’s opening for her Helmet Project at Sprint Flatiron Prow Art Space on 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue. I originally saw the exhibit at the Carol Craven Gallery in 2008 and am thrilled it is in the crossroads of a half-million people a day in its iconic location. It was exciting to walk through the actual helmets during the opening which was attended by many Islanders including Geraldine Brooks and Tony Horwitz; Kathy Cerick, Charles Fitzgerald and their daughter Liane (who was mentored by Cindy when she was growing up) and friend Conor Estes (MVRHS ’11); filmmaker and journalist Angela Andersen; Jean Hay, Sandy Bernat, Eli Dagastino; and Cindy’s husband Doron Katzman among others. Following the opening, Sandy Bernat, Jean Hay, and I attended The Real Thing starring Chilmark summer resident Maggie Gyllenhaal who is making her Broadway debut in a cast including Ewan McGregor, Cynthia Nixon, and Josh Hamilton. If you have a chance to catch this show in NYC you’ll be glad you did!

Getting ready for Thanksgiving, last-minute shopping, preparing food, but it’s not too late to help the Island Food Pantry which has a good supply of volunteers this year; however, if you have a specific talent or gift you wish to offer or if you really want to be a part of this work for an ongoing commitment, call the Food Pantry coordinator Armen Hanjian at 508-696-8225 or send a donation to The Island Food Pantry, P.O. Box 1874, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.

Once Thanksgiving is over you can enjoy Qigong with Nan Doty on Friday, 9:30–10:30 am, or drop by for Tuesday or Thursday sessions,  8–9 am, all followed by tea at The Chilmark Church in the Community Room at the back. Cost is $10.

On Saturday, November 29, Cathy Garfinkle will offer a Restorative Yoga Workshop at The Yoga Barn from 3 to 5 pm. Cost is $35 of which 20 percent will be donated to the Island Food Pantry. “Using props to fully support your body, your muscles will open and release without expending energy, Cathy says. “These soothing and gentle poses offer the opportunity to savor the simple sweetness of life. You’ll emerge with a sense of deep calm and a warm inner glow.” To register or for more information, contact Cathy at catgee@me.com or call 508-693-1403.

Soup Suppers begin on Tuesday, December 2 at 5:30 pm at The Chilmark Church. All are welcome to come and enjoy some hot soup, salad, bread and dessert. Kids are welcome to run around and adults can enjoy playing Bananagrams.

The Federated Church of Edgartown will hold its Fifth Annual Festival of Wreaths on Thursday, December 4, 2013, 5–7 pm, in the Parish House on 45 South Summer Street, Edgartown. Come and choose among the 75 beautifully crafted and decorated natural wreaths for sale for $45–$65 or just enjoy browsing. Admission is $10 or $5 with a wreath purchase. There are beverages, hors d’hoeuvres, raffles, and other surprises. All proceeds benefit the maintenance of the 1832 Sara Mayhew Parsonage.

Copies of the Accessory Apartment Bylaw Amendment to the Zoning Bylaws are available from Chilmark Town Clerk Jennifer Christy at Town Hall. The Planning Board will hold a public hearing on this matter Monday, December 8, at 4:30 pm.

Hoping everyone can enjoy a break from daily routines and savor gathering with friends and family to share in Thanksgiving! Have a gobble, gobble good day and long weekend.

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This week in New York City I was able to attend Island artist Cindy Kane’s opening for her Helmet Project at Sprint Flatiron Prow Art Space on 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue. I originally saw the exhibit at the Carol Craven Gallery in 2008 and am thrilled it is in the crossroads of a half-million people a day in its iconic location. It was exciting to walk through the actual helmets during the opening which was attended by many Islanders including Geraldine Brooks and Tony Horwitz; Kathy Cerick, Charles Fitzgerald and their daughter Liane (who was mentored by Cindy when she was growing up) and friend Conor Estes (MVRHS ’11); filmmaker and journalist Angela Andersen; Jean Hay, Sandy Bernat, Eli Dagastino; and Cindy’s husband Doron Katzman among others. Following the opening, Sandy Bernat, Jean Hay, and I attended The Real Thing starring Chilmark summer resident Maggie Gyllenhaal who is making her Broadway debut in a cast including Ewan McGregor, Cynthia Nixon, and Josh Hamilton. If you have a chance to catch this show in NYC you’ll be glad you did!

