Edgartown: Keeping the holidays alive

— Shelby Regan

I’m sitting on the couch, Foster the dog sitting so close he could be typing this, relishing in the post-Christmas glow and happiness. I hope everyone had a joyous holiday season, whatever holiday you celebrate. Hanukkah was earlier in the month, Winter Solstice was last week, and Kwanzaa begins today as I write and will end on Jan. 1. Happy Holidays to all.

The end of Christmas has always been a bit of a let down for me. I couldn’t even really take part in taking down the tree because it made me so sad. However, living in a tiny house has cured me! Under the best of circumstances, it’s hard to keep a tiny house with no basement and not much closet space organized. So adding a tree, moving furniture, presents strewn about, empty boxes and trash bags of wrapping makes it a little easier to take the tree down. But like Scrooge, we will do our best to keep Christmas alive all year long.

Having Riley home has made for an amazing Christmas. I was so excited about him coming home and then him being here that Christmas became an afterthought. As I posted on my Facebook page, I was extremely unprepared for it this year. Although I shopped early, I had no idea what I actually had for anyone. And I left all my organizing and wrapping for Christmas Eve. Turns out I bought well, especially since the boy child needed a new phone. High desert heat and the rough military life was hard on his previous one. Every year I intend to be organized and put together by Christmas Eve. When that ever happens, it will be a true Christmas miracle.

Happy birthday wishes go out this week to the Pogue triplets, Molly, Spencer, and Paige, on Dec. 26, Shauna White-Smith, also on Dec. 26, Jennifer Abreu on Dec. 27, Sonya Lima and Amy Sullivan on Dec. 28, Beth O’Connor and Asa Vought on Dec. 29, and Leanna Fisher on Dec. 31.

I’m super grateful to and super impressed by our healthcare workers who have begun to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. To be clear, while I know many have different opinions, I am a cautious proponent of vaccines. I believe in them and what they do for us individually, but also what they do for our entire society. And while this vaccine is obviously new, the science on which it is based has been around for years. And after listening to my dad’s stories over the years about the devastation of polio, and seeing first hand the devastation of COVID, I believe that salvation from this disease depends on this vaccine. And I personally will put my faith in the medical advice from people who are a whole lot smarter than I am. I want our lives to go back to “normal,” or at least as close to normal as possible. I want to see the pain of losing loved ones stop. I want to hug people again and travel to see my son when he heads off to Arizona for a few years. And I’m willing to try it for my community, locally, nationally, and internationally.

School starts back up on Jan. 4. As of this writing, the first week will be the same schedule as December was, with seventh and eighth grades still working remotely. Seventh and eighth will start back in person on the 12th, if I remember correctly. This time around I will be teaching fifth grades, eighth grades, and hopefully some third and fourth grades. As of now, the MCAS is still on the schedule for spring. Fourth grade kids didn’t take it last year when they were in third grade, due to COVID, so this year, both third and fourth need to work on some computer skills to prepare for the online test. I look forward to seeing more kids this semester. I sure miss them.

I send my condolences and support out to the Hall and Carroll families, following the fatal car accident last week. Though I don’t know the Hall family, I have been friends with the Carroll girls’ dad since high school. This tragedy is every parent’s worst fear and I cannot begin to imagine the sadness and pain these families have felt over the last couple of weeks. May the families know that the Island community stands in solidarity with them, to hold them up and support them during these tragic times. My heart goes out to them.

That’s about all for this week . . . and this year. 2020 has not been overly kind to us, though there have been silver linings here and there if you look for them. I sincerely wish us all a much brighter 2021, with joy, happiness, and health aplenty. Be safe. Socially distance, And wear your mask. There are brighter days ahead. Let’s get through these next few months together safely. Happy New Year.

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