Last winter was so late in arriving it seemed as if we might skip it completely — but you can’t say that about this year. So far, we’ve escaped the early deep snows of the rest of New England, but we certainly have had our share of cold and stormy weather.

I was off-Island for the big snow storm last week and got in some cross-country skiing so I don’t feel so envious now as I look out at my bare lawn. I am glad, though, to drive down my dirt road without too many of those ominous scraping sounds that come from driving in ruts with deep crusty snow.

Going off-Island, I’m almost always glad for the ferry ride with the time to slow down after the rush of getting ready to leave and before the traveling ahead. Since the new ferry Island Home arrived, I’ve been working on warming up to her.

The large size of the boat makes it hard to find someone but also provides lots of nooks for private conversations or hiding out when you don’t feel like talking to anyone. I don’t like having to climb two levels to reach the bathrooms, but I do enjoy the view from higher up. I’ve only ridden the ferry in the off season and there is almost never anyone outside on the top deck, three levels up. From that height, there’s a view of the far elbow of the Cape that I’d never seen before. Also, the top deck provides a nice place for walking laps, with little areas protected from the wind along the way.

This last trip off, I was one of the first cars in line for the 9:15 a.m. boat. Being early is never a guarantee of a good location on the ferry but that trip, I was loaded onto the dreaded lift — dreaded by me, anyway. I actually liked being high up inside the ferry and also liked the short ride as the ramp was raised into place. However, in Woods Hole I wasn’t too happy when they didn’t even start lowering the ramp to unload us until all the other cars were off the ferry.

On the return trip, in the waiting line lot in Woods Hole, I was asked politely how I felt about heights that evening and took the opportunity to turn down another elevated vehicle ride. I did have a good excuse, though, as the 6:15 p.m. ferry sometimes can make it a close call getting to the Chappy ferry before it shuts down at 7:30 p.m.

Rob Kagan of Chappy Unlimited thinks the island could use a recycling program. He says, “Even if you sort your recyclables for pickup, most (95 per cent) gets thrown in with the regular trash. The trucks are not set up to deal with recyclables and it is not profitable for them to change.”

One idea would be to have recycling bins set up someplace like the community center or parking lot at the Point, and then contract with a hauling business to empty them as needed. Maybe some energetic person will take on the challenge of setting this up and raising the money to run it.

Helen Miller is happy to be returning to her home on Chappy after a long stay in the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.

Beginning at 6 p.m. next Monday, Dec. 24, a holiday dinner will be held at the community center for all Chappaquiddickers living or visiting here. The community center should be looking festive with decorative greens, candles and a fire burning in the grate. Hatsy Potter, Liz Villard and her daughter Anna-Liza, and Claire Thacher will play music for us on their recorders.

The menu includes clam chowder, ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, squash, salad, and eggnog and punch, plus hors d’oeuvres. Many people are already contributing to this sumptuous feast, but other guests are asked to bring finger food-type desserts to share, and of course, any help setting up or cleaning up is welcomed — you can call me at 508-627-8894.

We are sorry to hear of the death of Peggy Jones, whose long association with Chappaquiddick began as a little girl back in the 1920s, when she visited with her parents, Barton and Dorothy Turnbull, and sisters, Jane (Knight — my mother) and Dorothy (Beum Phinney). She loved this island where she spent so many summers — her childhood dream was to not have to leave the Vineyard at the end of the summer. The dream finally came true in 1983 when she moved full-time to Wasque Farm with her husband, Curry. In recent years, she and Curry have lived in Concord, N.H.

In addition to her children, Barton, Peter, Steven, Carol, Janey, and Marianne, Peggy’s Chappy relatives include Knights, Phinneys, Gostenhophers, Tilghmans, Pinneys and others. Peggy always took generous care of a house full of children, as well as pets, having 23 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She and Curry were hosts to many gatherings of family and friends in the field and the old barn behind the farmhouse, including Fourth of July potlucks, volleyball games, weddings, haunted houses, and contra dances. A memorial service for Peggy is planned here on Chappaquiddick next summer.

I recommend checking out the “new” Edgartown library in the selectmen’s room at the town hall if you haven’t yet. The library Web site mentions “refashioning the space as a cozy library room.” I’d say it’s more like a cozy living room — the librarians have done an amazing job making it comfortable and welcoming, even to the point of serving coffee and delicious homemade (by Nis Kildegaard) coffee cake and biscuits. Also, it’s easy to see what’s new because most of the materials are recent, with more arriving weekly. 

Library director Felicia Cheney has been meeting with insurance agents and cleaning contractors about cleaning up the library after the recent “puff-back” from the furnace that put an oily, sooty film over the library’s interior. She’s done so despite the fact that she was scheduled to take some well-earned vacation time this week. Besides running the library full-time, Felicia has been working on her master’s degree in library science at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She recently received her degree. Congratulations, Felicia.

Two public computers are available at the library room which is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. The phone is 508-627-6189. The librarians have more time than usual to show people how to use the online catalogue and services, and it’s a cheery place to spend time.