Getting ready for Thanksgiving, last-minute shopping, preparing food, but it’s not too late to help the Island Food Pantry which has a good supply of volunteers this year; however, if you have a specific talent or gift you wish to offer or if you really want to be a part of this work for an ongoing commitment, call the Food Pantry coordinator Armen Hanjian at 508-696-8225 or send a donation to The Island Food Pantry, P.O. Box 1874, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.

Once Thanksgiving is over you can enjoy Qigong with Nan Doty on Friday, 9:30–10:30 am, or drop by for Tuesday or Thursday sessions,  8–9 am, all followed by tea at The Chilmark Church in the Community Room at the back. Cost is $10.

On Saturday, November 29, Cathy Garfinkle will offer a Restorative Yoga Workshop at The Yoga Barn from 3 to 5 pm. Cost is $35 of which 20 percent will be donated to the Island Food Pantry. “Using props to fully support your body, your muscles will open and release without expending energy, Cathy says. “These soothing and gentle poses offer the opportunity to savor the simple sweetness of life. You’ll emerge with a sense of deep calm and a warm inner glow.” To register or for more information, contact Cathy at catgee@me.com or call 508-693-1403.

Soup Suppers begin on Tuesday, December 2 at 5:30 pm at The Chilmark Church. All are welcome to come and enjoy some hot soup, salad, bread and dessert. Kids are welcome to run around and adults can enjoy playing Bananagrams.

The Federated Church of Edgartown will hold its Fifth Annual Festival of Wreaths on Thursday, December 4, 2013, 5–7 pm, in the Parish House on 45 South Summer Street, Edgartown. Come and choose among the 75 beautifully crafted and decorated natural wreaths for sale for $45–$65 or just enjoy browsing. Admission is $10 or $5 with a wreath purchase. There are beverages, hors d’hoeuvres, raffles, and other surprises. All proceeds benefit the maintenance of the 1832 Sara Mayhew Parsonage.

Copies of the Accessory Apartment Bylaw Amendment to the Zoning Bylaws are available from Chilmark Town Clerk Jennifer Christy at Town Hall. The Planning Board will hold a public hearing on this matter Monday, December 8, at 4:30 pm.

Hoping everyone can enjoy a break from daily routines and savor gathering with friends and family to share in Thanksgiving! Have a gobble, gobble good day and long weekend.

Weatherwise, what’s up? Going from a balmy 60 degrees to waking up Sunday morning to the bone chill of a mere 18 degrees? We’ll just have to wait and see what Mother Nature has in store for us as leaves continue falling, fall colors are nearly all brown, and there’s no more denying winter is coming.

The week started off with a huge semi-trailer truck jack-knifed at the mouth of Tabor House and Pasture Roads. In other words it meant I was stuck. Of course I got out my car to see what was going on and there was Dan Athearn and the truck driver trying to figure out how to get his back wheels back on the road, get his front wheels out of the soft ground and move this mammoth hay delivery to the off-load point. Dan got back on his tractor with the fork loader, the truck driver got back in his cab, and with a chain attached between the back wheels and tractor, a little ingenuity and a farmer’s can-do attitude, they managed to get the truck back on the road after 20 minutes! So Morning Glory Farm’s cows pasturing on Peaked Hill will not want for hay.

P10104823.jpgThe other day after walking my dogs at Lucy Vincent Beach and returning to the parking lot, I noticed a crackled, wizened Massachusetts license plate reading, LOBSTR. This was not the first time I’d noticed the plate in my nine years living on Island, but it was the first time I witnessed someone emerging from the vehicle. “Hi,” I said, “Can you tell me about the license plate on your car?” I’m sure that many seasoned Islanders probably know 92-year-old John T. Hughes of Vineyard Haven, who was the first manager of the Division of Marine Fisheries lobster hatchery built in 1948 in Oak Bluffs. John’s son, John Gallagher, who had emerged from the car, told me his father purchased his first plate in 1966, when our state began issuing vanity plates. In fact he said his dad has had multiple plates at home all saying LOBSTR. Mystery solved. Thanks John. And if you do not know John Gallagher perhaps you’ve seen him flying when he is kite gliding. If not check out his bird’s-eye view at vimeo.com/108861958.

Congratulations to Bonnie and Bob George who have just returned from welcoming their sixth grandchild into the world. Newest family member Micah Hellinger George is the son of Andrew and Stefanie George of Takoma Park, Maryland, and brother to Nina.

