As the new year rolls in across the Chappaquiddick marshes, bringing with it what it will, I wonder about this season’s weather, especially as I started noticing cabin fever — even before the official start of winter.

A storm can come along and disrupt island life at any time of year, but somehow winter weather, with the likelihood of making us miserably cold outside or stuck inside for days, seems a more important unknown than in other seasons.

Will this winter bring snow and ice? Will my road be buried in snow drifts so deep I can’t drive anywhere for days? In spite of these thoughts, I’ve noticed a slight feeling of disappointment when I wake up and look outside each morning and see no snow — after all, it is winter.

In any case, there is not much to be done in advance about weather or any of the other of life’s vicissitudes. I have decided it’s important to get outside, though. With the warmer weather we’ve been having in the last couple of weeks, I’ve been taking lots of walks, which really helps stave off cabin fever.

Last week I walked out to the breach at Norton Point, which I hadn’t seen for nearly a month. The opening was smaller that day and the sandy points on both sides of the breach have grown in toward Katama Bay. The last third of the point on our side is narrowed and looks as if it’s regularly washed over in high tide. There are about four other places along the way where the tide must regularly flow through to the Bay. The breach certainly doesn’t look like it’s patching itself up.

If you’re looking around for things to occupy yourself on long winter’s nights, come to the next first-and-third-Wednesday community center potluck on Jan. 16. It will be a dinner and film evening, with Daryl Knight hosting. Appetizers will be served at 6 p.m., as usual, and dinner at 6:30. Then at 7 p.m., we can eat dessert and watch a film. Look for more information in next week’s column.

I like to have a project to work during the winter months. One of the things I want to do this year is try to figure out who writes those spam e-mail messages with subject lines like, “I am happy to contact with you!!” The body of the e-mail usually contains a long heart-wrenching saga, ending with the fact that I am the last surviving relative and will inherit a large sum of money — or I can make a bundle by agreeing to transfer some unclaimed bank funds through my account — but first I need to send some pertinent information.

There is a similarity in wording and garbled English, and they seem as if they all could be written by the same person — someone from a foreign country, most likely Africa, whose first language is not English. I guess we’re meant to think the writer is naive and wouldn’t be trying to steal every penny we own.

The last one I got, received from “Mrs. Gift Clement,” requested: (written just like this) “A,Your complete names b.Your house address c.Company name if any d.Private telephone number e.Private fax number f.Private email address g.Your brief profile h.Your Photograph I. Your bank account.”

It’s all very tempting to respond – I’ve just been trying to figure out if they need my bank account number, or if I should just send them all the money in it . . ..