“There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go.” – Author unknown

Sadly, on Saturday we must gather at Abel’s Hill to say goodbye to one of our beloved friends, Mary Larsen. Mary died suddenly while vacationing in Florida last weekend. There will be a graveside service on Saturday, Jan. 23, at 1 pm with a celebration of Mary’s life to immediately follow at the Chilmark Community Center. The family asks that we please consider bringing a dessert to share while we share our stories and memories of such a delightful woman with a remarkable sweet tooth.

Good thoughts go out to Gwen Mayhew who was deployed to Haiti on the USNS Comfort. The U.S. Navy hospital ship pushed off its dock in Baltimore Harbor on the morning of January 16. The Comfort is three football fields long with 250 hospital beds and a 550-person medical team. Gwen will, most likely, be providing much needed medical attention in Haiti for the next four to six months. We are all proud, Gwen.

The Klaren family has returned from their trip to Walt Disney World where Jonathan ran the 2010 Marathon. Kelly, Kim, and Jonathan teamed up with the likes of Kim’s brother Kenny Romero, former Station Menemsha Coast Guardsman, Matt Sponable, of course Skipper Manter, and others to have a week full of fun surrounding Jonathan’s big run. A highlight of the trip for Kelly was getting all dolled up at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. A highlight for all was a backstage meet and greet at the performance of “Beauty and the Beast.”

The couple that resides at Beetlebung Farm is sharing a significant milestone on January 25. Ozzie and Rena Fischer will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary. Seventy years ago; the first McDonalds Restaurant opened, Disney’s “Pinocchio” was released, carbon-14 was discovered, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in office, and this was the year, in the midst of WWII, that he declared that the U.S. must become “the great arsenal of democracy.” Ozzie and Rena began a noteworthy life together 70 years ago. It is a life filled with family, friends, neighbors, animals, vegetables, mighty trees, and remarkable memories.

Also celebrating an anniversary is Phil Smith. Phil and Mary Jo Joiner have made the mighty state of Alaska their home for the last four years.

If you see Sarah Mayhew Shipway be sure to wish her a happy birthday. She celebrated a “big one” on the 19th. Happy, happy Sarah!

Also celebrating this week is Gabriel Ambulos. Gabe turned 10 and celebrated by heading off-Island for a day of snow tubing at Nashoba Valley. I saw pictures documenting the day and, wow, it looked like loads of fun.

While in Wellington, Fla., with mother Kristi and riding instructor Tracey Olsen, Clara Maynard is participating in a work study program with Pam Goodrich acquiring new dressage skills and fine-tuning the old. Also in Wellington this week is young Ava Stearns, daughter of Bret Stearns and Sarah Doyle. Ava showed in three over fences classes and one equitation class with combined scores putting her on top as champion in her division at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Congratulations, Miss Ava.

“Big” starring Tom Hanks as a 12-year-old boy trapped inside a 30-year-old man’s body will hit the screen tomorrow night at the Chilmark Library. This 1988 comedy will be shown at 7 pm with free popcorn and juice.

Next Wednesday, “Mister Roberts,” a classic 1955 film starring Henry Fonda and Jack Lemmon as sailors on a WWII Navy cargo carrier will be shown as the second movie in the library’s Chowder and a Movie series. Again, this is a free event.

Don’t forget to save that date. The Chilmark School’s Caribbean Night will be Saturday, Feb. 13. Last year’s event was a great adult night out on the town. Tickets will be available through all school parents, at the school, at Menemsha Texaco, and online at

There was an evening gathering of friends this past week at Stonehouse Farm, home of Julie Flanders. Childhood friend Jennifer Iacopino travelled from New Hampshire to join in the fun. Dinner, champagne, and hilarious anecdotes were passed around as a flickering fire was fueled by the contributions of Jennifer, Margaret Maida, Sandy Mincone, Deb Hancock, Linda Coutinho, Kathy Hamm, and more. It was a night to remember full of turning tides, roaring laughter, fond memories, and knowing that time has brought better tomorrows.

I leave you with this: Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be.