Don’t forget Storytime every Tuesday and Saturday at 10:30 am with Kristin Maloney at The Chilmark Public Library. And if you are looking for a place to come in from the cold, bring your lunch and enjoy it in the library’s meeting room.

The Food Truck is keeping busy parked in front The Home Port in Menemsha from 11 am to 2 pm, and was even there last Saturday! Check the daily menu on Facebook and text your orders to 508-560-5883. If you’re feeling like fish, pick up lunch or dinner at Menemsha Fish Market, soups, sandwiches and so much more. Their menu is online and you can call your order in to 508-645-2282.

The last Pizza Night at The Chilmark Church is Tuesday, November 25, at 6 pm. Thanks to all the folks who make this free dinner possible.

Wow November is flying. Last week I took Nancy Aronie’s final Chilmark Writing Workshop of the year with 22 other participants (thank you ACE and Nancy). I had an amazing time. I also finished up my last Hand & Foot class at ACE, spent much of the weekend at Karen Gabler and Megan Grennan’s fascia workshop at The Yoga Barn and then held a wonderful MELT Intro Workshop at my studio. On Monday I took my dogs for a long Squibby walk, saw paddle boarders and shellfishers enjoying the waters and the warm day. I stopped by Josh Aronie’s Food Truck (open Monday – Friday from 11 am – 2 pm; check out their menu on their Facebook page, call ahead for pick-up), now parked in front of Home Port, and sat at an outdoor table overlooking Menemsha Pond to enjoy lunch. Also, I offer thanks to good Samaritan Steve Besse for finding my cell phone at Great Rock Bight and driving back to Chilmark to return it — yes, it was worth the sunset.

The Chilmark Community Center (CCC) will be hopping this weekend. First, ladies: your AHA! Moment has arrived — the 34th Chilmark Women’s Symposium is this Saturday, November 15, 9 am–12 noon. The event is free, but donations are welcome to cover expenses.

On Sunday, November 16, the West Tisbury School 5th grade class is having a Cake Walk fundraiser for their Alabama trip from 2 to 4 pm at the CCC. You can enjoy their bake sale, a 50/50 raffle and a chance to win a Sunset Sail for two on the Alabama. Sunset Sail raffle tickets are available in advance until Sunday. Tickets are $5 each, or five for $20. You do not need to be present to win. Contact Elizabeth Oliver at 508-939-0616 to purchase raffle tickets if you cannot be at the Cake Walk. Should be a great weekend!

Join Morning Glory Farm Chef Robert Lionette at The Chilmark Library on Wednesday, November 19 at 5 pm, as he talks about the new Vineyard Stories book, Morning Glory’s Farm Food: Stories from the Fields, Recipes from the Kitchen and enjoy tasty samples of his farm-fresh food.

Also if you missed Art historian Henry Adams’s talk about artist Thomas Hart Benton’s work and legacy on Martha’s Vineyard that took place at the Chilmark Library on August 13, you can now check out the DVD from the library’s collection. I checked it out last week; my husband and I found it to be very interesting and full of surprises. For library information or questions call 508-645-3360.

Be sure to stop by Santander Bank across from the CCC, which is hosting a Haiti PeaceQuilts exhibit and sale through November 31. Islanders PeaceQuilts director Jeanne Staples (yes, the Edgartown painter), U.S. Program Coordinator Carolyn Stoeber, and Karen Flynn (owner of The Bite in Menemsha) have been in Haiti for the last two weeks and will be bringing new items for sale with them. They will be available as of Saturday, November 15. For more information about volunteering, donations, or other ways to help, go to haitipeacequilts.org or contact info@haitipeacequilts.org.

I dusted off sweet potatoes with the M.V. Gleaners last week at North Tabor Farm. The gleaners are a wonderful group of helping hands organized by belly dancer extraordinaire Jamie O’Gorman. To learn more about Island Grown Gleaning or other activities see islandgrown.org/gleaning and to learn more about belly dancing on the Island go to vineyardbellydance.blogspot.com. Also special thanks to Laurie David’s farm for growing and supplying sweet potatoes to Island schools; anyone else interested in growing crops for Island schools can contact the above Island Grown link.

