Aquinnah: Outermost Inn, ice skating, Howes House, and library positions

—MV Times

I write this column on Sunday mornings, and this Sunday morning feels special. It’s a rainy Sunday in January. Is there any more blissful moment? The world is quiet. There is no way we can work outside. Visitors are pretty much gone home. Books and cooking and games and naps await. The cat is curled up on the bed, wanting nothing to do with rain, content with the warmth inside. The washing machine chugs away. It’s a real winter Sunday.

We are all shifting gears from the holiday happenings. Mallory Butler informs me that her entire crew spent this, their first holiday without Len, in Miami. Mallory, Jeffie, Kevin, Maeve, Orrin, Maxwell, and Nina were all together, ate great food, and played on the beach. The talented Jeffie created a whole Christmas morning for them overnight, including a tree, decorations, food, and gifts! Then Maxwell came back to the Vineyard with Mallory for a week’s visit. Excellent. Anyone who has lost someone dear feels their absence keenly during the holidays. My hat goes off to the Butlers for helping one another get through this in such a joyful way.

It may be a quiet time of year, but there are still things happening.

The Outermost Inn is still open. They serve lunch on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11 – 2, and Sunday brunch from 10:30 to 2 pm. They’re doing this until Jan. 22, and may even have a pop-up dinner at some point in there. It’s a lovely crowd that assembles at the OMI at this time of year. It’s mostly locals, glad for the quieter pace of life that winter brings, looking for neighbors to chat with, or just a place for a terrific bowl of soup or sandwich, or dessert, right here in their own backyard. The crew up there works hard to make you welcome and to create wonderful food for their guests. Take advantage of it while you can.

Chilmark School has begun its every-winter ice skating Thursday trips. I went with my granddaughter once, and was charmed to watch the bigger kids working with the littles, helping them to gain confidence on the ice. The pairs move around the rink, jerking and holding on, big kids giving encouraging words to the littler ones, little ones being grateful that this big kid is paying attention to them. By the end of the weekly sessions, there they all are, zooming around with glee. It warms your heart. Just as we teach our kids to swim, expose them to sailing, these Island children become comfortable with yet another aspect of life as it can be on this Island, and it’s available through their school.

On Thursdays, the Up-Island Council on Aging continues to host its weekly luncheons (call by Monday to reserve) at 12:30 pm, and January presentations of “Secrets of the Blue Zone” at 2:30 pm. On Wednesday the 17th at 1:30 pm, they have a ProCRAFTinators class, “Soap Making.” Call them at 508-693-2896 for further information.

Our library is chugging along, still offering up their books and periodicals and movies and coffee and good warm humor on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. They are getting ready to post Help Wanted ads for two positions, and you might be able to help. The positions are for a program coordinator/library associate and for a circulation coordinator/library associate. These jobs are not new, but they do come with updated job descriptions that more accurately reflect modern-day library practices than the old ones did. For example, included in the program coordinator position are words like Canva, Mailchimp, and WordPress (I had to look these up to see what they were), and a call for the demonstrated skill of knowing how to digitally record, edit, publish, and publicize — and these are only a few of the required skills. Both positions are 20.5 hours per week, and include benefits as outlined in the Aquinnah personnel bylaws. What is implied, but not directly stated, in either job description is the need for the people filling these positions to reflect the warmth and competence for which our library is known, for the willingness to stick with coming out to our end of the Island to work, for a sophistication in working with computers, and for having a true desire to be of service to this diverse and lively community. If you know of someone who is a nice person and who is highly qualified for either position, encourage them to apply. We deserve the best.

On the birthday front, I wish only the best to Carol Maynard and to Faith Vanderhoop, who share Jan. 15, and to Carrie Anne Vanderhoop, who celebrates on the 18th.

Now I’m off to my pile of books and to fold that laundry. Please write to me at with your news.

If you have any Aquinnah Town Column suggestions, email Kathie Olson,