Oak Bluffs: Many happy tears

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— Shelby Regan

I was looking for a quote to start the New Year, and I couldn’t find one I liked more than this from Primo Lombardi: “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.”

There is a bench in honor of Primo overlooking the beach in front of Ocean Park, where I like to go sit and think about this quote about life. It sounds so simple and yet it says so much. This past year brought many losses — too many friends and neighbors passed in 2021 for me to try and list them all here. You can read their stories in a wonderful column in this paper called “The Lives They Led.” Our Island community has certainly been enriched by their wonderful lives.

In exciting Oak Bluffs (and personal) news: I am ecstatic to announce the engagement of my daughter Jenna Lambert to Zachary Sylvia. This happy event took place on Christmas Day at Inkwell Beach, to the surprise and delight of Jenna’s parents and the couple’s two dogs. Zach’s parents, Tim and Janet Sylvia of West Tisbury, along with his brother Brandyn and niece Alyssa, were off-Island for Christmas with his sister Brie. All were alerted via FaceTime and there were many happy tears.

Wake Up Wednesdays continue at the Oak Bluffs library through January. Be there at 8 am to start your day with coffee and conversation. The monthly Virtual Book Club is reading “The Emperor of Ocean Park” by Stephen Carter. This is a great story that moves from the East Coast to the Island, following a family’s fortunes and misfortunes. The discussion will be on Jan. 27 at 7 pm, so grab the book now.

This is what I need: Decluttering and Depersonalizing Your Home” on Jan. 13 with “Mike the Appraiser” Mike Ivankovich. Mike will present a fun, light program explaining decluttering and sharing 50 things you can throw away today. This Zoom program is free and it starts at 7 pm. Find the link & more info on the library website: oakbluffslibrary.org

Before you actually throw it away, though, remember that Chicken Alley Thrift Store needs your donations. They accept walk-in donations Wednesday through Saturdays from 9 to 11 am, with a two shopping bag maximum. For larger donations (like the six bags I brought over last week), you can easily make an appointment online or call 508-693-2278. The store on Lagoon Avenue in Vineyard Haven is open for in-person shopping Wednesday to Saturday., 11 am to 5 pm. I prefer in-person shopping, because that is when you find those items that you didn’t know you needed! But, Chicken Alley now has an online shop where you can see a sampling of items available. Check it out at chickenalley.org. All sales benefit M.V. Community Services.

The Polly Hill Arboretum will offer a Winter Walk through the grounds on Jan. 8 from 10 to 11 am. This is a great chance to see the unique colors and textures that this season brings to the beautiful plants and trees throughout the arboretum. It will be led by horticulturist Oliver Osnoss and it only costs $5 (free if you are a member).

Happiest of Birthdays to Sue Curley on the 9th and Sue’s favorite son-in-law-who-lives-in-Oak Bluffs, Richie Combra, on the 11th. More birthday balloons to Holly Thomas on the 7th, Brenda Leonard on the 10th, and Jack deBettencourt on the 12th.

As for New Year’s resolutions, this quote sums it up for me. Someone I greatly admired, Bishop Desmond Tutu, said “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

Keep doing good, and send me your news!