Note to self: There is always enough time to take a walk. Our neighborhood is unmanicured, hilly, and uneven. It is wildly perfect.
Last week my son walked into a cluster of ticks. The coyote that leaves poop where paths cross was spotted on a camera in the woods near the house. And on Monday, shotgun hunting season started.
I’ve lived in the Rocky Mountains and remember the basics: keep your dog leashed, eat on-the-trail snacks or meals carefully, don’t leave or throw food on the ground, secure trash, and always be on the lookout for predators. If you see a coyote, loudly clap and yell, stand tall, and back away — don’t run.
This time last year my elderly 65-pound dog, Blitz, our mini poodle, Scout, and I enjoyed hours long off-leash walks following deer trails through woods and meadows. Last summer Blitz died. It is sad to think that those might be the last lost-in-thought off-leash meandering walks we’ll take.
For the moment Scout and I are taking a break from the trails and enjoying walking Farm Road, Tea Lane, and Meeting House. I can’t help skipping when we crest a hill and when it rains, I like to splash puddles.
I also like to dance and deeply appreciate that this Friday, Dec. 1, Pathways at the Chilmark Tavern from 7:30 to 8:30 pm offers a half-hour Partner Swing Dance Lesson with Tom Carberry of M.V. Ballroom Dancers and then a half-hour of dancing. At 8:30 pm, DJ DERN takes over.
On Saturday, Dec. 2, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm, Bruce MacNelly’s An Approach to Collage Workshop takes place at Pathways. Bruce begins with a talk about his approach to collage making, which includes an unconventional method of working intuitively. This enables him to very quickly conceptualize and commit forms, color, and lines to create narratives. This is followed by the Workshop. Bring your favorite pair of scissors and your assortment of images or printed matter from which to be inspired, or select from magazines and books using scissors provided by Pathways. Attendance is limited to 15, and you can register at pathwaysmv.org.
On Saturday, Dec. 2, from 7 to 9 pm, there’s live music with Sean McMahon and Friends and also Rick Padilla and Friends. Sunday, Dec. 3, Rebecca Gilbert from Native Earth Teaching Farm brings her famous Natural Indigo Dyeing to Pathways from 3 to 5 pm. Join us as we dye provided bandanas, bags, and yarn a beautiful shade of blue. You can bring small natural fiber items.
Foster parents are life savers. The annual foster parent recruitment and informational event at the home of longtime Vineyard foster parent Elexis Wildanger takes place Sunday, Dec. 3, from 11 am to 2 pm. Social workers from the Department of Children and Families will be there to answer any questions. This is an informational event with no obligation. The Cape and Islands are in desperate need of foster parents. If this is something you’ve ever thought of doing, I encourage you to attend. There will be applications. If you are unable to attend and are really interested, please call parent resource worker Christopher Russo at 508-760-0275.
Sunday, Dec. 3, 9:30 to 10:30 am, MVBLM (Martha’s Vineyard Black Lives Matter) will host a silent reflection and sharing on the first and third Sunday of each month through December. The first Sunday happens at the Chilmark library and on the third Sunday of the month at 9:30 am at Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs. Look for the “Only you and I can end racism” sign.
The Chilmark Community Church hosts Island artists and musicians for a free Offering of Music and Light to brighten these darker days. Join them Sunday, Dec. 3, from 5 to 7 pm. Performers include Adele Dreyer, piano; Missis Biskis, trio with guitars; Sean McMahon, singer/songwriter; Molly Conole and Mark Lovewell; sea shanties; Loon Lane Players, banjo and guitars, and other guests. Music, candle lighting, and a simple supper will be served. Free. All are welcome.
I look forward to making a fruit and spice garland at the Chilmark library on Tuesday, Dec. 5, from 2 to 5 pm. There is no signup required and they provide the materials. You can email Tracy Thorpe at the library for more info, email@example.com.
If you have any Chilmark Town Column suggestions, email Claire Ganz, firstname.lastname@example.org.