Oak Bluffs: Speaking of polar bears

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— Shelby Regan

I am thankful for these December days with temperatures in the 50s, but the plants and shrubs seem a little confused! My yellow rose bush is blossoming and even the old rhododendron, who should know better by now, is pushing the buds open.
However, the night temperatures in the 30s have brought out the down quilt and convinced me to close the bedroom window.

One of my favorite things to do this time of year is SHOP. I don’t mean in cyberspace with tapping fingers, I’m talking about getting out to all our great shops and markets. I don’t know about you, but I don’t do much of that in the summer. Avoiding crowds and traffic means limited shopping for me until after Labor Day. But it gets even better now, between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The streets and storefronts are magically decorated. Our many nurseries, galleries, and markets are filled with treasures. Check schedules and hours, and shop local to support our local vendors and artists.

Christmas in Edgartown is this weekend (Dec. 9 to 12) with so many fabulous events you really must check the calendar so you don’t miss anything! The parade on Saturday at 11 am is a favorite, as are the many holiday craft fairs that benefit Island nonprofits, like Handmade From the Heart at the Daniel Fisher House, which benefits Hospice of MV.
The Teddy Bear Scavenger hunt benefits the Boys and Girls Club. There is something for everyone, and the town is wrapped in twinkling lights and greens. Enjoy!

Back in Oak Bluffs, don’t miss the band ESP at the P.A. Club on Dec. 11, from 6 to 9 pm. ESP band members Pat Law, Ed Medeiros, Merrily Fenner, and Peter Knight will be playing “songs we all know, as well as Christmas tunes.” Nothing like live music to get us in the mood!

The December luncheon provided by the M.V. Regional High School Culinary Arts department will be Thursday, Dec. 9. Live music and great food starts at 11 am at the Culinary Arts dining room. Reservations required, call now: 508-939-9440.

The Oak Bluffs Council on Aging is resuming some programming in person. Exercise and Yoga classes are still offered via ZOOM, but other programs are taking place at the center, like Coffee & Conversation every day at 9 am, and the knitting group on Tuesday and Thursday at 1 pm. If you are alone or unable to get out, a holiday meal can be delivered to your door. Please call Rose at 508-693-4509 ext. 3 by Dec. 16 to get on the list and enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal.

Our library has some great winter offerings. The library is open regular hours, plus on winter Wednesdays, the library opens at 8 am to provide a little extra light during these shorter days. Coffee will be provided by Tony’s Market, along with a warm bright place to read or converse. For the crafty ones, the library is offering children’s holiday craft kits to be picked up curbside every Wednesday in December, from 10 am to 5 pm. Themes will be Snow Globe (Dec. 15), Candy Cane Magnets (Dec. 22), Polar Bear Puppet (Dec. 29) (I want one of those!). Adults can join the fun by picking up their own craft kits to go anytime the library is open through December. The December book for the Virtual Vineyard Book Club, which meets at the end of the month, is “A Vineyard Christmas” by Jean Stone. Call for more info: 509-693-9433.

Speaking of polar bears, the Inkwell Polar Bears are continuing to splash in the water! If you know this group’s history, you know that it is a summer tradition. But a small group keeps the water exercise going into the fall, and an even smaller group continues to plunge on any given sunny day all winter. Kathy Laskowski and her family were in the water on Thanksgiving Day, and Kathy jumped in again with Susan McCarthy on Dec 1. Now that’s chillin’!

Birthday greetings on the 9th to Tyler Araujo, on the 10th to Patrick Parker, on the 12th to Chuck Lehman. On Dec.13, happy birthday to our favorite nurse and new grandma, Laura Hilliard! Peter Tennant also celebrates on the 13th, on the 14th it is Debra Alley, Pat Law, and Olivia Rogers. On the 15th we salute Mike Marchand. Sending healing thoughts to Erik Albert who is recovering from shoulder surgery.

Reminder: deer hunting season extends through Dec 31, and since it is also mating season (it doesn’t sound very romantic to be mating while you run for your lives, does it?) we need to be careful on the trails and on the roads. Be safe and be seen!
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