Oak Bluffs: Snowman making first

A rose still in bloom in the snow. — Joanne Lambert

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”  –Martin Luther King Jr.

 We have stepped into 2022! As I write this, we have had one fake snowstorm (that was just a drill, folks!) but today the snow is falling in giant flakes and actually piling up. My last yellow rose blossom has been defiant so far, but this will probably be the final straw. It really is beautiful when snow covers the bare branches and lays upon the evergreens. From inside, that is. Although I do miss those days when a snow day meant we were suited up and out before breakfast. Snowman making first, then sledding at Farm Neck. 

When I had my Child Care program, I learned a trick about playing in snow with toddlers. Getting out into the snow meant at least 30 minutes of bundling — including searching for mittens, learning how to use zippers, debating the value of hats, and the inevitable last-minute, already-in-the-snowsuit, need to use the bathroom. Then, as exciting as it was to step into the snowfall and stick their tongues out, the fun would not outlast the cold noses and cheeks, or the urge to remove the mittens to feel the snow. So 10 minutes later, we were trooping back inside, and not as happily as we had started out! I finally figured out that a bin full of fresh snow could be brought inside for play. Spread out a large sheet or towels on the floor, fill a large plastic bin or a couple of bowls with snow, throw in some measuring cups and spoons, or toys and blocks — instant fun and learning! 

The forecast temperatures for the next week are all over the place, which you can tell from the mix of layers hanging by my door for walking. 

Aiyanna Elizabeth Gibson celebrated her second birthday on Dec. 28, with her mom Talia Rogers, grandmother Mary Alley, and great-grandmother Megan Alley. The four generations, plus Aiyanna’s three older brothers, sang “Happy Birthday” as she happily and hilariously demolished her birthday cake.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on Jan. 15, 1929. This year, his family has asked for action to honor his legacy. Local activist groups across the country will march over bridges to demonstrate for the passage of voting rights legislation that is stalled in Congress. On M.V., there will be a March for Voting Rights starting at Five Corners, across the drawbridge to Eastville Beach on Saturday, Jan.15, at 1 pm.

For budding poets out there, the Oak Bluffs library is offering an online Poetry Workshop with Donald Nitchie on Jan. 19 from 4:30 to 6 pm. This drop-in class is for everyone, and takes place every other Wednesday. Email ccooney@clamsnet.org to get the poems for the week and the Zoom link. Maybe you’re a poet and you don’t know it! 

Another great online offering on the 19th is the monthly BIPOC Voices Book Discussion. Facilitators Kharma Finley Wallace and Allyson Malik encourage you to share your voice about race, equity, and social justice in a safe, respectful space. It meets from 7 to 8:30 pm, and the Zoom link is on the library website. 

This is the season of community suppers, generously offered by island places of worship, with the help of volunteers. The United Methodist Church in the Campground is collaborating with Island chefs to offer dinners to go, every other Saturday through March. The next date is Jan. 22. Meals will be prepared for curbside pickup at the Parish Hall from 1 to 2 pm. Call 508-693-4424 by 7 pm on Friday, Jan. 21, leave your name, phone number, and the number of meals you would like to reserve. If you can volunteer to help, email Barbara Spain at darrybar@gmail.com.

The Family Center is offering “Open Center” time, which is an opportunity to use the Center space and materials during off-hours. For just one family at a time, you can get out of the house for an hour and have the Center to yourself, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and every other Saturday morning. You must preregister for your one-hour time slot; see the Family Center Facebook page for the registration link, or call 508-687-9182.

Happy birthday to Jenna Lambert on the 14th! Lianne deBettencourt also celebrates on the 14th. I have always been honored to share my birthday of Jan. 15 with Dr. King, and I enjoy a long birthday weekend thanks to him! Happy birthday to James Murray on the 16th, and the amazing Betty White, who would have turned 100 on the 17th! Marcia Valentzas and Patti Linn celebrate on the 19th.

Stay safe and well, and send me your news!


  1. Bravo to the Times for finding Joanne Lambert to replace Meghan Alley as host of the Oak Bluffs column. Her writing is spicy and refreshing. I look forward to reading it each week!

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