Aquinnah: Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone

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Well, I guess this winter is not going to be all 60° days and muddy ground. It’s going to be cold and snowy and, well, winter. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. If you choose to celebrate it, that is. You may also choose to ignore it and curse made-up holidays invented by corporations that exploit and promote the glorification of marriage and the shaming of single people. And that’s fine too. Either way, Chilmark Chocolates is open again, and you can get some good treats for your sweetie or yourself. Send a happy birthday to Rachel McDonald, whose birthday is on Valentine’s Day.

Joan LeLacheur will host an open studio on Saturday, Feb. 13, from 10 am to 5 pm at 42 Old South Road. She describes it as “a flurry of wampum valentines” in the shapes of hearts and flowers. There will also be mosaics. If you can’t make it on Saturday, you can set up an appointment with Joanie before Saturday, and she can come to you with her traveling jewelry show. Contact her at Joanlela57@gmail.com or 508-645-9954.

At the library this week: Tonight, Thursday, Feb. 11, at 5:30 pm is an adult craft where you can come in and make henna tattoos. Saturday’s craft will be valentines and chocolate-covered strawberries from 11 am to 3 pm. On Saturday, Feb. 20, there will be a kid’s yoga class from 10 to 11 am, and the craft will be painted rocks. Food for Fines is going on throughout February: You can bring in nonperishable food items for the Island Food Pantry and have your fines eradicated. There is a new ongoing project at the library, as well: a quilt. The staff at the library hopes that everyone who comes in, young and old, will draw using fabric markers on cotton squares. When the quilt is finished, it will hang opposite the circulation desk. Please see Jennifer if you would like to participate.

The Island Wide Youth Collaborative is sponsoring a series of educational groups for adolescents focusing on the effects of substance use and abuse. The group, Pathfinders, is designed to engage and inform students who have a desire to explore their relationship with substances. The goal of the group is to increase the participants’ knowledge and understanding of the impact of substance use in their lives and expose them to alternatives to using drugs and alcohol. Island-based activities focused on confidence-building and highlighting local supports for those in recovery will be built into the curriculum. Each group meets twice a week for six weeks. The group began Feb. 8, and will meet Mondays from 11:30 am to 1 pm and Thursdays from 3:30 pm to 5 pm. There will be no group over the February school break. For more information, please contact the Island Wide Youth Collaborative at 508-693-7900, ext. 401, or Amy Lilavois at MVRHS at 508-693-1033, ext. 291.

Save the date! The Aquinnah Cultural Council’s first Winter Fundraiser will be held on Feb. 27 at 4 pm at the Old Town Hall. It will be a gathering to help raise funds so the ACC can continue offering all its exhibits, programs, and events. The event will feature a homemade venison stew dinner, with quahog chowder, cornbread, and beverages. The Aquinnah tribe’s Black Brook Singers will be on hand to share some songs and relate the meaning and importance of the drum. Some Wampanoag elders will speak on growing up in Gay Head, and there will be a question-and-answer period. Additionally, there will be some craft tables, shop items from the ACC, and raffles featuring handmade jewelry and other arts.

The wishing tree at Carl Widdis’ gravesite in the Aquinnah cemetery will be up through April. Come and put a Valentine on the tree in honor of Carl and make a wish.