Edgartown: Thanks to first responders


I’m sitting down to write my column on the last night of July. I can’t even believe that my summer vacation is more than half over. But I will say this: It has been a great July. If August is as fun and joy-filled, I will be immensely grateful. I need to buckle down, finish some work around the house, and work on my curriculum and lesson plans, but I still plan to take advantage of the warm sunshine and summer fun.

I’ve spent the past few days teaching myself how to crochet. I used to knit quite a bit, but never could grasp the art of crochet. Though everyone told me it was “easy,” I’m not finding it super-easy, but I am enjoying it and showing steady progress. And since I’m sharing secrets of new things I’m trying, I also bought myself some watercolors. Though I’ve always dreamed of painting, I haven’t been brave enough to try it. I’m still looking at the unopened packages, but I’ve made a step in the right direction.

On Friday, July 29, at the Edgartown library, Shirley Mayhew will read her new children’s book, “Islander: The Circus Comes to Martha’s Vineyard,” about the two years when a real circus came to the Vineyard on the boat. This free program is for families and children. Bring your lunch and enjoy. There will be books available for purchase and signing.

Other events at the Edgartown library are phonics songs with Dorinda Samuels at 11 am during the August 4 story hour, and a special lunch story hour (bring your lunch) with storyteller Alaya Chadwick on August 5 at noon. Mark your calendars for August 9 at 3 pm to enjoy a yo-yo demonstration with champion yo-yo artist Brett Ooch. And of course, you can always enjoy the regular story hours each week, with bedtime stories at 7 pm on Wednesdays, preschool story hour at 11 am on Thursdays, and Little Bitty Book Time at 11 am on Saturdays.

Here’s a brief update on the community group that has been meeting since May to look at gaps and issues in the delivery of substance abuse services, ranging from prevention strategies to recovery services. The original goal for the group was to present a community forum on June 6, 2016. Since the forum, the group continues to meet to fine-tune goals, based on community input from the forum and comments from interested community members who have experienced pitfalls. The next meeting will be held at 10 am Thursday, August 4, at the Island Wide Youth Collaborative at 111 Edgartown Road in Oak Bluffs. The group does not have an official title or website, but a complete list of Island support services for substance abuse disorders can be found at the Martha’s Vineyard Substance Abuse Coalition Facebook page and the Dukes County website at bit.ly/dukescountysubstance.

Happy birthday wishes go out to Pete Lambos, who celebrated on August 2, to my sister, Pam Gardner, who celebrates on August 5, and to Tom Sullivan on August 6. May this year bring you all your birthday wishes!

Extra-special happy birthday wishes go out this week to Chappy resident Shirley Dewing, who turns 80 on August 6. Shirley recently walked in the Island’s Black Lives Matter rally, as well as putting in two hours walking at the Relay for Life, an event that she takes part in every year. Shirley will celebrate with her husband of 63 years, Ted Dewing, as well as her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Many happy returns of the day, Mrs. Dewing.

Noepe Center for Literary Arts is heading to the Grange Hall as a co-sponsor of Islanders Write on August 8. They will be sponsoring three workshops on cultivating a daily writing practice. In addition, Mike Ditchfield will be moderating a panel on mystery writing. IW takes place on August 7 and 8, and is sponsored by The MV Times.

The MV Partnership for Health is recruiting new class leaders to become trained to conduct seminars on “Powerful Tools for Caregivers.” This program has been designed to support caregivers of adults with a chronic condition in a way that enhances the caregiver’s well-being as they care for others. This free training will be provided on Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 12 and 13, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at the Tisbury Senior Center. Training materials, lunch, and snacks will be provided. For more information, email ksamways@ihimv.org or call 508-627-5797, ext 114.

Thank you to all of our first responders and emergency personnel, who have dealt with some horrible accidents and emergencies recently. You all have my utmost respect and appreciation for all that you do and your abilities to handle such dire crises. Thank you.

With all the sad and scary news in the world these days and the craziness of the upcoming elections, it’s easy to get depressed or frightened. Sometimes it can all seem so overwhelming. But I have to say that the dismal news and the rampant harshness in our world has only awakened a newfound hope in me. I believe that each one of us can make a difference, if we try. Keep being kind. Be generous. Make a positive difference, no matter how small. I continue to try each day. I don’t always succeed. But each day that I wake up is a new opportunity to do good in the world.