It is Sunday night. I sit in my home with my seven-year-old companion while the other two members of my family are out plowing the snow that the National Weather Service predicted to be primarily rain. We went sledding in what seemed on the verge of blizzard conditions and returned back in to the warmth of our home that was suffering a power outage. We ate brownies for dinner and played a rousing game of War, which he won hands down.

Caleb, Chris, and Celia Slater spent a long holiday weekend with Caleb’s parents, Herb and Jane. Caleb and Chris managed to fit in quite a bit of deer hunting but didn’t manage to fill the freezer on this trip. Tuesday, Sarah, Aaron, Jack, and Scott Bennett joined grandparents Herb and Jane from Attleboro for an after-Christmas visit.

Sarah, Allison, and Genevieve Flanders all managed to return to the nest for the Christmas holiday weekend. I think we will experience a month of Sundays before the girls decide to forego their traditional cookie baking sisterly bonding experience. Those three young women make me so happy when they are together because they actually seem to enjoy each other’s company. So refreshing.

Chelsea along with her father Charlie Maida are in town for the holiday week. They ventured north from Citra, Florida, to spend ten days with grandmother Margaret Maida. They will be lucky enough to visit with the Coutinho family. Cody ventured home for Christmas from his freshman year at Merrimack College and Zach from his junior year at Franklin Pierce.

Imogen, Ben, Kerry, and Stephen Taylor have added Meg and Vince Loffredo and their children Gigi, Ellie, and Rocco (7, 6, and 4 respectively) to their household this week. The Loffredos swooped in from Houston, Texas, just in time for the kids to make their very first snowman. Yes, it really is the little things in life that make it all worthwhile.

Sarah, Seth, Andrew, Matthew, and Nate Karlinsky travelled off-Island this past Sunday and made it as far as a Rhode Island Holiday Inn before they decided to call it quits for the night. The gang slowly made their way towards Connecticut for a visit with family and friends. After indulging in Doritos and powdered donuts and watching the snowflakes fall, the family hit the hay in search of a good night’s sleep so as to be clear-headed and wide-eyed for the rest of the journey.

There was a little excitement at the Solitto household on Christmas Eve. Their poor kitty had been high up in a tree for nearly eight hours. Joe resorted to calling on our local fire department for some assistance. Alan Porter and David Norton swung by with a mighty ladder and scooped the furry friend up and brought it down to solid ground. The kitty was now snug in her bed. David still had plenty of time to visit with daughter Holly over dinner at Sharky’s. Alan made it to the dinner party he was planning to attend with a feel-good story to share at the table.

To Richard Steves: may the skill of the doctors, the advancements in medicine, and your own personal strength all work together as an unbeatable team to get you well again. Richard has been under the weather, but from what I hear he is on the mend. Let us all take the time to think about our neighbors and check in if we haven’t seen their car venture out of the driveway in a day or two.

Great movies, great music, great food, and great friends can be found at the Family. Film. Feast. Saturday, Jan. 8, starting at 5 pm. Check out the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival site at for details.

Ency Fokos , the proud bride of Robert Fokos, is pleased to share that he, a pioneer of the modern commercial printing industry, has been awarded another patent for his most recent printing innovation: an integrated cutter delivery system capable of creating an under-shingled product stream. I will admit I wasn’t quite sure what all of this meant until I Googled him and read his patent abstract []. Now, I think I understand.

Wildlife biologists Luanne Johnson and Elizabeth Baldwin are hoping Island hikers will be on the lookout for otter trails and slides in the woods this winter. Luanne will present their preliminary findings and offer instruction on how to recognize otter tracks and trails at the Chilmark Public Library on Thursday, Jan. 6, at 5 pm. The program is free and presented by the Friends of the Chilmark Public Library.

In the words of Benjamin Franklin: Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.