I was driving home from Vineyard Haven this afternoon, snowflakes swirling around my car and twinkling lights decorating many of the yards I passed. It feels so festive this time of year. The tree welcoming all to West Tisbury (at the junction of State and Old County Roads) is my favorite, always the first to be lit, and signaling my arrival home.
Santa will be coming to the State Road Fire House Sunday afternoon, Dec. 9, 1 to 3 pm. I can hardly wait. There is nothing more exciting than seeing Santa arriving all the way from the North Pole, the fire truck turning into the driveway of Station 2, and the anticipation of everyone awaiting him.
Jonathan and Nathan Belain left the Island on Nov. 17 for their great cross-country adventure. They and Ronald, their dog, drove to Niagara Falls, headed west "through a lot of farm country. I think Nebraska went on forever." (Comments are courtesy of their mother, Roe.) They arrived in Colorado to spend Thanksgiving with their cousin, Mara Bradley, resumed their westward path ending in Redondo Beach, Calif., to cousin Luke Bradley's. After spending some time in California, Jon and Nathan will return to Colorado, pick up Mara and continue eastward to their grandmother's home outside Charlottesville, Va., where Ken and Roe and Fran Bradley will join them for Christmas. This trip has been a long-held dream of Jon's. Both guys are into snowboarding, so there have been stops at "every ski resort along the way." Roe didn't know whether Virginia will be the last stop before returning home, or if they might start all over again, heading off to British Columbia after Christmas.
Robyn Hanover left town to spend the winter in Ocala, Fla., where she continues her American Horse Trials training. She plans to have a web site up within the month, so Island friends can watch her progress at hanovereventing.org.
Rick and Cristina Reinhardsen have a new granddaughter. Her name is Gracia Cristina Marullo. Gracia was born Nov. 13 to Cynthia and Frank Marullo of Jackson, N.J. The Reinhardsens look forward to showing her off to Island friends next summer.
Mark and Maggie Bernard turned three on Nov. 21. Happy belated birthday wishes to the twins and their parents, Hap Bernard and Kate DeVane.
Town Clerk Prudy Whiting wants to remind everyone that annual census forms will be out soon. It is important to respond, especially if your address has changed. Failure to respond could result in your name being removed from the town voters' list. Please check with Prudy at Town Hall by calling 508-696-0148, to make sure you are registered. The last day you may register to vote in the up-coming Presidential Primary is Jan. 16. The date of Massachusetts' primary has been changed from March 4 to Feb. 5.
Bea Phear, Chairman of the Town Hall Building Committee, has announced the Committee's first public hearing to be held on Wednesday evening, Dec. 12, at 7 pm, at the Howes House. A preliminary floor plan, elevation sketches, and a site plan will be presented for discussion. The Committee wants as much feedback as possible from the community before they make their final choices. It is a busy time of year, but please try to attend this important meeting.
The Library's Holiday Party will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 11, from 4 to 5:30 pm. There will be cut greenery for making decorations, wonderful refreshments, and lots of holiday cheer.
If that isn't enough to get you in the holiday spirit, the Town Party will be held Thursday evening, Dec, 13, from 5 to 8 pm. Bring your best hors d'oeuvre or sweet to share and enjoy the company of fellow townspeople in front of a roaring fire at the Ag Hall.
Don't forget the Church Fair this coming Saturday, Dec. 8, from 9 am to 1 pm. They have the best Christmas wreaths and decorations, and the best fudge.
West Tisbury artists and artisans are displaying/selling their wares at two down-Island locations this holiday season. Every day till Dec. 24, 15 artisans will stock and man the Vineyard Holiday Gift Shop at Pyewacket's Antiques on Beach Road in Vineyard Haven. Hours are 10 am to 6 pm. Linda Alley's mustards and jams, Marlene DiStefano's knitted fingerless gloves, Linda Hearn's vinegars and quilts, Victoria Riger's lamps and beach plum jam, and Maybelle Medowski's colorful mittens will all be for sale.
Up State Road, at Beth McIlheney's store in front of Cronig's, jeweler Kathy Tackabury and printmaker Dan Waters will be among the exhibitors, craftspeople from all the Island towns. They are also open from 10 am to 6 pm daily, and Fridays till 7 pm to showcase works in different media. This Friday, "Works on Paper," cards and book arts will be featured, next Friday is leather and jewelry.
Rick Reinhardsen and fellow volunteers will be manning Salvation Army kettles Saturdays through Christmas at the following locations: V.H. Cronig's, Shirley's Hardware, both Stop & Shops, Woodland, Reliable Market, DeBettencourt's Garage, and Mardell's. To contribute or volunteer, please call Rick at 508-693-4271.