Edgartown: Isn’t this Island amazing?

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January is coming to a close. Saturday is Groundhog Day, with spring awaiting the fickle fears of a glorified woodchuck, who seems to see his shadow no matter how foul the weather is in Punxsutawney. While I don’t believe that our fate is truly held in the paws of a rodent, I do take solace in the fact that no matter what, spring is officially six weeks away. My fingers are crossed that the rest of winter remains free of major storms. Maybe I’ll cross my toes too, just for good measure.

The birthday list is quiet this week. Surely some of you readers were born at the end of January, no? Feel free to send me names of friend and family celebrating birthdays or anniversaries, or any other wonderful events, in the near future.

We are officially at the halfway point of the school year. Last Friday was the 90th day of school, which means the 100th day is on Feb. 8. The hundredth day is always a very exciting day at the Edgartown School, particularly in kindergarten, where kids bring in their big projects that show 100. They are always so creative. I can’t wait.

I guess the big news this week is that the government shutdown is over. Is it just me, or do others think that our government workers’ lives shouldn’t be at stake because the powers that be can’t play well together? Here’s hoping they figure things out before the next deadline in three weeks.

All are invited to the Unitarian Church in Vineyard Haven on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 11 am for this month’s Neighborhood Convention. Guest speakers will be Jamie O’Gorman and Marie Ambrose, who will present “Island Grown Initiative: Roots, Shoots and Fruits.” Bring a bag lunch.

I attended the visiting hours for Will Farrissey this morning. I arrived close to noon to find the crowd of visitors still snaking out the door and into the rear parking lot of the funeral home. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen quite so many people there, which is a testament to the Anderson and Farrissey families, for sure. At about 12:30, Andy and Kathy came out to greet those of us who were clearly not going to make it into the building, and their strength and love was palpable. They clearly appreciated the outpouring of support from the community. Andy even mentioned how much he loves his community. And isn’t this Island amazing? We really are here for each other when push comes to shove, and I’m truly grateful that I live in such a place.

The Andersons and my family go way back. It’s funny the memories that come up when you start to think about things. I remember a silly hand thing that Mr. Anderson and Billy did when we were kids. It was nothing, really. Mr. Anderson would hold up one finger on each hand and bang them together, “transferring” one finger to his other hand. And I remember being down at the baseball field like it was yesterday, near the fence, as he and Billy both did it. Such a simple thing, and yet such a vivid memory. I have a lot of them. Riley once mentioned John Morris as being one of his good friends. I said, But you guys never even do anything together anymore. He said, “Of course he’s my friend, Mom. I’ve known him all my life.” Sage words from my boy, and worth remembering. My heart breaks for the Farrissey family, and I’m thinking of them all always.

While we and the Anderson clan have definitely lost touch over the years, they are still our friends. “I’ve known them my whole life.”

The Edgartown School PTA is holding a fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Wharf. It’s a Dine to Donate all day and night, with an auction from 5 until 8 pm, with auction and raffle items worth $14,000. So be sure to head on over there, have some dinner, and scoop up great deals while supporting the Edgartown School.

I guess that’s all for this week. Have a great week. I wish you all health and happiness each and every day.