Ah November shocks with winter darkness and renewed morning light, our bodies still adjusting to clocks rewound. October brought weekend wedding celebrations from the sweet outdoors into the magically transformed Chilmark Community Center and ended with Halloween wonder and merriment thanks to volunteer fireman, Chilmark School families and the remarkable energy of Katie Carroll. A storm of white, wet and fierce wind cut us off for barely a full 24 hours from the mainland.

I did not mean to mislead anyone last week and want to give due recognition to Alan Cottle of Blackwater Farm, owner of Lambert’s Cove Glass in Menemsha. We wish Alan a speedy recovery from a fall while building his latest project, a boat, and we’re glad to know he is home again. Alan is a Renaissance man who moves between his day job farming and also paints in oils, makes furniture, does glass blowing and so many other things. Stop by the store, open weekends from 12 noon to 5 pm and check out his colorful work. His store manager, Ginny Jones, said on Sunday, “The Sound and the harbor were a froth of waves all day. And the beach has all blown over the parking lot and, of course, into the harbor. On days like today there isn’t a lot of action in Menemsha except for racing whitecaps, trees whipping around, and a very few cars on the move.”

Sending warm birthday wishes to Trudy Taylor who turns 92 on Friday, November 7. Celebrate every day.

In case you missed last weekend, Candy Shwedder’s Up-Island Pottery Sale continues on Saturday, November 8, from 9 am to 12 noon at 4 Fulling Mill Hill off Middle Road.

You won’t want to miss Annabell Lee, The Chilmark Public Library showing of a recently discovered silent film from 1921 that was filmed in Menemsha on Wednesday, November 12 at 5 pm. Based loosely on the poem by Edgar Allen Poe, it features seldom seen film footage of Menemsha before the village was destroyed by the 1938 hurricane and the Gay Head lighthouse before erosion threatened to sweep it out to sea. Admission is free and sponsored by the Friends of the Chilmark Public Library. For more information, please call 508-645-3360.

Nice to know if you want to come in from the cold that the Offseason Library Cafe is now open. Ebba Hierta says they will be offering coffee, tea, cocoa, and cookies in the meeting room during regular library hours, donations appreciated. Thank you, Friends of the Chilmark Public Library. Also, anyone is welcome to bring their Food Truck lunch or bag lunch and enjoy the warmth of the library meeting room as a cozy respite!

And if it’s chocolate you are craving we are all thankful that Chilmark Chocolates is open again.

The new exhibition space at Seastone Papers is open on Saturdays and Sundays. —Photo by Valerie Sonnenthal

One of my favorite rites of fall is the resuming of Island hand-papermaker Sandy Bernat’s Mixed Media Journal Group meetings. The first one happened last Sunday at her Seastone Papers studio in West Tisbury. Ellie Bates read a poem she had shared earlier in the day at the Unitarian service she oversaw. Beth Tviet shared her new box pieces made with recent finds from Chicken Alley Thrift Shop. Sandy Bernat shared mysteries of the lowly brayer plus author and artist Lynda Barry’s 2008 book, What It Is, a book which never ceases to inspire. Other artists in attendance included May Baldwin, Jean Hay, Susan Spence, and Carolyn Daniel. It was a wonderful afternoon, but the best for everyone else is Sandy Bernat’s new exhibition space upstairs in her studio, now open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays through the fall. You will find wonderful gifts and treasures. Call Sandy Bernat at 508-693-5786 or email sandy@seastonepapers.com to set up a visit.

Please join The Save The Gay Head Lighthouse Poetry Project for a reading hosted by Richard Skidmore on Saturday, November 1, 4–5:30 pm at Midnight Farm in Vineyard Haven. Included are Chilmark poets Nancy Aronie, Mollie Doyle, Susan Puciel, and myself joining other Island poets. Refreshments will be served and Legacy of Light: Poems for the Gay Head Lighthouse will be available for sale.

If you’re looking for conversation where kids can play outside, come to the free Pizza Nights, 6 pm at The Chilmark Church, weekly through November 25.

Ginny Jones’s store, Lambert’s Cove Glass in Menemsha, is still open weekends from noon to 5 pm; she is tucked between Copperworks and Beetlebung Café. She not only carries Alan Cottle’s wonderful hand-blown glasswork and furniture, books for all ages, both new and used, but has some vintage sweaters and Guernsey sweaters. Seeking the unusual? Be sure to make your way to her shop. Also Ginny is happy to search for any books about the Vineyard, maritime titles, food, fiber and environmental books, kids books and mysteries;  contact her at ginnyj@vineyard.net.

