Hey, everybody. Sorry I missed you last week. I was laid up by that old pinched nerve, and just couldn’t sit at the computer. I’ve got to tell you, when you make your living as a computer teacher, write for the paper, and do bookkeeping on the computer on the side, a pinched nerve is definitely not helpful, especially during report card and tax time. I work in short bursts, and cross my fingers that I can keep up. I’m actually bringing Amelia in for support, and teaching her the valuable skill of bookkeeping. She is going to do much of the data entry and balancing for my accounts. I guess I’m passing a career option on to her, so I’ll take that as the silver lining in all of this. 

Happy birthday wishes go out this week to Ninon Garvin and Mark Shea on Feb. 2, Debra Grant and my cousin Jonathan Ryan on Feb. 5, and Terry Donahue and Keith Chatinover on Feb. 6.

The annual Edgartown School PTA Pizza and Bingo night is this Friday night from 5 until 7 pm, so if you are an Edgartown School family, be sure to join the fun. 

Felix Neck is hosting a Big Moon Owl Prowl on Friday, Feb. 7, from 5 until 6 pm. Hoo’s out there? Owls silently fly through our Island woods and fields. Join them at Felix Neck for a big moon walkabout to look for, listen to, and learn about these nocturnal birds.

I’ve got to send congratulations to my brother, Bob Gardner, out in Ohio, for playing his 107th consecutive month of golf last weekend. That’s eight years straight of getting at least one golf game in each month. Not an easy feat in winter in Ohio. He likes to get the official game over with as soon as possible in each month, so he doesn’t have to worry about losing his streak. 

Feb. 15 is the annual Martha’s Vineyard 20-Miler and Amity Island Relay. This is a must race for die-hard runners of many levels. From highly competitive athletes looking for a test of their Boston and spring marathon readiness to dedicated recreational runners seeking to extend the length of their monthly long run, this race offers the chance to combine a visit to one of the East Coast’s most beautiful shore communities with a race on a fast, USATF-certified course. Not quite up to the 20-mile challenge? Grab a partner and enter the Amity Island Relay (2 x 10 miles). You can sign up at runsignup.com. And if you aren’t a runner, get out there and cheer those crazy winter runners on. 

Have you ever considered becoming a foster parent to a child in need? If you’d like to learn more about it, the second annual Foster Parent Recruitment Event for Martha’s Vineyard will be on Feb. 29, 2020, from 11 am until 2 pm at the home of local foster parent Elexis Wildanger. You can call or text 508-326-1155 for the address and directions. To directly speak to someone in regard to this event, please contact DCF social worker Chris Russo at 508-760-0275 or Elexis at 508-326-1155. Please call or text Elexis if you believe you will be at the event, so they can have enough informational packets for everyone. 

Do you remember that glow run fundraiser I mention awhile back, put on by the Edgartown PTA? Wow, what a fun event. The kids (and the staff) had an absolute blast. There was music and lights and excitement and noise and everything else you can think of that leads to great fun. The kids were awesome, and the whole event raised somewhere around $15,000 for the school/PTA. That’s pretty amazing. Looking forward to next year’s event already.

’Tis the season for dance competitions, and the Rise VPA dance company girls will be heading to Andover and Canton this year to show off their hard work. It’s bittersweet, as it is Amelia’s last year with this dance family. It’s been full of ups and downs, and we are beginning our path to closing down a huge part of our lives. It is hard work, and it can be exhausting and stressful, but I love my special time with my girl as we experience this together. And I love love love to watch her dance. I expect a lot of tears this year.

Have a great week. I hope that silly little rodent was right when he didn’t see his shadow last week, and we all get to see an early spring. But really, who can complain about this winter so far? Knock on wood the mild temps and lack of snow continue.