Well, over the past few days we have welcomed a new friend and said good-bye to a faithful old one. Usually it works the other way around but when did Islanders ever do things the usual way? Saturday's welcome ceremony to our new ferry Island Home was held on one of our beautiful winter days with the sun shining. I saw many people who were there when we greeted the new "Islander" over 50 years ago. Now that faithful vessel looks as if it could be the lifeboat for our new one, there is such a difference in size. Most of the comments I heard were most favorable and I loved the comfortable seating as recently it seemed as if the seats on the Islander would sink down below decks when you sat on them as they were so old. But I shall miss the Islander with its steady passage throughout whatever kind of weather nature put in her path. Even the somewhat arthritic sounding groanings it seemed to make these last few years were somehow reassuring as if we were in the hands of an experienced vessel and would be safely taken to our destination. Actually the only slightly negative comments that I heard about the Island Home were worries about how it would ride in a strong wind as it is so high and what effect it would have on Tisbury when the many cars and passengers were unloaded directly into the town. Let us wait and see. Change is always difficult.
Former Selectman Ken Rusczyk has just returned from a month in Northern Thailand. This trip included an exploration of the caves, waterfalls, and thermal baths of the mountain towns of Chang Mai and Pai, near the boarder of Burma (Myanmar). During the entire month of February, Ken did not see a single drop of rain. The daily temperatures were in the high 80's with cool nights. The draw of Thailand for Ken was the fantastic fresh fruit, great Thai food, Buddhist culture, and, of course, the warm weather.
We send birthday smiles to Josh Forend on March 9, Vicky White on March 10, and Will deBettencourt on March 12.
The Oak Bluffs Library continues to amaze me with its new programs. On Saturday, March 10, at 10:30 am there will be a Portuguese/English Story Time in the Children's Programs Room. Amadine, a nine-year-old from Brazil, will read a story in Portuguese. So many Brazilian children learn to read English and then stop reading or speaking in Portuguese. Amadine's Mom thought this would be a nice way to encourage more Brazilians to come to the library. There will be snacks from the Brazilian markets for the families to enjoy. English speakers who are interested in hearing the sounds of the same book read in both languages are also welcome.
Scrabble, Boggle, Upwords, and Crosswords are only a few of the word games planned for Saturday, March 10, from 2 to 4 pm, at the Oak Bluffs Library. Come and join everyone again to play your favorite word games, meet new people and enjoy an afternoon at the library. Refreshments will be served and you may bring a word game with you if you wish. All ages are welcome.
Mary Alley and her children Talia and Jeremy spent a few days in Puerto Rico over school vacation week enjoying the beaches and sunshine, with only one brief rain shower the whole time. Also spending the week in Puerto Rico were Pam Swan and her children John, Julian, and Jackie. Although the two families did not stay in the same place they all flew back to the states together on Saturday and spent that weekend with Heather and Leon Holt and their two sons at their home in Natick.
The speaker at the Friday Conversations program at the Oak Senior Center on March 16 will be Dr. Frederick Hotchkiss, Director of the Marine and Paleobiological Research Institute. The program runs from 10 to 11:30 am.
A free family event is scheduled for Saturday, March 10. This will be a Hip Hop Afternoon and will take place from 4 to 6 pm at the Oak Bluffs School.
Michael and Erin deBettencourt and their five children were in Florida over the school vacation, while Bill Anderson Jr. and his son Billy along with Billy's friend Connor Lodge preferred to head to cold country up North for a skiing vacation.
Enjoy your week and send your news along.