Edgartown: Starting new hobbies

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— Shelby Regan

We are well entrenched in January now. The winter doldrums. Most businesses seem to be closed up for a long winter’s nap, either due to winter or COVID, and there isn’t a lot to do for the next couple of months. In some ways, I’m looking forward to the quiet. I’ve got bookkeeping to wrap up for a few clients. And I’m preparing to take on some new crafting hobbies, one of which is quilling. I need something to occupy my hands and my mind. I don’t sit around very well. My latest obsession is “The Great British Baking Show,” which is a double-edged sword. I love seeing all the things they make and it inspires me so much that I want to do some baking. But at the same time, between injuries, illness, and COVID, I’ve put on a few pounds over the last year and it’s time to take them off! So baking might not be my best plan. I’m thinking of looking for recipes to replace sugary bakes with healthier things. We’ll see. I’ve got lots of big ideas but implementing them is another story. This time of year, crawling in under some blankets with the dog snuggled in close and a good book sounds really good.

Happy birthday wishes go out this week to Kevin Ryan on Jan. 8, Jevon Rego and Becky Minnich on Jan. 11, former Edgartown girl Myka Ransom on Jan. 12, and Anne Williamson on Jan. 14.

Congratulations to my cousin, Joanne Ryan, who retired from the MV Bank last week after 17 years. Now that she is footloose and fancy free, I’m sure she’s got lots of adventures planned. I’m very happy for her and of course, a little jealous. The older I get, the more exciting retirement sounds. Have fun, Joanne. Congratulations.

This week marks the first week since last March that all the students will be returning to in-person learning at the Edgartown School. Things have been a little weird around the building without all the kids. I’ve only been teaching a couple of grade levels. With shortened days, mask breaks, and time to wash hands and sanitize desks and such, it’s a bit difficult to schedule everything. And with so many kids still Zooming for class, I have been a proponent of limiting more tech time. But this year, I have a homeroom class that I am with several times a day, and my tech class schedule filled up quite a bit as well this past week so things almost feel “normal.” This year, students have all their classes except for physical education in one room and the teachers move about the building to limit crowding and numbers in the hallways. It’s challenging and I come home at the end of the day pretty tired, probably due more to trying to keep my schedule straight, sanitize several times a day, remind kids to wash hands and pull up masks. Eyes on the prize. We’re together. We’re doing it as safely as possible. We’re moving forward. And everyone seems pretty happy. Tired, definitely. A little confused at times, especially when the schedules change every four weeks or so. But happy. And this year, happy is good.

This week has also brought regular COVID testing to our Island schools. Each week, a sampling of students and staff will be randomly selected to be tested for the virus. Last week, all Island staff were tested to start. While I know there are some who don’t think the testing is important or have other concerns, I am a proponent and am grateful that the administrations and school committees worked diligently to put the program into place. I think everything we can do to keep the schools safe and keep our Island community safe is important. And I like knowing that I will get tested periodically. It helps quiet my fears and concerns of spreading the virus to those I love, some of whom are high risk.

Have you ever thought of becoming an EMT? Now is your chance. Cape Cod Community College is running a class beginning Jan. 25. Classes will run online through Zoom Monday and Wednesday evenings, with in-person labs on Saturdays. For more information, contact the Edgartown Fire Department at 508-627-5167 or efd@edgartown-ma.us.

Like so many, I was horrified by the riots in Washington last week and the insurrection at the Capitol. I long for the days when the “sides” didn’t have a gargantuan chasm dividing them. I hope that we can soon come together and move forward as a galvanized country, but I don’t expect it anytime soon. There are too many extremists on both sides of the fence. Hopefully, our leaders will soon see that it is better to work together. Perhaps they need to be the example as they lead so that We the People can do the same.

Have a great week. Wear your masks. Wash your hands. Stay safe. Next week we honor the great Martin Luther King Jr. with a holiday. I hope that our country finds a way forward to honor all the good he stood for.

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