Heard on Main Street: No one is in charge of your happiness but you. It starts with a smile.
I remember one special Valentine’s Day. I was in fourth grade. One boy gave me a proper card, with very flowery speech. It was not one like all the kids handed out, that come in packs of 20. And he signed his full name to the card. That made a big impression on me. Alan is probably the only kid I remember from that class. And it was certainly one of only a few cards that I remember.
But I also remember Valentine’s Day the year before quite well. That day in third grade was important because that was the day we would begin writing with ink. Nobody had ballpoint pens at that time. Our parents used fountain pens — what a strange word. Anyway, we had been practicing writing in cursive, but of course using pencils in preparation. I’m not sure if kids use cursive now. My grandchildren mostly text and email.
In school when we would write in ink, we all used wooden pens with a metal nib set in the end. Each of our wooden desks had a hole in the top right where a small glass container was placed. The teacher came around and poured some black ink that she had mixed from powder into each inkwell.
In those days, I had long braids. And the boy in back of me dipped one blond pigtail into the black ink on his desk. At the tug I swung my head around, which of course scattered black ink across everyone near us, including that boy’s face, I am pleased to remember. As it happened, that ink could not be removed from my white blouse or my hair. So thanks to Peter, I also had to get my hair cut.
Don’t you just love kids?
Think about it. Could you be a foster parent? There is a foster parent recruitment, just for Martha’s Vineyard, at the end of February. That’s on Saturday, Feb. 29, from 11 to 2 at the home of local foster parent Elexis Wildanger. Call or text Chris Russo at 508-750-0275 or Elexis at 508-326-1155 for more. We do want to keep our Vineyard kids here. Your help is needed. Call or text Elexis if you are going on the 29th. They want to have enough information for all. Applications and training will be provided on the Vineyard, for a change.
Island voters can cast an early ballot before the presidential primary election on March 3. Dates and times for early voting vary by town. Tisbury voters can go to the Emergency Services building to vote the last week of February, Feb. 24 to 28, each weekday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
For many years my husband used to make a Valentine’s card for me on his computer. There was often a bad pun or silly joke included, and it was obvious he had spent some time creating that precious note. I do miss those now. And I never saved them.
How is your heating bill? Many Island homes are leaky and have uninsulated ducts. Some systems put your heat outside. Better-insulated ducts in a heated space are one way to save energy. Or install better controls for heating and electric heat pumps. Heat pumps are reversible, heat a house in winter and cool it in summer. You can make your heating system more efficient.
Voices are needed to Sing to Support Island Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs and Projects. If you think you can sing, then do it. Start practicing now, because the Friends of Family Planning are looking for all talented helpers for a Lip Sync Contest. A contest with cash prizes of $500 for first, $200 for second, and $100 for third place. Take your song out of the shower and into the spotlight. The contest will be at the P.A. Club in Oak Bluffs on Saturday, March 7, from 7 to 10 pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and pay a $30 fee to register. You must do this by Feb. 22; there is limited participation. Those who dare not get up in front can be the audience for $10, and you will be the judges. You can choose which acts deserve the prizes.
Big bunches of birthday balloons go out today to our lovely granddaughter Fiona Mayhew, who is now officially a teenager. Tomorrow, wish the best to Chris Morse and Gayle Stiller. Saturday belongs to Grace Burton-Sundman. On Sunday we send greetings to Mary Gillette, who has moved off-Island; also to Tom Lowe and Izzy Wajda. Tuesday is special for a special friend, Carrie Tankard. Happy birthday to Peter Palches. He celebrates on Wednesday.
Heard on Main Street: Forgive everyone everything. Love your neighbor. Happy Valentine’s Day.