Chilmark: Community Church, Chilmark Cookbook, Stillpoint, Peaked Hill Studio, and local farms

—MV Times

I can feel a refreshing chill in the breeze; am excited for the arrival of a new 2023-2024 planner; expect delays while driving between 6:30 and 8 am and around 2 pm for school children and buses; and regularly check the national hurricane center website hoping for sweet surfing conditions, brilliant blue skies, and none of the high wind and torrential rain. September is a glorious and unpredictable month.

Our family is in final preparations for our father’s memorial service, 2 pm Sept. 9, at the Grange Hall, 1067 State Road, West Tisbury. And it is hard. Dad often said as we were preparing for arrivals and gatherings, the most important thing is for people to feel welcome and wanted. He wanted them to feel connected to him.

Brene Brown defines connection “as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”

We all want to be known, and connection makes us more resilient to stress. I am out of practice being around people and am enjoying getting out to hear music, work with others, visit with friends, and foster new relationships.

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who volunteered for the Chilmark Community Church’s lobster roll sales. Ages 15 to 94! So MANY volunteers throughout the summer, from within the church family, from the Island community, and beyond: Shirley Kennedy, Connie Williams, Mary Beth Grady, Suzanne Cronin, Warren Doty, Ann Noyes, Hal Noyes, Pam Goff, Marie Wise, Corie Lanning and two friends, Virginia Stone, Billie Hancock, the Quinty family and six friends, Judy Mayhew, Charlotte Wright, Adam Breznick, Annette Anthony and Alexis, Mary Lundgren, Kathie Carroll, Emily Broderick, Kathy Teel, Marston Clough, Andy Carr, Ian Goff and his friend Zack and my mum, Anne Ganz, who came with her sketch pad and cheered us on.

While preparing to make cheese crackers and deviled eggs for a beloved family friend’s potluck, I pulled the Chilmark Community Cookbook published by the church off my bookshelf looking for a new deviled egg recipe — there aren’t any — but I recognized with delight that Mary Preston’s recipe for cheese crisps is very similar to my grandmother’s cheese cracker recipe. I love finding connections.

Congratulations to Thomas Bena for surviving the gauntlet of concerns and getting approval for Stillpoint to hold events. I am looking forward to all their gatherings.

This week was hard and friends made it so much easier when feeling overwhelmed creeped up. I’ve turned to Ashh Blackwood’s TikTok song, “Puff out your chest, take a deep breath, you’re going to be okay. Is it loud in your mind, just take your time, you’re going to be okay.”

The Howes House sent out a notice that their Annual Lobster Picnic in Menemsha will be Monday, Sept. 11, at noon, $35 all inclusive — lobster roll, chowder, chips, beverage, and ice cream for dessert. Pre-registration is required, so call 508-693-2896.

Valerie Sonenthal is still in person this month at her Peaked Hill Studio, so come check out a class. She wrote, “It’s been inspiring to introduce Rev6 Vitality work and Kaiut Yoga to the many new students passing through the studio this summer. Rev6 is fun, challenging, and only 30 minutes long. Although seated, we use wobble cushions to challenge the hips and pelvis, plus wobble boards, pipes and slant boards under our feet, besides hand weights.” If you are interested in taking Rev 6, please contact Valerie directly at 774-563-8282. You can learn more about Rev6 Vitality on her website Don’t forget to save the date for their full moon journey Friday, Sept. 29, 7 pm.

Looking through old photos as we prepare for our father’s memorial, I run across pictures of Rebecca Gilbert and her sister Lissa playing with a 1-year-old me in the stream by the beach. That was almost six decades ago. We have grown and deepened our connections to the place we call home. I know our ancestors are smiling on Native Earth Teaching Farm, 94 North Road, Chilmark. Now that it is September, I hope to get to one of these gentle goat yoga classes, Slow Flow Yoga with baby pygmy goats. $35 per person. For ages 13 and up. Sliding scale options are available. Registration and pre-payment are required. Email They are offered Saturday, Sept. 09, 10:30 am, and Wednesday, Sept. 13, 5:30 pm.

Also at Rebecca’s farm, at the Milokan Cultural Center, Sept. 10, 11 am to 1 pm, is a Family Drum Jam, a guided drum jam appropriate for families with younger children (ages 0-10). Come play their collection of instruments from around the world. Suggested donation $35 per family, $15 per person, and on Sunday morning, Yogic Band Bhakti: Kirtan Call and Response Chanting at the Milokan Cultural Center.

At North Tabor Farm, fall is meeting summer and they now have pumpkins and tomatoes and watermelon. Beetlebung Farm’s new barn on Middle Road is coming along.

The Chilmark Public Library has shifted to off-season hours, Sunday/Monday: Closed, Tuesday: 10:30 am to 5 pm, Wednesday: 10:30 am to 6 pm, Thursday: 10:30 am to 5 pm, Friday: 10:30 am to 1:30 pm, and Saturday: 10:30 am to 5 pm.

Thanks to Marshall and Katie Carroll, their Menemsha Texaco and Squid Row remain a lovely gathering spot, for visits with friends and when the timing is right, wonderful live music.

Finally, we are looking forward to seeing family and friends this weekend. May we continue to learn about each other, strengthen our bonds and respect for one another, and increase our resilience for all the ups and downs still ahead and — most importantly — our capacity for true joy. Until next week, wishing you all well.

If you have any Chilmark Town Column suggestions, email Claire Ganz,