Chilmark: First winter break

Although true love is not washed up, the Valentines Day aftermath is appearing along our shores. — Valerie Sonnenthal

After a long weekend, the best news for school-age kids is the first winter break begins after Friday classes, and runs through Friday, Feb. 28. Yup, it’s leap year, so does that make a friend’s mom who turns 100 on Feb. 29 only 25? You can cast your early state election ballot for the presidential primary, Monday, Feb. 24, through Friday, Feb. 28, from 8 am to noon by seeing town clerk Jennifer Christy at Town Hall. Nina Violet, an Island favorite, is returning from a European tour; mark your calendars, she’ll be singing and playing at Pathways on March 5.

I have been enjoying our warmer, sunny weather, and continue to find heart balloons on or near our shorelines, popping them, and removing these bright, shiny objets d’art.

Mary Steenburgen, a longtime seasonal Chilmark resident, began composing music when she was 54. One of her compositions made this year’s Oscars short list for best original song. Now at 67, she’s starring in the NBC sitcom “Zooey’s Original Playlist,” something a friend recently recommended to me. Learn more about what makes her tick in Vulture’s Feb. 14 interview,

If you or anyone you know may be interested in overseeing adult programming and assisting on the circulation desk at the Chilmark library, contact the library at for more information. This is a year-round position, 27 hours a week, with full town benefits.

Last week I wrote about Gabe, age 9, who lives with his mom in Chilmark and was highlighted in the January Big Brothers/Big Sisters newsletter because he’s been waiting over a year for a Big Brother. There are 14 Island boys looking for Big Brother mentors. Read Gabe’s story and learn more at

Chilmark Community Church hosts Thursday Strings from 10-11 am, it’s a drop-in, bring your guitar, fiddle, bass, banjo, mandolin, or whatever you like to play. Also there’s a weekly Thursday Prayer group at noon.

The Chilmark library has no event or calendar listings on its webpage, and no February monthly newsletter, so you’ll have to drop in to see what’s happening during the school break. Stories and Songs with Rizwan continues on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10:30 am. Interested in heading to the Boston MFA, or any Massachusetts Trustees of Reservations property? If you have a library card, you can check out passes for reduced admission at our town library. For more info, call 508-645-3360, or go to Follow our library on Facebook.

Pathways Arts hosts a Vegan Soup Social on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. On Friday evening, “Two Meditative Journeys with Bird Photos” by Lanny McDowell, accompanied by David Stanwood live on piano, plus “Between the Sacred and the Sublime: Two Weeks in Tibet,” images of landscapes and monasteries from my trip in September, with a Sound Healing score. The February Art exhibit includes paintings by Basia Jaworska and Shavanae Anderson, collage by Suesan Stovall, and ceramics by Chioke Morais. All evening programs begin at 7 pm, doors open at 6:30 pm. All events are free, donations welcome. Learn more about presenting and offerings at Stop by to see the art exhibit, write, enjoy your lunch Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm. Pathways will be closed from Feb. 22 through March 2.

The annual Meat Ball at the Ag Hall is Saturday, Feb. 22, from 5:30 to 10 pm. It’s $20 for adults, $10 for kids, 5 and under free. Yes, there are veggie options — just remember to bring your own place setting and beverage.

Have a great week, and if you’re heading off-Island, safe travels.