Edgartown: Juggling with hands and feet

— Shelby Regan

Welcome, February. I’ve been struggling with the cold temperatures we’ve been experiencing for the last week or so. Brrrrrrr. And my timing was terrible last week when I broke the zipper on my winter coat. The bright side is that I can’t unzip it all the way. So, as long as I don’t mind looking a little silly by climbing into my coat, I can still be warm. This winter is my test. Chad and I used to run the stairs and halls at school during the coldest weather, but that’s not in the cards for us this year. So COVID has done the one thing nothing else has ever done in my life: turned me into an outdoor exerciser. It’s a struggle but only my workout partner has to listen to me.

Happy birthday wishes go out this week to Ninon Garvin on Feb. 2,  Kevin Donovan, Deb Grant,  and my cousin Jon Ryan on Feb. 5, Terry Donahue and Keith Chatinover on Feb. 6, Ebony Goldwire on Feb. 7, Rebecca Mayhew on Feb. 9 and two of my other wonderful cousins, Kathy King on Feb. 9 and John Kelley on Feb. 10.

And big happy birthday wishes to Herb Foster on Jan. 31. I loved, loved, loved reading the story of so many community folks getting together with a car parade to celebrate his 93rd birthday. He’s such a sweet guy and has done so much for the library and the town. I really miss the car parades that were so popular for celebrations early on during COVID so I was really excited that Herb’s daughter, Donna Fern Foster, and library director Lisa Sherman made this one happen! It couldn’t happen for a nicer guy.

So gone are the days of the “snow day.” We now have “remote learning/teaching days” and we had one Monday. I think the biggest reason for this week’s remote day was the challenges that we have with transportation. With shortened and different schedules and shared buses across the Island, there’s just no way to make a half day work, in the event weather turned bad and kids had to go home mid-day. Remote learning still makes learning possible without taking the chance of trying to transport people about. Monday is my easiest day at school, with planning time and a lighter teaching schedule so I find it a nice way to shift from weekend mode to teacher mode. Not being in the building on Mondays sets me up for a little more stress on Tuesday, when I have to hit the ground running. And this week, as is always the case at the beginning of the month, the schedule changes, so I have some different groups than I had in January. On one of the professional Facebook pages I belong to, someone asked us to share a picture of what we have learned since coming back to school in September. I put a cartoon of a woman juggling with her hands and her feet. Being able to juggle and be flexible and change with the tide, while always a part of teaching, has become absolutely crucial during the pandemic. It can often feel like we never get a day without a surprise or challenge to figure out. But that can probably be said for a lot of us these days. In case you’re wondering, you’re doing great!

Not much news around these parts. Tom Brady is heading to the Super Bowl again, but with what seems like the wrong team. Still, I’m sure Pats fans will be pulling for him and the rest of Tampa Bay. Truck Day is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 4. All you Red Sox fans will recognize that as the day the Sox’ equipment truck heads south to Fort Myers. Maybe the vaccine and spring and good behavior (masks, distancing, no large gatherings) will actually mean we can go back to enjoy some sporting and entertainment events this summer. A girl can hope, right?

Good luck to all those kids heading back out into the world recently, as they head back to college, some for the first time finally. The last couple of weeks has brought an exodus of students who were home for an extended break, while others were doing their learning online in the first semester. I wish all of the students and their families the best. Stay safe.

That’s about all I’ve got. Got some news you’d like to share? Please feel free to send it along to ggardnermv@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you. Stay safe. Wear your mask. Socially distance. And be kind. Have a great week.

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