Edgartown Town Column

By Gail Craig - December 6, 2007
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The weather has gotten cold. The heat is on. I have my usual tense shoulders and neck from being all hunched up against the cold that seems to seep into my bones with the first sign of winter and as I get older, it just seems to get worse. But it's hard to argue with the cold and the first flurries of the year when your kids jump out of the car in the dark, huge grins on their faces, turning in circles yelling and singing with joy and trying to catch snowflakes on their tongues. Even though I was tired, cold, and laden down with packages, I couldn't help but just lean on the fence and watch them. There was something truly magical in that moment as they played, the only light coming from a single outside light, with the edges of their dance cast in shadow, their giggles the soundtrack to their action. In that moment, it was bliss for them and bliss for me, for completely different reasons.

If the e-mails and phone calls I've received are any indication, the parade on Saturday is looking to be very small. The only actual participants that I know of are the alumni dogs of the MSPCA and a fire truck with Santa. As I write this, I'm trying to think of a fun float to toss together as well. If you would like to be part of the fun, show up at the Edgartown School at 9:30 Saturday morning. The parade kicks off at 10 am.

Also on Saturday is the 15th annual Arts and Crafts Festival at the Edgartown School, which raises money for the Edgartown eighth grade. Entry into the event is free and there is plenty of parking (once the parade moves out), food, numerous vendors for one-stop shopping, and lots of fun and holiday spirit.

Pia Gundersen wrote from New York City, where she is on an emergency trip to help out at home as her mom was back in the hospital this week. Pia wrote that the weekend in New York has been very nostalgic for her as she was again at the famous lighting of the Park Avenue Christmas trees and carol sing in front of the Brick Presbyterian Church, which was the church of her childhood. The kids that sing in the church's children's choir were on the steps in their choir robes, as throngs of people filled Park Avenue, which was closed off for three blocks. Little but Pia's perspective has changed since she was a child standing on those steps so many years ago. The Park Avenue Christmas trees were put up 63 years ago to honor the troops who had perished in World War II. Reflecting on that thought, Pia was particularly moved this year by the playing of Taps.

The one tradition from her childhood that she did chose to forego this year was heading into Macy's to see the window displays. As Pia put it, she "saw the mass of humanity heading toward the store" and immediately turned around. She then proceeded to take the wrong subway back to her parents' apartment, which she has never done. She chalked some of it up to being away from Kevin, Jacob, Eli, and Ingrid. But it sounds to me like Pia has a pretty full plate this holiday season.

Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences, Pia, and get-well wishes to your mother. I know how hard it was to care for my kids and family while also helping care for my mother while she was sick, and she was on the Island. Pia must have incredible strength to juggle trips back and forth to New York, three kids, the holidays, and everything else. If all she does is take the wrong subway once, I'd say she's doing pretty well.

Don't forget all the wonderful events coming up this weekend. Hospice will be having "Handmade from the Heart" on Saturday at the Daniel Fisher House. Donaroma's annual "Night of Lights," a breathtakingly beautiful event, is Friday night at the nursery. Saturday night at 6 pm will be the lighting of the Christmas tree in the village green (aka: shell path park). And don't forget all the other events, the chowder contest Saturday afternoon, shopper's luncheon at the Whaling Church, the cookie tasting contest, photos with Santa. For more details and the schedule of events, check out the calendar section of this weeks Times or go to the Edgartown Board of Trade's web site at edgartownboardoftrade.com.

The four churches of the United Methodist Cooperative Ministry of Martha's Vineyard will worship together for service this Sunday with the Rev. Susan Heafield and Pastor Richard Rego at the Christ United Methodist Church (the Stone Church) on the corner of Church and Williams Street in Vineyard Haven. This multi-media Advent/Christmas Cantata, entitled "Hold the Child Gently," is a fresh approach to Christmas by Ron Klusmeier and Walter Farquharson. In our world of pain and hunger, the birth of Jesus brings new hope. All are welcome to attend this special service Dec. 9 at 11 am. If you would like more information, please call the United Methodist Cooperative Ministry office at 508-645-3100.

That's it, folks. Remember - I need floats, music, singers, jugglers, classic cars, bikes, motorcycles, anything festive for the parade on Saturday. Please come out and help make it a success.