Happy New Year one and all. I hope everyone had a merry Christmas — or just a good day off if you don’t celebrate Christmas. Aquinnah was certainly bustling with activity the weekend before Christmas.

There were three parties on the winter Solstice. In midafternoon, people gathered at the Gay Head Lighthouse for music and refreshments. The Lighthouse was very festively decorated and it was a charming party.

Then it was off to David and Saskia Vanderhoop’s for their potluck/sing-along jam with bonfires (potluck and sing-along inside, fires outside). It was very sweet with lots of children harmonizing, Saskia’s son, Evan on guitar and some other kids running around outside. Nanauwe Vanderhoop did a lovely rendition of “Someone to Watch over Me.” The grand finale was held at Berta and Vern Welch’s. Their house was packed with people, many from down Island, and a whole group of Mashpee Wampanoag who are rarely seen in these parts at this time of year.

I had a great time catching up with my neighbors, Jim and Kathy Newman, and Barbara Puciul (who came from West Tisbury). Adrianna and Bruce Ignacio were there but are now back in Utah for the rest of the winter. It was also great to see Ella Mahoney who is on break from her first year of college. She will be around for a while. I left fairly late in the evening and the party was still going. Thanks to everyone for a lovely Solstice and I’m delighted I didn’t have to do any cleanup.

The Aquinnah Town Christmas party which was held the Monday before Christmas was a great cap to a busy holiday weekend. This party was a real group effort and it came off well. The decorations were hung by Nancy Benoit, Theresa Manning, Lisa Vanderhoop, Noli Taylor, and Jaime Vanderhoop. Matt Tobin of Eden generously donated a Christmas tree. Many people cooked food and Santa’s helpers (Alex Taylor and Theresa Manning) made sure that every child in town had a Christmas present. Okay, don’t let your child read this part: Theresa’s dad was Santa and he did a great job! Well done everyone who helped out and check out Ken Wentworth’s pictures of the event on Facebook.

The Aquinnah Housing Committee is gathering information about the need for affordable housing in our town, both ownership and rental. New affordable home site lots are being developed for the next lottery and the committee would like to develop a list of possible interested parties. When the next affordable home site lottery is announced, would you like to be on a list to receive information about it? Do you think you would be interested in applying? If so, please contact Carolyn Feltz at the Town Hall and give her your phone number and email address. She will then make sure you are contacted as soon as information is available. She would also like to know if you are interested in renting or buying. The more the committee knows, the better it can serve you. Please contact Carolyn by phone, 508-645-2304, or email her at

The members of the Federated Church of Edgartown are once again sponsoring their Free Lasagna Luncheons, beginning January 5, and they will continue every Sunday through March 30. The luncheon is held from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm, in the Federated Church Parish House at 45 South Summer Street. The meals are free, and all are welcome. The meal consists of salad, lasagna, garlic bread, and assorted cookies. Donations will not be accepted. For more information, call Marna Waller at the church office, 508-627-4421.

Happy Birthday to Megan Ottens-Sargent who celebrates on January 6.