We all have traditions. You might find that some revolve around family. You might find that some revolve around one’s religious upbringing. Perhaps a tradition that revolves around the change of the seasons, the solstice or equinox.

One tradition I am now particularly fond of, that I look forward to continuing for years to come, is the New Year’s Eve candlelit woodland walk with friends. The rules involved with making this tradition a worthwhile one to pass along are quite simple. First of all, gather in a home surrounded by warm and welcoming people. Engage in pleasant conversation over homemade food and let your children frolic in the snow or perhaps partake in a game of hide and seek.

Once the bellies are full and the time seems right, gather up said children, slip your feet into boots, hands into mittens, and gather with all the warm and welcoming friends outside. Light candles one by one and as you do share a wish for the new year. If the candles won’t stay lit (wind can be a deciding factor) glow sticks can certainly pinch hit.

Choose a path to wander. Watch the figures of your friends and children as their silhouettes dance in the moonlight while reflecting upon your year and making some dreams for the future. Return to the home from where you started. Roast marshmallows and toast champagne while warming by a crackling fire. Thank you to John, Hillary, Adelaide, Thea, Ella, and Lathrop Keene for sharing of yourselves and making the final moments of 2010 so very memorable.

The above-mentioned Keene clan returned home on the 29th from a trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Hillary’s parents, Anne and Hal, opened their home to the gang and had some extra traffic from Hillary’s sister Heather and brother Andrew and their families. A wonderful mix of cousins provided fun for all. While on their snowy Colorado adventure, they spent an afternoon with our Chilmark summer friends, the Keefe family. An afternoon of sledding and hot chocolate gave Quinn, Allie, and Grady an opportunity to catch up with the kids they hadn’t seen since their departure in October. Young master Grady has had another foot surgery since we all saw him last and has been doing beautifully maneuvering around in a wheelchair doing wheelies with his two casts.

Gabe, Perry, and Mary Ambulos, after being delayed by bad weather and helping shovel out new neighbors, the Hoffmans, made their trip to D.C. to catch up with Mary’s clan.

Did you miss out on watching the Chilmark School kids participate in their annual Turkey Trot? Well, lucky for you Jay Lagemann was there with video camera in hand recording the whole thing. It will air on MVTV cable channel 13 on Wednesday, Jan. 12, at 8 pm. Be sure to tune in and catch a glimpse of yet another longstanding town tradition.

The free Friday night movie series at the library begins tomorrow with “To Catch a Thief,” a 1955 Academy Award-winning film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. The movie starts promptly at 7 pm and provides us with the opportunity of a night out on the town without having to venture too far from home.

The library will also begin its winter Chowder and a Movie series this Wednesday the twelfth. Each Wednesday at noon during January and February the Friends of the Library will sponsor this opportunity to get out of the cold, rest your tired legs, and fill yourself with warmed-up ocean goodness. This Wednesday will kick off with “The House of Mirth” based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel starring our own Chilmark seasonal resident Dan Ackroyd. Give the folks at the library a call for further information on either of these ongoing events.

Well wishes go out to one of the sweetest residents on Middle Road. Many of you know her from her homemade jams, others from the good ole days at SBS, and others from her volunteer work reading with the school children. Ethel Sherman had a most unfortunate shoulder-break. She is on the mend and should be good as new sooner rather than later, but well wishes are in need. Here’s hoping that 2011 will bring you quick healing.

I hope by the time the following information hits the paper the following mystery will be solved, but on behalf of Abel’s Hill resident Chris Fischer I appeal to you to keep a lookout for Olive the black lab who went missing from her home December 31. She is described as tall and lanky and wandering on her own. If you happen to see her out and about please contact either the Chilmark or West Tisbury dog officers, the Chilmark police, or a very concerned grandfather known as Albert Fischer. Again, I hope by the time you read this Olive will be home from her rather lengthy adventure.