Aquinnah: I was reminded why I live here

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— Kyra Steck

I know that I complain a fair amount about the quiet winters here, and especially the winter weather. Usually at some point in April, when it drops down to 32° and there’s a chance of snow or hail, and my friends are all away, and there’s not much to do, I really want to call it quits, and I begin to think about living elsewhere. Anywhere, just not on an Island. This was happening to me regularly over the past few weeks, but then on Friday, I was out for a walk, and as I neared the road to the Circle, I looked up and thought, “That’s an awful lot of cars parked up there for a half-hour after the sunset.” As I came around the top of the hill, I saw Christina Cook coming out of what used to be Jason Widdiss’ shop. I stopped and chatted with her, and learned that her grandson, Max, is finishing his first year at Case Western, and that he is doing very well there.

It turns out Christina was there for an opening party of Del Araujo’s new coffee and gift shop, Aquila. I went in and saw more people I knew, including some from Oak Bluffs! I spent a very pleasant half-hour or so, and on my way out saw Jason Baird, whose daughter, Mae, will be graduating from high school soon. Christina was also leaving, and Jason wanted to make sure that she had his cell number so that she could call him for help with something. It was such a sweet interlude to my walk, I felt so welcomed into the party and touched by the care Jason had for Christina, that I was reminded why I live here. And not just on the Island, but in Aquinnah. 

Most of the retail shops are open at the Cliffs, and the Smalleys announced that their general store (in the old Orange Peel Cafe space) will open on May 22. Del’s coffee and gift shop, Aquila, is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm. You can always check the instagram page if you are not sure if they are open. No word yet on when the Aquinnah Shop or Cliffhangers will open. 

Joan LeLacheur is hosting an open studio on Friday, May 6, and Saturday, May 7, for Mother’s Day. She will have her ocean jewelry in the form of bracelets, pendants, necklaces, earrings, and mosaic tiles. Joanie’s studio is located at 42 Old South Road in Aquinnah. You can call or text her at 508-939-1691 to schedule an appointment. 

The annual town meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 10, at 6:30 pm. Town elections will be held on Thursday, May 12, from noon to 8 pm. Applications for absentee ballots are available at town hall, and are due by May 9 at 5 pm. Completed absentee ballots are due by 8 pm on May 12. Come and exercise your civic duty. 

At the library: Saturday, May 14, at 1:30 pm, Juli Vanderhoop discusses small things we can all do to mitigate our impact on the climate and become more self-sufficient. This discussion is free and open to all. Email jmatejcek@gmail.com to register. The next meeting of the book group will be Thursday, May 19, at 3 pm. The group will discuss “Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer; the group will take place outside on the deck. Email aq_mail@clamsnet.org to register. The “Little Bird” music classes are continuing through May on Tuesday mornings at 10:30 am. 

The next “Food Forest” cleanup will be held on Sunday, May 15, from 10 am to noon. For those who are unaware, the town of Aquinnah and the parks and rec. committee are revamping Town Hall and the area behind it. There are many plans afoot, including a renovation of Town Hall and some affordable housing units. The parks and rec. committee are working on building a new playground and developing a food forest. The forest will include native plants and fruits that the community can utilize. We had our first cleanup this past weekend, and man, did we get a lot done. There is, of course, more to do, and it is enjoyable to do it with as many people as possible; if you are able, please come by. 

Happy birthday to Alex Taylor, who celebrates on May 6; Alex started off this year by running the Boston Marathon two weeks ago, so we don’t need to worry about her losing speed anytime soon. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms/stepmoms/grandmothers raising kids out there! It takes a village, and we have a good one.