We all have friends for whom getting through the holiday season poses sometimes insurmountable difficulties. This year, the news all over the world is sobering for all of us. But if we can't solve the often incomprehensible world problems, at least we can do something cheerful in small ways here on the Island. Like getting good and festive things for the Vineyard Food Pantry, whose stocks we hear are lower than usual. And school principal Diane Gandy reminds us in her December issue of The Bell Tower, the school newsletter, that we can drop off letters and cards and other donations, "especially athletic socks," she says, for the men and women in the armed forces. Donation boxes are stored under the table in the great room at the school.
We send our sympathy out to library assistant Judy Mueller whose mother Rose Simonds died last week.
Ann Dietrich called to tell us about the work United Methodist volunteers are doing to help restore order and purpose to the lives of Hurricane Katrina victims, many of whom remain homeless and in disarray two years after the devastating storms. Anyone interested in volunteering to go down to Louisiana to do general cleanup and construction work is invited to a meeting next Monday, Dec. 17, at 6:30 pm in the downstairs chapel at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown when representatives from the United Methodist Committee for Relief will talk about their experiences in the Gulf Coast. A retired minister and his wife, Skip and Mary Ann Danforth of Chatham, have led four groups of volunteers from the southeastern Massachusetts area and are planning another trip in January. For more information, please call Ann Deitrich at 508-645-9506.
And an e-mail from Leslie Frizzell reports that 13 student volunteers from the Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School will be returning to Biloxi, Miss. in January to continue their Hurricane Katrina relief work. To raise funds for the trip, a spaghetti dinner will be held tonight, Thursday, from 5 to 7 pm at the Portuguese American Club. Tickets will be available at the door: $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.
The library book sale, organized by the Friends of the Library, starts this Saturday, Dec. 15. Hardcover books and books on tape and videos are $1; paperbacks 25 cents. The half-price sale starts on Thursday, Dec. 20. Materials will be free from Dec. 26 to 31.
The library is all gussied up for the holidays, thanks to the efforts of Martha's Vineyard Garden Club members Bonnie George and Winkie Keith, who have decorated the outside with blue spruce adorned with colorful ribbons. The club is seeking new members. Those interested in learning about "flora and fauna, raising money for Island beautification, crafts projects and lectures on all that grows," may call Bonnie at 508-645-3214 for more information.
The Friends of the Library invite everyone to the library's holiday party on Wednesday, Dec. 19, from 5 to 7 pm. There will be the usual homemade delicious refreshments, music by the brothers Dunkl and a crafts table in the corner with boughs and bows to make your own swags for the front door or to drape over the mantel. And you can do some shopping at the book tables out in the long hallway.
Turkey Trot organizers are grateful to Jill Bernstein, Abby Webster and Lisa Lane for rounding up Chilmark School alumni from West Tisbury and the Charter School so they could enjoy the event and return them afterwards to their respective schools for the remainder of the school day.
Another fascinating note from the school is news of the trip to the Field Gallery where the fourth and fifth graders explained the finer points of the fine art - in Spanish. That's certainly hands-on learning that could be useful some day.
The library will be open Monday, Dec. 24, from 10:30 am to 2 pm and closed Tuesday, Christmas Day.