Chilmark: Local holiday shopping

Chillin’ on a chilly November afternoon. — Valerie Sonnenthal

It is the Friday before Thanksgiving. I walked my dogs in the wind as the sun rose over Lucy Vincent Beach. Last night I texted my best friend from second grade, a doctor, to ask if she thought it was okay for my son to drive to Boston to pick up his brother and drive him home for a week, after he has been quarantining at home for 10 days. He lives with his girlfriend and two other people. She says they will drive from NJ to NYC to pick up their daughter who has a boyfriend who lives with his family but does note we are both married to at-risk husbands.

Thanksgiving was many things for me as a child. There was the knot in my stomach while performing the school holiday pageant, with a horn of plenty set on the stage steps cascading cans, and pyramids of cans set against boxes of cereal in this annual ritual of giving. Walking from 79th Street down Park Avenue to 58th Street to visit my grandmother, uncle, and their dogs. Every year we rented a car and drove through traffic and blizzards to Roslyn, Long Island, to the family of my mother’s best friend from eighth grade at NYC’s New Lincoln School. When my mother remarried in my teens, we attended the holiday in the West Village at the home of a remarkable new woman in my life, Drenka Willen, married to my stepbrother.

Can’t remember the college years, but after I returned home to NYC, my family came with me for many years to potluck holidays at photographer Paul B. Goode’s home on West 83rd Street, a lively artist, performer, and a creative-filled evening. When I moved to Rockland County, N.Y., I hosted the holiday at our home on 9W in Upper Grandview, put the turkey in the oven, and showed up for my 6 am shift at the Associated Press, returning home to a party in full swing and dinner waiting with all the fixings.

With children came smaller holiday gatherings, divorce, moving to the Vineyard, getting married, and then moving to Chilmark, where writing the town column fell into my lap at Nancy Aronie’s birthday Food Truck luncheon in the Home Port parking lot. Thanksgiving for many will mean not leaving home, not being with friends or family. Please give even the smallest amount in thanks to any Island organization you are grateful for. I relish living on a hill with my family and dogs in a very quiet place keeping me connected to nature and community.

The only constant is change, like they say, “This too will come to pass.” Reach out if you need help. If you are not sure where to find help, you can always call a local librarian.

Enjoy Menemsha shopping at the Salt MV Pop-Up at Pandora’s Box, which is open Wednesdays in December, and Fridays through Sundays from 10 am to sunset through Christmas. The Salt Rock Chocolate Company Pop-Up at the Menemsha Deli is on Wednesdays and Saturdays, 12 – 4 pm (or until sold out), through Dec. 19, but closed on Nov. 25. See The Ruel Gallery is open weekends through Christmas. Shop online or call for an appointment with photographer Benjamin McCormick, And you can count on Scott McDowell’s Copperworks to be open all year.

If you’re in Baltimore, check out artist Carol Brown Goldberg’s one-person exhibit: Entanglement. It’s on view through Jan. 23, 2021 at Congratulations, Carol!

Help support food banks and distribution on Island, see

The Chilmark library hosts the Sweet Book Club with Yotam Ottolenghi’s “Sweet” to discuss his book and other recipes, and to share photos of your creations and more on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 6 pm. Email to sign up and get the Zoom invitation. Enjoy the Community Rock Garden set up to the left of the library entrance. On Thursdays from 11 am to 4 pm, pick up your painting supplies to create your very own kindness rock. Email Sarah at with questions. For library information, see, and sign up for the weekly newsletter on the Programs page.

The Pathways gathering space invites all musicians, dancers, artists, and playwrights to use the space for rehearsals and taped performances, all with mandated safe practices. Please call to reserve a time. If you would like to present something on the Pathways website and Facebook pages, or you would like to talk about video taping or zoom recording your presentation, email or call them. For the Virtual Tuesday Writing and Poetry Series Zoom link, write, or call 508-645-9098.

Shop at Bill O’Callaghan and Heather Goff’s pottery shop, open Wednesday to Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm, or by appointment. See Artist/writer Ingrid Goff-Maidoff has opened Tending Joy Artisan Shop: Books, Cards and Gifts at the old Bananas, 697 State Road, West Tisbury (just after North Road), open most days 11 am to 4 pm, or when the flag is flying.

The Chilmark Church’s Sunday at 9 am services continue on Zoom, visit

Schedule a free COVID-19 test at 877-336-9855. If you need any help, Chilmark Neighbors offers volunteer assistance. You can find them and anything COVID or town related at

If you’re on Facebook, check It’s a Chilmark Thing for up-to-date information about our town and Island.

Have a good week.

If you have any Chilmark Town Column suggestions, email Valerie Sonnenthal,