Edgartown: Focusing on the good things

— Shelby Regan

We are now firmly entrenched in September. I always have a sadness at the end of summer as we drift into fall, but I’m not feeling it as much this year. I think this year has just been so challenging that I’m looking forward to something different. As we all continue to tangle with the tendrils of COVID-19 as it permeates every aspect of life, I think we all are just hoping for something different soon. I love the silver linings of the pandemic. We’ve had more family time. The pace of our lives has slowed a bit. We hang out at home more. But the challenges we all face during these times are tiring. If you think about it, we’ve all had COVID on our minds for seven or eight months, and to have to think about anything for that long is a lot. It’s important that we all try to remember that we are trying our best. Breathe. Take care of each other. Continue to find the good things going on. And if you are feeling overwhelmed, reach out to someone to talk to for help. Venting frustration is necessary sometimes. You’re all doing great!

Happy birthday wishes go out to former Edgartown favorite, Linda Fritz Mixter Landwirth, who celebrates on Sept. 15; my friend, peer, and new mom Lyuba Avromova on Sept. 16; and Bonnie Dietz on Sept. 19. And while I’m mentioning celebrations, happy anniversary wishes go out to former Edgartown residents Jeff and Sam White, who celebrated 51 years of marriage on Sept. 7. And happy silver anniversary to Helayne Cohen and Frank Folts on Sept. 16.

Don’t forget to register for the Edgartown Firemen’s Association Golf Tournament, to be held on Sept. 26 at the Edgartown Golf Club. You can register here: EFA Golf.

Teachers and staff are working away at school to get things ready for Thursday’s official first day. Check out the school website at edgartownschool.org for important information. All teachers will also have some new websites, or “landing pages” as we are calling them, to help make instruction easier, particularly for remote learners. These pages will help families and students navigate the electronic world a bit more easily. It’s all part of the extensive professional development we’ve all been doing to prepare for the 2020–21 school year. It won’t come without some challenges for sure, but we are ready. Together, we can do anything. I’m reading a book now, and the mantra throughout it is, “We can do hard things.” I wake up each morning and accept that each day will bring a new opportunity to think outside the box. For those of you who know me and are laughing as you read that (I’m known more for my sarcasm than my Pollyanna attitude) — it is in fact true. It’s part of the evolution of Gail that has been happening since I got sick. Perspective changes everything. If we all stick together and support each other, this year will be a great year.

I received the following from Felix Neck: “Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary is offering outdoor homeschool and afterschool options for Island students. We understand the challenges parents and families face for the school year, and offer expertise in education to serve our Island families. Hosting over 250 acres and several gathering spaces, we will serve as open space for outdoor education, as we have done for our over-50-year history. It will be just a little bit different this year. From success with the 1918 pandemic to current research on outdoor learning, taking the classroom outside seems to be a viable option for reducing much of the risk that an indoor classroom creates. The outdoor classroom certainly doesn’t solve all problems, but utilizing outdoor space at Felix Neck provides an opportunity for an in-depth place-based learning approach. Exploring the Island, learning more about our habitats, wildlife, food systems, and beyond engages students in ways that Zoom simply cannot offer. Our programs always meet the curriculum standards, with a focus on the changing climate, local effects, and most important, actionable solutions students can take to feel empowered to continue to enact change in their community.” There are fees related to this program. To learn more, check out the webpage at massaudubon.org.

Valerie Sonnenthal, owner of Peaked Hill Studio, is offering a four-week online foot workshop. This class is tailored for everyone, whether you have no pain or your feet always hurt. We will be hands-on, no socks, sitting and standing. If you need to work from a chair, that’s fine, if you prefer sitting on your bed, or on a pillow on the floor, anywhere you’re comfortable and feel supported is where you want to be. Even if that means sitting on a chair and having your foot rest in front of you on another chair or ottoman. There is no right place, just the place each of us can work from and have a positive effect on our bodies. To learn more and to sign up, visit peakedhillstudio.com. I don’t know about you, but my feet always hurt. I don’t know if I can squeeze this program in, but it sounds like a great opportunity. Our feet take a lot of abuse.

That’s about all for today. Have a great week. Be kind. Support one another. And don’t forget to smile, even behind the mask. Even if others can’t see it, it helps keep our own beings light.

If you have any Edgartown Town Column suggestions, email Gail Gardner, ggardnermv@gmail.com.