Chilmark: Preserving local history

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Graze and let graze; Happy New Year. — Valerie Sonnenthal

I’m standing on the steps of the Menemsha General Store, open year-round, the sky a perfect summer blue, there’s a breeze and my family is visiting. At least I can daydream about better days and hope what once served as the center of Menemsha can be honored in recognition for its landmark status both for our local Menemsha/Chilmark community and the Island. What can be done to preserve this history for generations to come? Share any thoughts.

So many Islanders added extra cheer, whether a dangling bell or dressing in the holiday spirit with red nose masks, elf caps, bad plaids and more. I arrived at our library just after the staff gift exchange to find our library director Ebba Hierta crowned by a wreath in St. Lucia’s honor. Between the pastel palette of winter light and grazing scenes beyond stone walls, my soul is replenished daily. It doesn’t mean I’m not a tad testy. Had I not received an amaryllis as a holiday gift my holiday bulbs may have withered through winter, but now all may drink and bloom. Everyone I know has endured suffering and loss in unimaginable ways, besides the tragic loss of Emma Hall rippling through our community. One friend, a former art teacher, said five of her students have died in car accidents.

So for this new year it may not feel like much, but please keep reaching out, whether you’re just letting a friend or relative know you’re there if they need you. Be mindful this winter, going slower is OK.

Kate Taylor shares, “For a couple of decades now I’ve made and sent out, at these holidays, cards that you can hang on the tree. Daughter Liz of Film-Truth Productions has put them into a booklet and hit this link to get to it: katetaylor.com/2020/12/23/holiday-ornaments/.”

All are welcome to put a decoration on Carl Widdis’ wishing tree at his gravesite in the Aquinnah cemetery. Make a wish or promise to do a good deed for someone else, and follow through in the spirit of Carl. It is up through April.

The Grey Barn reopens Saturday, Jan. 2, in the barn while work on the existing farm stand and parking area takes place. Farm stand hours are Friday through Monday, 8 am to 5 pm, through March. You can still sign up for their 12-week winter bread program and their winter cheese board will be back soon. See thegreybarnandfarm.com. Thanks again for the chocolate babka.

Takeout and gift certificates always available from Menemsha Fish Market. Check their daily specials.

Peaked Hill Studio’s online Kaiut Yoga schedule is on PeakedHillStudio.com.

The Chilmark library is closed on New Year’s Day, and open until 1 pm on Dec. 31 (no curbside pickup). For library info see chilmarklibrary.org.

Shop at Bill O’Callaghan and Heather Goff’s pottery shop Thursday to Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm through December (closed Christmas), or by appointment. See islandfolkpottery.com/. Heather’s sister Ingrid Goff-Maidoff’s Tending Joy Artisan Shop with books, cards, and gifts, 697 State Road, West Tisbury, is open Thursday to Sunday, 11am to 4 pm or by appointment.

The Chilmark Community Church holiday offerings on Zoom can be found at chilmarkchurch.org/service/index.php/calendar.

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 chilmarkma.gov.

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

Have a Happy New Year.

If you have any Chilmark Town Column suggestions, email Valerie Sonnenthal, vsonnenthal@gmail.com.