Chilmark: Joyous Chanukah celebration, goodbye to the Dunkls, Open Writing and Poetry Series

—MV Times

When the Cliffs are frozen, they can withstand the battering waves, but this storm was warm, wet, and windy. Strong surf and extra-high tides split off a chunk of a huge boulder that had emerged from the Cliffs a few years ago. Everytime a warm, heavy rain falls and high tides bring strong surf, large bites are taken. It was a relief when the temperature dropped and the rain turned to fluffy snow. 

Rarely does the weather stop us from getting outside, though, and it is lovely to notice you aren’t the only ones. Nancy and Joel Aronie danced in the wet wind while the Klezwoods band played their hearts out during the joyous Chanukah celebration and menorah lighting last Thursday in Owen Park, hosted by Vineyard Chabad directors Rabbi Tzvi and Hadassah Alperowitz. The food and cocoa were terrific, and we had a chance to reconnect with friends and learn that Matt Semel has finished his novel, and will be reading at Pathways on Tuesday, Feb. 7, from 7 to 9. On Christmas Day, we again spied Nancy and Joel, this time walking in Menemsha. 

The Dunkl siblings came to Martha’s Vineyard in 1960 “not to change its character; we came instead to preserve its character, ” Frank Dunkl said when they received the Creative Living Award in 2017. They are now preparing to leave the island. They share my belief in the benefits of a society of all different races, colors, creeds, and religions, where we are self-reliant and yet also help one one another. Their Christmas card contained the following: “Because Peter is now 78 years old, Frank is 77, and Heidi is 82, we are using this card to bring you up-to-date. Frank had a serious stroke in November 2021. He is recovering well, but has problems with balance that will take time to heal. Peter had a hernia operation, and is now fine. Heidi is slowing down a bit, but otherwise is in good health. Because the bedrooms are upstairs and the bathrooms are downstairs, we are preparing to move to our house in Virginia … It will probably take us a year to move, because after doing so many things to make a living, and living in the same house for 50 years, we have accumulated an enormous amount of ‘stuff.’ To sort out what to keep and what to get rid of is, at our age, quite a job. Then the logistics of moving and relocating our favorite possessions will keep us busy for some time.” We are saddened by this news, and understand their decision. 

If you are looking for something to do this week: Peaked Hill Studios is offering a Sound Journey at 4:30 pm on New Year’s Day. Enjoy a Restorative Sound Journey using Himalayan and crystal singing bowls, monochords, chimes, and other instruments. The resonant vibrational healing qualities of the instruments can help to alleviate pain and discomfort, inviting deep relaxation and relief. This enables the body to make the shifts necessary for healing to take place on all levels. Please wear comfy clothes. Mats, blankets, and head and knee support provided. Feel free to bring your own, if you wish. The studio has radiant heat floors for comfort. 

M.V. Yoga Barn is offering classes every day this week, including New Year’s Day. Their schedule is on their website,

The Chilmark library this Thursday, Dec. 29, offers hot cocoa and paper snowflake crafting from 10:30 am to 5 pm. Their two-for-one book sale continues. The library will be closed on Friday, Dec. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 31.

On Tuesday, Jan. 3, from 7 to 9 pm, Pathways M.V. Open Writing and Poetry Series with Ron Slate will feature writers Joanna Penn Cooper, who will read her fiction and talk about the popularity of ‘Flash Memoir,’ and local writer Donald Nitchie. Donald has led poetry writing workshops on the Vineyard for the past 25 years. 

The Grey Barn is closed until Jan. 5th. 

Wishing everyone a peaceful last week of 2022, and a Happy New Year.