Back in my Old Country for school vacation, I was felled by a cold or flu (who can tell?) Nonna’s been cooking for me and doing more for me than I could do for her. All three dogs are with me, visiting their grandmother. We probably had about eight to ten inches of snow last Sunday night, and I hear our Island schoolchildren woke on Monday to the delight of a day off, a perfect way to end their winter vacation. I was so sick last week I missed my ten-year-old nephew, Jonathan Alexander Gardella, performing with Brian Conway’s Irish music band at Dunne’s Pub on Wednesday, Irish music night. Nonna attended. She was very proud to see her grandson perform two songs on his violin with this wonderful group. I am feeling better and looking forward to his performance.

There’s much to do and learn on-Island during March, Women’s History Month. Start with seeing Arnie Reisman of Chilmark screen his latest film, The Powder and the Glory, tomorrow at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. Arnie highlights the careers of two famous entrepreneurs from the past, Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubenstein. For details, call 508-627-4441.

Meanwhile, if you feel overwhelmed by your financial situation — and who doesn’t? — you may register at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow at the Mansion House for a workshop from 9 a.m. to noon on the topic Own Your Money. Our Martha’s Vineyard Women’s Network is presenting some fabulous speakers to help you with these problems. You may also pre-register by calling 508-696-0038 or visiting

As if there wasn’t enough to do tomorrow, take your house guests and family to the Empty House Tour, presented by Habitat for Humanity, at the Captain Mellon house at 105 Main street, Edgartown, from noon to 3 p.m. This old whaling captain’s house will be renovated beginning March 9 by Island workers, decorators, and landscapers. Admission will benefit the Island Food Pantry. Call 508-696-6344 or e-mail for more information.

Now, I shall be returning to join you at Zephrus restaurant on Sunday, March 8, between 5 and 8 p.m. with the board of directors, friends and families of Women Empowered, our Island’s own nonprofit organization that helps women and men with life skills, financial and career renovations in a confidential, one-on-one manner. No speeches, no collections, just a great celebration of International Women’s Day. For the regular price of a dinner from Zephrus’ diverse menu, 20 per cent of this night’s proceeds will be donated to Women Empowered. You only have to eat and party! I must make mention of my good friends, Sherm and Susie Goldstein. It has not missed my attention that they support our community in so many ways. This isn’t the only function that gets their support, as they train our lifeguards, donate dessert profits to Island Food Pantry, and beyond. I know they won’t like the attention, but I love them and their very big hearts.

Our library has planned an informative short course on Island history given by Ann Allen. Preregistration is required. Class begins Tuesday, March 10 at 7 p.m. in the program room. You may register at the desk, or call 508-696-4211, extension 16, or online at

The library is also the place to meet on Wednesday, March 11 at 5:30 p.m. for the breast cancer support group. There is no fee and everyone is invited. I have heard the best responses from those who have attended, please don’t go through this without support. Call 508-693-6150 for more information.

The Martha’s Vineyard Women’s Network and the Chamber of Commerce are bringing back Cliff Robbins to aid you with small business development. Free, one-on-one sessions are available next Tuesday, March 10 and again April 7, for those who need some advice. People will be taken on a first come, first serve basis, so please preregister with Nancy Gardella at the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce, 508-693-0085, or contact her at Please notice the heading of this column. Once more, with feeling, that is a different telephone number and e-mail address from mine, the original Nancy Gardella. I am still beseeching her to change her name. I have been here 30 years, she has been here three. Who do you think should get the title? God bless her, I have enough to do without running the chamber also.

It is not too soon to think about school registration for September. Our public charter school offers alternative and highly individualized education for grades kindergarten through high school. Applications are due by March 13. A lottery will be held on March 16. I have had the pleasure to meet the principal, Bob Moore, and staff, and tour the school. You have the same opportunity at the open house on Wednesday, March 11. Kindergarten candidates tour at the school at 5:30 p.m., grades one through high school meet and greet at 6:30 p.m. I urge you to check it out.

Don’t forget to spring ahead tomorrow night and change your clocks, so you don’t arrive at the wrong time for church on Sunday!

Anniversary bouquets go out to Stuart and Deanna Bangs on March 12.

The birthday bandwagon pulls along Michael Preston and twins Doug and David Seward today. Tomorrow is a party for Jesse John Seward, Jacob Murphy, Dick Cayer and Louis Giordano. March 9 is shared by Ashley Shine and Naomi Paulson. And on March 12, James Taylor and Kane Joseph Araujo take the cake. Many happy returns.