December feels like the shortest month of the year. One minute it's Thanksgiving, the next minute you are up to your eyeballs in things to accomplish before Christmas Eve. I'm sure there are many of you who have all your cookies baked and all your presents wrapped, but I am not one. Pulling all-nighters and swirling around in a frenzy has been my pattern all my life and, although it's my worst habit, it is what it is, and I accept it. "So it goes," as Kurt Vonnegut said.
Apropos to the above, Hellie Neumann sent me an email about her free acupuncture clinics for all veterans and active-duty military personnel, firemen, policemen, and EMTs on Martha's Vineyard. The clinics will begin this Saturday, Dec. 18, from 9 am to 12 noon, at Vineyard Complementary Medicine, 49 State Road (near up-island Cronig's) in West Tisbury. Please call 508-693-3800 for information or to schedule an appointment. Acupuncture is a proven stress reducer.
Also on the 18th, the last Winter Farmer's Market of 2010 will be held at the Ag Hall. In addition to late produce, jams, and baked goods, there will be a wreath-making demonstration by Lynn Daniels of Old Town Gardens, and Rebecca Gilbert of Native Earth Teaching Farm will be spinning yarn. The market is from 10 am to 2 pm.
West Tisbury School seventh-graders will hold a bake sale at the Linden Tree Park in Vineyard Haven this Saturday, from 10 am to 2 pm. Baked goods, hot chocolate, and cider will be sold to raise money for their ski trip in February.
I had the pleasure of meeting a new West Tisbury-ite, Margaret Skinner. Margaret, her husband, Jon Reynolds, and their goldendoodle, Sweeney, have moved here full-time to their home on Deep Bottom Road. Margaret, an attorney, has been doing pro bono work for the Dukes County Probate Court. Jon, a retired radiologist, is "currently employed as a full-time landscaper working on our property," according to his wife. Welcome to town, Margaret and Jon.
Happy birthday to Hal Garneau on December 14 and to Sue Hruby on the 16th.
So many West Tisbury artists, craftsmen, and chefs are selling their wares at this time of year. Besides the Vineyard Artisans I wrote about last week (Main Street, Vineyard Haven) 25 of their fellows have a Farmer's Market Holiday Market on Spring Street (off Main Street, Vineyard Haven, behind the Beach House.) Open daily, 10-6, till Christmas, wares include Linda Alley's jams, jellies, and mustards, Scott Campbell's pottery, Patti Linn's chocolates, as well as an array of stocking stuffers, ornaments, bark cloth pillows and skirts, scallop shell lights and trees, and leather purses.
Sunday, Dec. 19, is the date of Katherine Long and Tom Vogl's Annual Solstice Party. It has been for many years the highlight of up-Island holiday festivities. Katherine is carrying on the tradition. Please bring hearty potluck dishes and desserts to share. I'm sorry to say Katherine's kittens will not be joining the assembled guests; out of fear they would get out on the road, they will be boarded at Animal Health Care. We will carry on, nonetheless. Tom's daughter, Wendy, plans to come, and an assortment of grandchildren. And enough of her friends to make the house appear ready to split at the corner boards. There will be balloons marking the way off Scotsman's Bridge Lane. Please leave your dogs at home.
Grades 5 to 8 students at the West Tisbury School will perform in a Holiday Concert on Monday night, December 20, 7 pm, at the school.
Joanne Scott sent me an email about a Xerox-sponsored website that delivers holiday greetings to our soldiers overseas. It's free and simple to do. Please take a look at www.LetsSayThanks.com.
Don't forget the Red Stocking this year. Over 400 children need help having any kind of a Christmas. Please do what you can. Call Kerry Alley at 508-693-2324.
The following is from Sue Hruby, a tidbit she discovered while looking at the Weather Channel online: "Our earliest sunset will be Monday, Dec. 13. It will be at 4:13 pm. After that, things will brighten up. By Tuesday, Dec. 14, the sun will be setting at 4:14 pm. One more minute of light. This, despite the fact that the sun will continue to rise later and later until after the solstice. So, if you are bemoaning the darkness as I always do this time of year, know that things are getting better. One more thing, if you really do hate the darkness, don't travel east at the end of the day. Tomorrow the sun will be setting at 4:12 in Vineyard Haven, and at 4:11 on Nantucket."
I will miss Mary Anne and Warren Mead, who are moving to Maine. Mary Anne's last day at the library was last Thursday. Just before she left, she gave me some interesting information, proving once again the value of a good reference librarian. The story she told answered the question of how Santa is able to deliver toys around the world in just one night. Her son had supplied the answer, "Different time zones." Simple.