Posted February 16, 2006

By Gail Craig - 508-627-3754 - gail@vineyard.net

Every four years, February is my favorite month of the year! I'll let you all in on one of my deep dark secrets. You see, I'm a closet Olympics addict. I just love them. I love the drama, the excitement, the stories, and the history. It's just so amazing, the best athletes from around the world competing for the coveted gold medals. At its best, it is pure, unadulterated athletics, unmarred by world politics and conflicts. So, for the next two weeks, you can find me curled up in my living room, glued to the television, living vicariously through 2,500 world-class athletes. If I look a fright most days, you'll know why.

The weekend snowstorm gave me a chance to break out the snowshoes for the first time. I explored the path in back of our neighborhood where I usually run. I discovered a number of things. First, I like snowshoeing, which is somewhat of a surprise, given that I really dislike winter. Second, physically, it isn't as awkward or as difficult as I expected. Third, it is excellent aerobic exercise. My body wasn't exhausted from the exertion, but it got my pulse rate up and I was huffin' and puffin' on the hills. And finally, goggles would definitely be helpful. Next year, I'm thinking of asking for cross-country skis for Christmas. If I'm going to keep living in New England, I'd better learn to embrace the weather!

Happy birthday wishes go out to Barbara Prada, who celebrated on Feb. 7; to Jonathan Ryan, who turned 19 on Feb. 4; and to Jonathan's lovely and charmingly sweet mother, Joanne, who celebrates tomorrow. If my calculations are correct, Joanne will be turning 29...again.

Get-well wishes go out to Shirley Searle, who took a nasty spill down her basement stairs a couple of weeks ago. I've gotten this report from more than one party, so it's clear that Shirley has a lot of friends and loved ones looking out for her.

I am thrilled to report that I received word that Corrine Hatt is feeling energetic and happy these days and that her health is pretty good. It's probably retirement. And no doubt, that little granddaughter of hers has something to do with it as well. Way to go, Corrine! Keep up the good fight.

In conjunction with the Edgartown Council on Aging, Carl Watt is offering Medicare workshops on Wednesday mornings at 9 am at the Edgartown Public Library beginning Feb. 22 and continuing as long as there is a need. These workshops are designed to help Medicare recipients choose their optimal prescription plans via the internet. If you have any questions about the new Medicare programs, Mr. Watt is very well informed and can help solve the mysteries with you. Also, AARP is providing tax assistance for seniors at the library on March 14 and April 4. Interested seniors should sign up for either program at the Anchors. To find out more information, call the Anchors or the Edgartown Public Library.

On Feb. 18 from 7:30 till 10:30 pm, Entrain will be playing at the Harbor View Hotel, in a fundraising event for The MV Cancer Support Group. Tickets are $25 and youngsters under 14 get in for free with a paying adult. There will be door prizes, a cash bar, and finger foods available to help keep you energized while you dance the night away for a good cause. The money raised will go directly to Island cancer patients and their families.

If you miss Sara Piazza's writing, log on to her new web site, www.sarapiazza.com, where you can view some of her stunning photography and read about what she is currently up to. As she is currently studying to be a Cantor, she has been splitting her time between the Island and Brookline. I have no doubt that, with the arrival of summer, we will once again see her walking around town or taking her late afternoon swims down at the Bend. You can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl!

That's it for this week. I feel like I'm forgetting something and if I am, I apologize. My computer is having "issues" and spontaneously turns off, so I'm never certain that I haven't lost something somewhere. Have a great week. And get me your news!