Chilmark: Better safe than sorry

Families enjoy the animals at Grey Barn on Christmas Eve. — Valerie Sonnenthal

A dusting of snow on Christmas Eve morning helped set the mood to make our holiday turkey, the one we’ve been saving since November. Just when everyone thought this holiday season would be different, it is, just not in the way we imagined. So far the tally for folks who attended holiday parties and events getting COVID-19 has chilled many family gatherings, besides not even being able to get your hands on quick at-home tests. Perhaps winter will become an annual human hibernation season, due to spikes in contagious infections. For now the best we can do is mask up indoors in public always. If you don’t have KN95 masks it’s time to get yourself some to protect yourselves, friends, loved ones, and everyone around you.

The holidays, the new year, are never how I imagine. Though I had expected my sons to be home and join us for turkey, plans change and we just have to go with the flow. Better safe than sorry. Being flexible in body, mind, and spirit is what these times demand. Plus my trusty pandemic canine companions help to take the edge off. Walks, sitting by a fire under the stars, and spending time outside regulates the body and helps a great deal to improve mood and keep our spirits in check.

There are so many ways to be involved locally from free classes and programs offered by our libraries to all the Island organizations who need volunteers (see, and whether we like it or not, we can access these offerings and take the reins from the safety of our homes.

Help keep June Manning’s tradition alive and bring the Menemsha Coast Guard crew members working on New Year’s Day some holiday treats, dinner, soft drinks, snacks or desserts; bring them by the Menemsha station house between 4 and 5 pm on Friday or Saturday and ring the bell/knock on the front door. Follow our local Coast Guard news at

Pam Glavin has once again set up a “wishing tree” in honor of her love, Carl Widdis, by his gravesite. Anyone can make a promise to do a good deed, change a habit, or be of service in some way. The tree adorned with twinkling lights will stand until the spring. Take State Road to Rose Meadow Way and the Gay Head Cemetery will be on your left.

The Grey Barn Farm farm stand holiday hours mean they’re open daily Wednesday, Dec. 29, through Monday, Jan. 3, from 8 am to 5 pm.

It’s the final call to stock up on fish from the Menemsha Fish Market, before they close for January and February. Call in orders to 508-645-2282. I wish Stan and Lanette a wonderful winter break, the first in 18 years!

The Chilmark Community Church Sunday 9 am services are held on Zoom, the meeting ID is 890 298 4151, password 332743, or join at

Check It’s a Chilmark Thing on Facebook for up-to-date information about our town and Island.

Have a good week and Happy New Year to all.