I never seem to get to the beach before Labor Day. But September and October are my favorite times for early morning snorkels along the north shore, and late afternoon play in the waves with a boogie board while the sun warms my face and paints breathtaking vignettes where the shore meets the sea.
The gate at Lucy Vincent Beach is open, and according to my mini-poodle, there is pee-mail worthy of a lengthy sniff reading and quick squirt in response on every piece of driftwood, boulder, and cliff corner. It was disappointing to see a few piles of poop. I keep my dog leashed unless I am romping with him or playing fetch.
It was understandable and disappointing to have Priscilla Warner’s “Tibetan Singing Bowls” healing bath at the Chilmark library rescheduled to Oct. 7 because of Hurricane Lee.
We pulled boats, braced wiggly windows, and staked plants before heading down to the Vineyard Chabad for Rosh Hashanah dinner.
It is raining, and I’ve sent an email asking if there is space in the Goat Yoga class at Native Earth Teaching Farm this evening. Looking at their calendar, I see they are offering a People’s Plant Picnic on Saturday, Sept. 23, 11 am to 1 pm, and Goat Yoga classes Monday and Wednesday, 5:30 to 6:30 pm.
After the winds calmed, it was beautiful to see groups of sunflower stalks topped by bright-petalled blossoms. Monarchs and bees busily flitted between the soft brown centers while I trimmed what was broken. I carry an EpiPen and normally feel a rush of adrenaline-fueled fever whenever I hear buzzing, but this time it was clear that I and they were busy with parallel tasks. I appreciate moments like these.
Creative, innovative, and community-minded aptly describe Juli Vanderhoop. Her Orange Peel Bakery’s breads and treats, pizza nights, and collaborative meals are not merely delicious but regenerative — deeply infused with reverence, wisdom, and nutrition for the heart, mind, and body. Last week Robert Seedplanter, Haudenosaunee tribal member, American Red Cross volunteer, firefighter and EMT, visited the Orange Peel Bakery to give a Juli a tribal offering for the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah). Juli is a Wampanoag tribal elder and Aquinnah Select Board member, and has served on many boards. She is one of those who listens deeply, carries a lot of other’s thoughts and wishes, and embodies a broad and deep perspective. It behooves us to listen to what she has to say, and to follow her example. Juli doesn’t just say, “I want to help,” she does.
Congratulations to all of the volunteers who helped make the 21st NAACP George Tankard Jr. Memorial 5K run and kids one-mile fun walk a success on Sunday despite being rained out on Saturday. Congratulations to my sister, Holly Ganz, for coming in fourth overall, and winning the female division. I hope she displays the trophy proudly. Proceeds from the event to go to the NAACP scholarship fund. M.V. Regional High School and M.V. Public Charter School students are eligible to apply. The Vineyard chapter of the NAACP, founded in 1963, is the oldest civil rights organization on the Island, and actively supports the Island community.
Next Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 5 pm, at the Chilmark library, author Kathy Elkind will speak about her book, “To Walk It Is to See It,” based on the 1,400-mile Grande Randonnée Cinq (GR5) footpath she and her husband walked. It starts in the Netherlands, crosses Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland, and ends by traversing France through the Alps from the north to the south, ending in Nice. Kathy Elkind is an experienced long-distance ambler, writer, and foodie, who can be reached at kathyelkind.com. Free.
For some of us, walking alone isn’t wise. If you want to be matched with someone who maybe only wants to walk on even ground, the beach, or long hikes, the Howes House keeps a list of names and preferences. To be added, call 508-693-2896.
The 78th fishing Derby is going strong. In case you are wondering, the fish caught doesn’t go to waste. After weighing, most are donated and fileted by volunteers for the Island’s elderly. Fish is available from the Howes House, Thursdays and Mondays until Oct. 12.
Save the date for Soup and Scattegories: Oct. 2, noon, at the Howes House. In the Howes House’s newsletter, I noticed mention of a pilot safe-ride program called Go Go Grandparent. It is a fully subsidized, concierge service that works directly with Uber and Lyft to transport for elders. It is all done by a live operator, not an app. Please be aware this is piloted toward folks who may not drive anymore and/or meet certain requirements. Call for more information at 508-693-2896.
Chilmark Flea, put on by the Chilmark Community Church, closed out its 47th season. A huge thank-you to all the faithful shoppers, vendors, and especially manager Annette Anthony for keeping all the pieces together every Wednesday and Saturday, from June 17 to Sept. 6. Thank you to the Rev. Charlotte Wright, Kathy Teel, Julie Flanders, Clark Goff, Emily Broderick and Kathie Carroll, Marie Wise, Virginia Stone and Corie Lanning, and Rolino Joseph and Gabby Carr. This is truly an example of “it takes a village,” and the village shows up.
The Menemsha and the jetty are busy, the water is still warm enough for swimming, and the sun is prompting the flower buds to open. Life is good.
If you have any Chilmark Town Column suggestions, email Claire Ganz, firstname.lastname@example.org.