As the leaves fall, the pumpkins and scarecrows come out of hiding and we know Halloween is upon us. In our own backyard The Chilmark Volunteer Firefighters are once again hosting their Annual Halloween Party at the Chilmark Community Center. There will be haunted decorations, pizza and snacks.  All are invited to participate in the costume parade around the hall!  Doors open at 5:30 pm on Friday, October 31.

On Saturday, November 1, there is an all-day Nature Program “Squirrels and Coyotes,” for ages 6 to 23, from 11 am – 4 pm at Sassafras in Aquinnah. See sassafrasmvy.org from more information.

Women’s Pick-up Basketball, a non-competitive free game is looking for more players, Mondays, 6:30–8:30 pm, at The West Tisbury School. Call 508-627-1777 for information.

Ladies, I know I have already said mark your calendars, but just in case — you won’t want to miss the 34th Chilmark Women’s Symposium, held at the CCC. This season’s theme is AHA! Moments. The event is free, but donations are welcome to cover expenses.

Colin Ruel and Nettie Kent got married last weekend. – Photo courtesy of Colin Ruel

Last Thursday, my husband and I beat the rain to the Island, making our way home from NYC through awful bouts of thunderstorms. So just a reminder to be safe in the bad weather — we passed close to 20 accidents, adding two hours to the drive!

When I went to the bank on Friday and saw all the doors open to the CCC, I wandered over to peek in at the preparations for the wedding of Barbara and John Armstrong’s son, artist Colin Ruel, to native West Tisbury jeweler Nettie Kent, daughter of artist Doug Kent. I do not know any of the family, but had seen Barbara’s offer for free tulle on MV Stuff for Sale. The bride and groom were doing everything themselves, with the help of those nearest and dearest, putting finishing touches on transforming the CCC into a tulle-festive hall, while the entrance area was set up with tables for a buffet using an assortment of unique antique plates borrowed from friends. “Oh my, only 24 hours until the wedding,” the bride sighed, and then returned to her to-do list. I hope grandparents Jim and Roberta Morgan, all 200 family and guests, and bride and groom had a fantastic wedding outside in Menemsha, followed by a joyous evening of dancing and celebration.

So glad to be able to continue swimming, seeing the leaves change and still have the sun warming my face when I wonder whether it will be the last swim of the season.

Have you ever thought about those ads that seem to follow you around the Internet and wondered who else is keeping track of your online activities? Come to the Chilmark Public Library on Saturday, October 25, at 1 pm to hear the explanation, when Internet security expert Greg Page presents “Who’s Tracking You Online? The Quiet ‘Big Data Revolution.’” During this interactive presentation, Page will talk about the positive, negative, and uncertain implications of the era of Big Data, including critical issues surrounding individual privacy and security. He will also discuss ways that individual web users can minimize their online footprint.

Support the MVRHS Minnesingers Silent and Live Auction Benefit, Saturday, October 25, 6–9 pm, at Dreamland in Oak Bluffs. Tickets available at the door are $25 and include hors d’oeuvres, chowder bar, desserts and cash bar.

If you have an Island Club Card, you can get a discount on any activity at the Farm Field Sea, Island Culinary Adventure taking place Saturday and Sunday, October 25 and 26, in Menemsha and Chilmark. Be sure to check out Sunday’s cheese making class with Jacqueline Foster, head cheese maker at Grey Barn Farm and explore the history and process of cheese making. Demonstrations and hands-on class will include Ricotta Salata, Farmers’ Cheese, and how to build your own cheese cave. For more information or to reserve your spot, go to ffsmv.com or email eat@ffsmv.com.

The Farmer’s Market has moved indoors to the Ag Hall and will continue every Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm through December 27, except for Thanksgiving weekend. I am happy to report Josh Aronie and The Food Truck should appear beginning in November; I’ll keep you posted or you can follow them on Facebook.

The Rural Scholars from from UMass School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Nursing will be on the Island from October 19 through 30 taking a closer look at elder abuse and neglect, prevention strategies, and current services. They will present their findings and  recommendations at a meeting at the West Tisbury Public Library on Thursday, October 30, from 4:30 to 6 pm. The public is invited and encouraged to join in.

Middeltown Nursery will have a free garlic planting demo on Saturday, October 25 from 10 -11am.  Bring your garlic, questions and curiosity. A free family fun day including scarecrow making will follow from 11am – 2 pm.