Daffodils and forsythia, welcome spots of color coming out in the gray landscape. We’re getting there; lawns are looking a little greener but still most of the trees are barren. We had an invasion of sugar ants (the little ones, and not the kind that fly, thank goodness) in our house over the weekend so now I know it is truly spring. The sun has been shining for three days straight and it really does feel like we live in a blessed place, ants and all.

This weekend, in honor of Earth Day, there will be Island wide beach clean-ups sponsored by the Vineyard Conservation Society. Come to Lobsterville, Gay Head, or Menemsha Beach on Saturday at 10 am to help out. Bags and gloves will be provided. You can go to for all the details.

After you’re done cleaning up the beach you can head to the shops at the Cliffs, which will be open, and do a little Earth Day shopping. No word yet on when the restaurants open.

Welcome to our new personnel board members, James Shepard and Steven Roth.

I ran into Paul Peterciel on Sunday. He and his wife Louise are taking over the Chilmark Tavern. They have been Aquinnah summer residents for awhile and are making the move to be here year-round. They run a couple of restaurants off-Island in the Swampscott area and they have some but not all of their team in place at the Tavern, and they hope to be up and running by May 5. I wish them much good fortune. We didn’t talk about the menu but I’m rooting for an upscale burger joint myself. As long as there’s sweet potato fries.

Dr. Don Hare, another longtime summer resident, passed away Easter weekend in Rochester, N.Y. He and his wife Nancy hosted the Annual Friends of the Aquinnah Public Library Luncheon at their home and were also generous supporters of the Community Baptist Church. Our hearts go out to his family and we will miss his presence and his service.

I was unable to attend the memorial service for Tom Osmers on Saturday night but I heard it was wonderful, and that it lasted well into the night. I spoke with Buddy Vanderhoop, who was very close with Tom, and he said that Tom never had a bad word to say about anyone, was a great fisherman, and that he was the backbone of the Martha’s Vineyard/Dukes County Fisherman’s Association, an organization that Tom was dedicated to. It was clear how much respect Buddy had for Tom as a fisherman and as a man and how much he will miss him. I am new to the Island by most standards and I am still struck by how deeply affected we all are by the passing of one person. In New York, someone could die in my building and I honestly would not have thought that much about it or would not have thought about it for very long. But here where we are all so connected and dependent on each other, each loss feels, if not huge, then at least like a real loss. A space has been left in our community, that will not be filled again, especially when it is someone like Tom. These are some of the gifts of living in a small community — to see the true value in another human being, to have the time to pay attention.