Cold and gray this morning, hardly any degrees at all. The wind has died down some. Everything feels frosty and unyielding. My recent gift to myself has proven prescient, a warm cashmere shawl that is wrapped around me like a cocoon as I am writing this column. Paperwhites and pink tulips are blooming on my living room table, but they make a rather cold painting against that relentlessly gray sky outside the windows.
I have seen skaters on Parsonage Pond over the past week, a surprising sight that used to be routine in the winter. The fire department went to Seth’s Pond for an ice rescue drill Sunday morning after their regular radio check. Mike came home and told me the ice was a couple of inches thick. It may be thicker today. Our temperature hasn’t hit double digits yet.
This winter’s weather pattern has been so erratic. This past weekend’s predicted snow became rain as temperatures rose into the 40s, then dropped last night. It will stay cold through tomorrow, then return to the 40s, maybe even 50s, by midweek.
Nanuk has preferred to stay inside by the fire, as does elderly Mona. But Nelson still goes in and out. Last night his cat flap froze, and it was lucky I was downstairs, heard him yowling outside, and let him in. Not sure what to do about a frozen cat flap.
As the end of January approaches, the town’s political season begins. We saw Tara Whiting at Alley’s coming toward us with a clipboard of nomination papers for her annual run to remain town clerk. She mentioned that annual town meeting and elections are scheduled for April 9 and 11, respectively. She thinks that most people in town posts are planning to remain and run again, but thinks there are some board positions open and needing candidates. Several attendees at Cynthia Riggs’s Groundhog Day Party are usually looking for signatures on nomination papers, and our local politics begins to heat up after that. I’ll keep you posted.
As our federal government’s shutdown continues into its fifth week, I have to admit we Americans are all learning a lot about our Constitution and how our government works, or at least how it is supposed to work. Mike and I had lunch at the airport last week and found out there is a subsidiary of the Island Food Pantry set up there, and people are leaving donations of food and money for TSA airport workers who are working with no paychecks. Island residents have been supportive of our Coast Guard crew, too.
I spoke with Debby Athearn last night, and got a good report on Harry’s progress. He was released from Massachusetts General, and is in rehab at the M.V. Hospital, doing well, and is happy to have visitors. Feel free to stop by, unless you have a cold or something that may be contagious. We hope he will be fully recovered and back home soon.
Linda Wanamaker gave a talk and video presentation about Misty Meadows Equine Learning Center at the Martha’s Vineyard Center for Living last week. Many of the C4L’s clients were riders in earlier years, and the program brought back some happy memories, although even nonriders enjoyed the program. The new equine center is a merging of Misty Meadows and the former Rising Tide Therapeutic Equestrian Center. It still serves people with disabilities, who otherwise would be unlikely or unable to experience the physical and emotional benefits that come from riding and caring for the horses. Linda did mention the importance of their volunteers in running the program. If you are interested in volunteering or know someone who might benefit from participating, please visit Misty Meadows, look at their website, mvhorsecenter.org, or call 508-338-7198.
Good Shepherd Parish is hosting a free spaghetti dinner and documentary movie called “Apparition Hill” at 5:30 pm next Tuesday, Jan. 29, at Saint Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven. The event is to promote an upcoming parish pilgrimage to Medjugorje, in the former Yugoslavia, where six children have claimed to see the Virgin Mary. Please sign up, so they will know how much food to prepare. Call Carmen at 508-693-2797 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
February is Black History Month. The League of Women Voters, MV NAACP, and the Association for the Study of African American Life are co-hosting and sponsoring an event at the Oak Bluffs Public Library on Saturday, Feb. 2, 10 am to 1 pm. Guest speaker and Oak Bluffs resident Walter Collier will discuss his new book, “Why Racism Persists: An Uncomfortable Truth.”
If you are looking for travel opportunities, several of your Vineyard neighbors are offering possibilities. Gia Rae’s Moroccan Summer is a food and culture tour for women scheduled for June 27 to July 2, 2019. It’s an “epicurean journey through Marrakech, Essaouira, and Demnate.” Look at her gorgeous website, feastwithyourhands.com, for inspiration and information. Gia’s mother, Marsha Winsryg, has run art- and food-oriented tours in Tuscany for several years to raise money for her support of African children and craftswomen. Learn about her plans on her website, aacdpafrica.org. Holly Bellebuono is planning an apothecary weekend May 27-29 at the Rowe Center in the Berkshires. Her website is hollybellebuono.com, for more information.
At the West Tisbury library:
Thursday, Jan. 24, 4:30 pm, students from Plastic Free MV will answer your questions about the plastic bottle bylaw that will appear on our annual town meeting warrant.
Saturday, Jan. 26, 2:30 to 4:30 pm, monthly Lego Club for all ages.
Sunday, Jan. 27, 3:30 pm, “How to Compost,” with speakers from Island Grown Initiative and Morning Glory Farm, sponsored by the Green Team of the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury.
Monday, Jan. 28, 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky’s Balance Workshop. At 7 pm, WMVY’s Dave Kish will host his monthly jazz program, showing a documentary film of a 1958 Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers jazz concert.
Tuesday, Jan. 29, 10:30 am, Adult Community Dance Class with the Yard. At 11 am, Little Bird’s Laura Jordan’s music class for kids. See last week’s MV Times Community section article about this program.
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 10:30 am, “Classical Music Is for You!” with David Rhoderick.
If you want to feel your life rushing by, try writing a weekly column. Every time I write in events scheduled for the upcoming week, it seems that the end of the month/beginning of the new month is here before I know it. Yikes!