Oak Bluffs

Has this brand-new year been kind to you already? Or better yet, what have you done to make it a better start for someone else’s new year? Perhaps that could be the start of a different kind of New Year’s resolution.

The first “act of random kindness award” for 2012 goes to Lizzy at the SSA, who kindly called me to let me know I had downloaded the wrong form to renew my steamship profile number for the new year, and told me how to speed the new application along. Thank you for this service.

Our condolences to the family of Arthur Dickson. This kind gentleman died this week, leaving so many who mourn his passing and feeling the loss of a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and committed citizen to his country and his town. We are so very sorry.

Grace Church in Vineyard Haven will keep us all busy this winter. They are having a Fried Chicken Dinner/Karaoke Night on Sat., Jan. 7 , from 5 to 9 pm. Plenty of really delicious food and lots of fun for a winter night! Call 508-693 -0332 for info; and tickets are $15. Their Community Suppers are held every Friday from 5 to 6:30 pm and everyone is welcome.

Linda and Ed Ben David had a houseful over the holidays, more so than usual. All of their children and grandchildren came to visit and celebrated an early Christmas dinner at a time when they could all be together. Their children and grandchildren who helped celebrate were Ed and Sheila BenDavid and their son, Parker; their daughter, Lana, and her partner, Dania Gonzalez, who came from Bahama, N.C.; traveling from New Marlborough were Jason and Lynn BenDavid and their daughters, Maple and Ivy; Randy and Rebecca BenDavid of Native Earth Teaching Farm in Chilmark; Vicky BenDavid White with her daughters, Heather and Heidi; and completing the family circle were Aaron and Debra BenDavid with their sons, Evan, Nathaniel, and four-month-old baby Jonathan, who met his grandparents for the first time. Some of the family members had to return to their homes before Christmas day, but Linda’s sister Elllie and her husband, Brian Michael, from Fairhaven and Rebecca BenDavid’s sister, Lisa, came and joined the family. Granddaughter Heather White spent part of her college break traveling to Providence, New Jersey, and New York with her classmates from UMass Amherst.ACE MV Winter/Spring catalog lists over 60 classes. You may get more information on line at acemv.org or leave a voice mail message for Lynn Ditchfield at 508-693-1033, ext. 240.The Mansion House is again offering Vineyarders a “staycation” to celebrate the hotel’s 27th anniversary. All January, Vineyard residents can get a king room for $27 per person, based on double occupancy. Owners Sherm and Susan Goldstein look forward to the slumber party every year; it’s a great way to thank their friends and neighbors on the Island and gives Vineyarders the chance to relax after the busy holidays. Call the Mansion House for more info and details of what is included with the offer, 508-693-2200.The MV Center for Living will continue their Cultural Luncheon Series by honoring the Scottish influence and contributions on the Vineyard. Save Saturday, Jan. 14, from 12 noon to 2 pm at the Grill on Main in Edgartown. Come and enjoy speaker Steve Ewing and bagpiper Howard Wall, while enjoying a traditional meal as well as a taste of haggis. Tickets are $25 per person, available by calling Leslie Clapp at the Center for living 508-939-9440 or by going to the Center’s website: center4living.org.We send birthday smiles to Kate Feiffer and Jules BenDavid on January 5, Michael Araujo, and Patricia Costa on the 6th, Brenda Leonard on the 10th and Richard Combra Jr. and my grandson Sam Alley on January 11.Enjoy your week and the new year.Peace.