Oak Bluffs: Growing older, classes and clubs, concert benefit, and early education resources

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—MV Times

Don’t grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the Great Mystery into which we are all born.”  –Albert Einstein

It is so true that being old is a state of mind. People always seem to be amazed at the accomplishments of folks who are elderly in years. While there is no denying that the body goes through changes, like almost everything in this life, it is our attitude that matters. Barring the very real and debilitating diseases of the mind, like dementia and Alzheimer’s, we continue to grow and learn beyond “retirement age” — which I’m not sure even exists here on the Vineyard! Maybe being surrounded by ocean is the fountain of youth. Wallace J. Nichols wrote about the “Blue Mind” — the healthy effect that being near water has on the human mind. Maybe it’s just the cost of living that keeps many of us working. But in our work, we connect, we stay active and involved with the community. That is not a bad thing. Keep moving — and as Clint Eastwood said, “Don’t let the old man in!”

I celebrated my birthday last weekend with a night in Boston. It was fun, meeting up with friends and family, and being out in the city. It was snowy on the way home (many thanks to Zach Sylvia for the great driving!), and Woods Hole was having a serious blizzard. After much angst about whether we would make it home, with boats being cancelled for mechanical issues, I have to thank the SSA crew for taking good care of everyone in extreme conditions, and we all got home safely without much waiting. Vineyard Haven Harbor is always a welcome sight, and it was especially beautiful in the snow.

One way to keep moving is to join Christina Montoya at the library on Thursdays from 5 to 6 pm for Salsa Suelta. No experience or partner necessary! Register at oakb_mail@clamsnet.org.

The library is on its winter schedule: Take note that closing time on Tuesdays and Thursdays is 6 pm until summer, when they will resume the 8 pm closing. Also note that the library will be closed on Tuesday, Jan. 24. The good news is that they continue to open at 8 am on Wednesdays for coffee (supplied by Tony’s Market) and conversation. The Chess Club meets on Saturdays, 2 to 3:30 pm, all players welcome. The Board Game Club for fourth and fifth graders is on Saturdays from 2 to 3 pm. Adult Game Night is at the Barn, upstairs, on Wednesdays from 7:30 to 10 pm.

Here’s another way to keep moving: Dance to Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish this Friday at the Loft. It is a benefit for the Charter School, and the eighth grade class international travel. The fun starts at 6:30 pm. It’s $25 at the door, or tickets in advance through the Charter School. See you there!

The spring semester for the MVCET/Cape Cod Community College three-credit classes in Early Childhood Education is kicking off with student orientation on Thursday, Jan. 19, at the MVCS Early Childhood Center from 6 to 7 pm. If you are interested in registering for one of these classes, which are funded by generous grants, and also supply wrap-around support services, you can register at mvcet.org, or contact Courtney Daly at MVCET immediately: courtney@mvcet.org. It is an exciting opportunity, and MVCET offers other coursework also, so don’t miss it if you’re interested in furthering your education.

The M.V. Family Child Care Network received a grant from MVYouth to establish a “lending library” of curriculum supplies, to be shared by the 12 licensed home-based programs. With input from the program directors, a wide array of fabulous curriculum supplies were purchased, and the Lending Library will be disbursed at the monthly network meeting on Jan. 25. These supplies will bring more fun and enrichment to these wonderful and critically needed programs. If you would like to learn more about the Family Child Care Network, or about becoming a licensed childcare provider, you can contact me at joannelamber@gmail.com.

Fern and Feather Preschool is hosting an Open House on Jan. 26 from 5 to 6 pm. You can see the beautiful facility, located on the spectacular grounds of the Felix Neck Sanctuary, a property of Mass Audubon, which is the largest nature-based conservation organization in the state. Come meet the staff and learn about nature-based early education. RSVP for this event by emailing director Anne Aouwerkerk at aouwerkerk@massaudubon.org, or call 508-627-4850.

Birthday happiness to Sara Smestad, Marcia Valentzas, and Patti Linn on Jan. 19! Mary Jean Connolly will celebrate on Jan. 20, and so will John Gonsalves. Jan. 21 is the day for Talia Rogers, Catherine Deese, and Tristan Araujo. Holly Nadler will accept birthday hugs on Jan. 23.

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If you have any Oak Bluffs Town Column suggestions, email Joanne Lambert, joannelamber@gmail.com.