If Santa has not yet completed his shopping, he might check out the office of Sail Martha's Vineyard at 110 Main Street (across from Owen Park). The Maritime Art Show is open daily from 10 to 4. The show, to benefit Sail Martha's Vineyard, has a wonderful collection of maritime art by Island artists. Many of the pieces are very reasonably priced. Call 508-693-7644 for more information.
Another artistic endeavor that will please the most discriminating Islander is the beautiful calendar of photographs of Vineyard birds. This calendar, sold to benefit Felix Neck, is on sale at The Beach House at 30 Main Street.
The figures of Saint Nicholas and Santa Lucia make the windows at The Beach House spectacular. While there, enjoy the popular penguins on display across the street at Bramhall & Dunn. Take time to enjoy the decorations the shopkeepers have put up for your pleasure.
Nine Island teens are heading for the New Orleans area right after Christmas to help with some of the rebuilding there. Although the hurricane is long gone, much of the rebuilding has barely started. These young people, accompanied by three Island adults, will spend a week of their school holiday working hard while living in a FEMA trailer with no running water or much of anything else. As a part of Project Hope the teens are raising the money for their trip, as well as for the bottled water and materials they will need. In the spirit of the holiday season, they could use some help from you. Donation jars are around town or you can send a check to the Federated Church in Edgartown, which sponsors the teen group.
When you were cleaning up for holiday visitors, you found those books you meant to return to the Library last month. Take them back now during the fine-free period. Instead of paying a fine, bring in non-perishable food items for the Food Pantry, anytime between now and Dec. 30.
While at the Library, take a chance to win one of two hand-made, beautiful and edible gingerbread houses. Just put your name in for a chance. Winners will be announced today.
Carolyn Henderson returned to the Island last May for a brief visit, surprising many of her friends. She had been attending her grandson's graduation at Tufts. Now we learn from her Christmas message the sad news that her husband Frank Henderson died in October. Her daughter Ann was married several years ago on the Island to Ray Perez. Ray also died this fall of cancer. Carolyn will be spending her holidays with Ann in California this year.
I knew that gas was expensive on the Island but did not realize how much one tank would end up costing me. A few weeks ago I stopped at a gas station to fill up the tank in my car. As usual on Island, it was not self-serve so the man at the station did the work. After I paid, he said, "thank you" and went back inside the building. However, as I pulled slowly away the car seemed sluggish. There was suddenly a bang, a pull, and a huge spray of gasoline all over my car. The hose had not been removed from the car. Two attendants quickly found the gas cap and replaced it, while covering the ground area with something to absorb the gasoline spilled on the pavement. I had to ask someone to wipe off the rear window which was totally obscured.
It smeared terribly but seemed improved after I washed the front and rear windows again with glass cleaner when I got home. Then I went to Boston last week and drove home in the rush hour in the dark and in the pouring rain. That is when I discovered that the spilled gasoline damaged the windshield wipers and still smeared the windshield with a reflective film making the trip very difficult and frighteningly dangerous. Soapy water and a car wash finally cleaned up the mess.
Now I have a clean car for the holidays and a warning for anyone else who has gasoline sprayed on the car to be sure to clean it off with detergent as soon as possible.
Congratulations go out tomorrow to Fred and Jill LaPiana who celebrate 28 happy years together.
Heard on Main Street: "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"