Oak Bluffs: In like a lion, out like a lamb

Spring! — Joanne Lambert

“You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.”  –Indira Gandhi, first female Prime Minister of India

We need a lot more handshaking in this world, that’s for sure. The news is all about more weapons, more fighting, more suffering for the people of Ukraine and Russia. But there is the hopeful news: the amazing humanitarian efforts and the simple kindnesses that people are extending to one another to get through this tragedy of war. We continue to pray for the end to this catastrophe. 

It has been a classic month of March — in like a lion, out like a lamb! We have turned the page to spring, though I won’t jinx us by putting my down jacket away yet. But I can hear the pinkletinks on Farm Pond, and the birds are busy spring-cleaning the birdhouses in my yard. One of the more entertaining signs of spring is the turkeys doing their mating dance, the males puffing their feathers like they are posing for a Thanksgiving card.

Where else but the Vineyard can you spontaneously decide to bring a picnic lunch to Menemsha on a Sunday afternoon, and run into your next-door neighbor doing the same thing? I was happy to see Liz and Tim McHugh enjoying the sunny day with infant sons Leo and Lucas. The 3-month-old twins were learning the fine art of tailgating with friends at the beach, an important life skill for Island babies! 

The MV Cancer Support group was selling daffodils at various locations; I grabbed mine at Tony’s Market. If they are still available, be sure to get some to brighten your windowsill and support this amazing organization, which provides assistance to Islanders who are dealing with cancer. 

Our Island seems to be one big road construction project lately, especially in downtown Oak Bluffs and on the road into Vineyard Haven. Both projects are bringing big improvements to these high-traffic areas, and I do think we will be happy with the results. And happy to get back to just the normal craziness of driving through Five Corners! 

I was chatting on Sunday morning with Barbara Ronchetti, owner of the Island Alpaca Co. The farm was hosting the Family Center for a “Story-Walk” through the fields. Children and parents were reading picture book pages posted on the fences and interacting with the adorable alpacas. It was a beautiful, springlike morning, and there were baby alpacas in the barn. Island Alpaca was started in 2004, and now is home to more than 50 colorful Huacaya alpacas. They host events like their annual shearing event in April, workshops about alpacas, and even birthday parties and weddings. Or how about “Yoga with Alpacas”? The farm is open every day from 10 am to 4 pm; check the website for special event dates, or call 508-693-5554.

Be informed! The League of Women Voters continues its series of local candidate forums in partnership with MVTV on March 31, with the candidates for our Oak Bluffs select board. Gail Barmakian, Dion Alley, and Jim Bishop will answer your questions, which you can send to dmedders@vineyard.net. The forum is at 7 pm on MVTV. 

Mark your calendar: Oak Bluffs town meeting is April 12. Place and time TBD. Annual town election day is April 14.

In order to vote, you have to be registered at least 20 days before town meeting (March 23, for Oak Bluffs residents). If you want to use an absentee ballot, you must request it by mail by April 8, or in person by April 13 at noon. Contact the town clerk for more information: 508-693-3554, ext. 120. 

At the library, the Important Woman raffle will be ending on March 31, so be sure and fill out a ticket to win a gift certificate. “Wake-Up Wednesdays” has been extended through June, good news for those who are enjoying the 8 am coffee and conversation. Teens have “Fun Fridays” from 3 to 4, a place to hang out, talk, game, etc. Curbside crafts can be picked up on Wednesdays, and March 30 will be a lamb puppet. And don’t forget the Virtual Vineyard Book Club on March 31, discussing the hilarious and poignant “Hitchhiking With Larry David.”

Our end-of-March birthdays celebrate happy new dog-mom Joyce Dresser on the 25th, along with Hunter Ponte. On March 26, send heavenly wishes to June Manning. Happy birthday to you, Dan Zoll, on the 27th, and you, Rob Loyott, on the 29th. On March 30, happy returns to Grace Oslyn and Ann (Regan) Murphy. 

Happy spring! Send me your news!