Edgartown: Hopefully, we’ll all make it through OK

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— Shelby Regan

Every year I think that this will be the Christmas season that I’m organized and on top of everything — baking, gift buying, decorating. Apparently, I’m still wrong about that. I’ve bought some gifts, but I don’t know what or how many. And I’ve put up the tree, as of about an hour ago, but I don’t have lights, and there are no decorations on it. And I haven’t even bought ingredients with which to bake, which is just as well because that always leads to snacking, and we’re aiming for less junk around the house this year. Maybe that goal I can live up to, at least. 

My little girl is home! Amelia arrived on Thursday, just as I was heading up to Boston, so I got a few minutes to snuggle with her and feel my heart start to reinflate. My boy arrives in the next couple of days, at which point, my heart will be completely full. It’s amazing to talk with Amelia after a couple of months of her living on her own for the first time in Hawaii. She is so very excited about her friends there, surfing, and having fun. There is a light there that I haven’t seen for awhile, especially since COVID struck. It is very satisfying for a mom to see their child happy.

Happy birthday wishes go out this week to Claire Crowell and Brenda Perry on Dec. 21, Jason Davey, Fran Agnoli, and Deborah DeBettencourt on Dec. 22, Kelly Hess on Dec. 23, and Christy Edwards on Dec. 24.

School will let out for the holiday break on Thursday, and I couldn’t be more grateful. The week off will hopefully allow me to recharge my batteries a bit. I’d say that I hope that the vacation would slow down the uptick in COVID cases, but I don’t think that it is spreading in school as much as it is in gatherings like those over Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s a scary time, with people traveling for holidays. Mine have tested prior to travel, and I purchased home tests for both of them as well, so they could test again upon arrival. And we aren’t having any big gatherings. Hopefully, we’ll all make it through OK. 

I’m sorry to read this week about the recent death of Noel Orcutt. He was always such a staple in town, walking to the mail or working around his yard. I grew up with his sons Peter and Andy, and knew Greg later on professionally through the Red Stocking Fund and WMVY. I know Mr. Orcutt was very proud of his sons and his grandchildren. My thoughts go out to the family.

I don’t have a bucket list per se. I have some things I’d love to do in my lifetime: go to Ireland and the Azores, swim in the wild with dolphins, see the Grand Canyon and the West Coast. But if I had a bucket list, I guess those things would be on it. And high on that list has always been to see Genesis, my favorite band, in concert. I’m happy to say that I made that one come true last Thursday at the TD Garden. Months ago I splurged on VIP tickets that included a dinner in the Club Lounge and excellent seats for the concert. What an experience. It is something that the “old” Gail wouldn’t do. I am not much for spending money on luxuries for myself, and I am not a fan of crowds and arenas, even before COVID. But we saw Phil Collins a few years ago, which was incredible, but he was failing physically even then. So when this tour was announced pre-COVID, I knew I’d be there. In fact, when they announced their tour, they didn’t have dates for the U.S., so I informed my husband we’d be going to Europe because I wouldn’t miss this. Luckily, they came here instead, wrapping up their tour in Boston, the city where they began their U.S. performances in 1972. 

The Garden requires proof of vaccine or a negative test, and masks, so I felt pretty safe. And the concert was a dream come true and was everything I hoped for and more. Sometimes I stood and cheered and clapped, hooting and howling with the rest of the fans. Other times I sat with my eyes closed and let the music just wash over me. And other times I just looked around the Garden, relishing the history of the place and magic that it has brought to so many lives because of the sports legends that have come through there and called it home. How lucky are we to have such a deep, meaningful history in so very many ways? Sometimes it takes being in a place like that to remind us that there is still some great stuff in our lives. It can be really hard to find, particularly for those going through hard times, or struggling to make ends meet or find housing on this Island. But I believe that somewhere along the line, we can find some silver linings, no matter how thin they may be. I sure don’t always feel that way. Sometimes I am firmly entrenched in the “life is unfair” belief. I’m no Pollyanna, for sure. But often I’m greeted with the unexpected good that comes with the bad. And the “dream come true” concert was definitely a magical experience for me. 

So we have made it to the end of December, a Christmas miracle in and of itself, maybe. I wish everyone a magical holiday, and some much-needed rest and happiness where we can find it. Remember, your presence is more important than your presents, as the saying goes. Please, wear your masks, get boosted, and stay safe. Merry Christmas to all.