Edgartown: Reflection and hope

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— Shelby Regan

One year. One year since the world turned and everything stopped. Last year at this time, we traveled down to Parris Island for my boy Riley’s graduation from USMC boot camp. We were becoming more aware of this “new” virus that was beginning to show up around the country. We traveled with Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer and were concerned about flying. But the airport was empty, my boy had been away with almost no communication for three months, a Marine only graduates from boot camp once, and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. As it was, I hobbled around South Carolina and Parris Island two weeks post septic shock and emergency surgery, with a boot on my broken foot and crutches to prop me up. Why not throw in a smoldering global pandemic on top of all that? Nevertheless, we got down there, I got the best hug ever when I found my boy amid his fellow Marines on Family Day, they canceled graduation and released the graduates a day early to get out of there. We flew home, with Riley in tow for two weeks, on Friday the 13th, the day the world stood still. Schools closed. Businesses shut down. And we all stayed home for two weeks to flatten the curve. Remember that phrase? And here it is, a full rotation around the sun later, with a still-not-so-flat curve, a lot of sadness and loss, some silver linings, like birthday parades, family time, and new found appreciation for smiles and hugs, and we are all COVID-weary warriors. May this year bring us fewer masks, more hugs, more smiles, and much laughter.

The state has issued a plan to have all schools open full-time beginning the first week in April. It doesn’t make for a huge amount of change here in Edgartown, as all grade levels already attend 4 days a week. What full time looks like and how it is defined is yet to be seen. And I read that the decision has also been made to push the MCAS testing back a bit, with the new testing window being in May and June rather than April and May. They want the kids to have some time to settle back in before delivering the tests. I would still vote for no testing this year, if I ruled the world. But I don’t, so for now, a delayed window and shorter test, are what we’ve got. Better than nothing.

Happy birthday wishes go out this week to Drew Kelly on March 7, to Richard Prieto and to one of my niece Abby’s best friends, Solange Dos Santos, on March 10, my dearest most wonderful mother-in-law, Mimi Casey, who turns 94 on March 11, Susan Schofield and Edgartown School’s very own in-house comedian, Rich Pease, on March 13, on and Dennis Gazaille on March 14, and Maureen Gazaille on March 15.

Amelia and I were discussing some of the things we missed most during these Covid days and we agreed that we sure miss going to the movies. I reminded her that the Film Center is open and she responded with “Yeah, but they don’t show movies. They show films.” That said, the Film Center is open with social distance and mask-required movie viewings. This weekend’s offerings of “The Father,” “Nomadland,” and “Land” look great. Check out their website at mvfilmsociety.com for details and information.

You can also go on a self-guided gnome hunt at Polly Hill Arboretum if you’re looking for something fun during the day time. Follow the clues written by an expert gnome spotter. You can find the clues in a brochure box next to the PHA Visitor Center. Here, you can also find the PHA Quest, and a Winter Tree ID guide. Gnomes could be anywhere on the PHA grounds — follow the clues. These gnomes help to care for the plants, so Polly Hill staff asks that you make sure to say hello and thank them for their hard work. PHA is open days from 7 am until 5:30 pm. There is a $5 fee to visit. Members and kids under 12 are free.

The Edgartown library is offering craft pickup bags. You can go to the children’s room pickup window to grab an activity bag to do at home. Crafts will change weekly, and kits are appropriate for children of all ages. Masks are required when visiting the pick-up window. Call 508-627-4221 for more information.

That’s about all I’ve got for now. If you don’t have computers or aren’t tech savvy and are having trouble registering for COVID vaccines, feel free to email me at ggardnermv@gmail.com. I’m happy to help if I can. Have a great week. Be kind. Be caring. Be supportive. Practice social distancing, wash your hands, and keep wearing your masks. You’re doing great.

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