Welcome to 2017. Are you all ready with your New Year’s resolutions and good intentions? My plans to be more organized in this new year began to topple over like lawn chairs in a nor’easter, starting the day after Christmas as the sick goblins snuck into my household. One by one, starting with me being hit by a respiratory infection, those goblins moved on, bringing the gift of the stomach virus to one great-grandchild. A day later they moved on to a second great-grandchild, and then felled their mother. As of Tuesday last the only ones still reasonably healthy in my house were my daughter and her son. Oops. Spoke too soon, as my daughter just received a visit from the goblins. Just adding to the excitement of it all, one of the two toilets in the house chose this same week to malfunction. As they say, “Keep calm and carry on.”
The theme of the new year’s first Meditations of Peace service this Saturday, Jan. 7, is Light in Darkness. The service, which is held several times each year, will be held at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Chapel at 3 pm. The interfaith Meditations of Peace gatherings include readings, reflections, and prayer, along with music, guided meditation, and contemplative times of quiet. Among the presenters from a range of faiths and disciplines, using forms from spoken word to music and movement, will be Cheryl Burns, Jannette Vanderhoop, members of the Threshold Choir, the Rev. Susan Waldrop, and Peggy McGrath. Meditations of Peace is open to all and free of charge. If you wish more info, you may call 973-879-9813.
The All-Island School Winter String Concert will be held on Thursday, Jan. 12, at 6:30 pm at the Performing Arts Center at the MVRHS. All string students will be performing, including advanced and intermediate. There will also be a beginners’ Suzuki demonstration.
Free lasagna lunches at the Federated Church in Edgartown start on Jan. 8. This event is free and is open to everyone in every Island community.
It sounds as if our Oak Bluffs library will be filled with monsters this month. On Friday, Jan. 13, from 10 am to 4:45 pm, come and join in on a monster scavenger hunt. Search for monsters throughout the library, and get ready to rumble at Saturday’s Monster Party. Find all the monsters to win a prize. For all kids, including readers and prereaders. Monster Movie time is also on Friday, from 2 to 3:30 pm. The movie features closet monsters who appear to be scary but turn out to be fearful of kids. Best for kids 5 and up.
Upcoming Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS) programs include “Conversations that Matter: A Dialogue on Teen Substance Abuse.” This is a forum for parents and caregivers of teens and tweens, with recovery coach and peer mentor Thulani DeMarsay. The forum will be held on Thursday, Jan. 12, from 6 to 8 pm at the Regional High School library. This discussion on teen substance abuse helps parents and caregivers identify and address early warning signs of drug use, and provides tools for prevention.
On Thursday, Jan. 12, from 5:30 to 7 pm, the Oak Bluffs library meeting room will be the venue for a listening session on progress for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth, hosted by the Massachusetts Commission on LGBT Youth. Please join them to learn about the commission’s policy work with state partners, and to discuss priorities for the upcoming year. Share your experiences with education and health and human services for LGBTQ youth on the Island.
MVCS will be hosting a Transgender Support Group for adults and youth of all ages. The aim of the group is to provide a safe space where members have the opportunity to discuss their experiences and concerns in a confidential setting. For questions and to schedule an initial meeting, please call Rikki Pashen, Psy.D. at 508-693-7900, ext. 241.
We send birthday smiles to Adam deBettencourt, who celebrated the big 40 yesterday, Michael Araujo on the 6th, Jerry Baric on the 9th, Brenda Leonard on Jan. 10, grandson Sam Alley and Richard Combra Jr. on the 11th, and Jack deBettencourt and Richard Mavro on Jan. 12. Smiles to Aidylberg and Woodside Village residents for the month of January to Arlaine DeLancey, Joan Hyer, Lynn Thorp, Clare Currier, Millie Scott, and Ira Yaffee.
Enjoy your week, and perhaps consider the words of Irish songwriter Damien Dempsey from a letter in the Boston Globe: “In a world full of shame and regret, do something to be proud of.”