Happy New Year! Fresh start, new resolutions, or are they same old resolutions? In any case, I wish you the best. I have been on the road for nearly two weeks and would love nothing better than to start the New Year by crawling into bed for another two weeks, something that commitments prevent. But after driving to White Plains, spending a Brooklyn Christmas on Dec. 23, and flying to Chicago on Christmas Day, I must tell you that I have just returned from spending one whole week in Rockford, Ill., visiting with my two grandsons and the Garza family there. I cannot forget to mention their wonderful dog, Nookie. My daughter in law’s family was so kind to me. Her parents, Rey and Pat were delightful, and her sisters and their children kept me entertained. Three-year-old grandson Corbyn spent two nights at my hotel with me. The rest of the family joined us for a whole day of using the water park and arcade there. The Clock Tower Resort was only twenty minutes by car from most of my new family’s homes so it was very convenient. We had cousin Ian and his friend, Dakota, and the two young Clark boys. Not a girl among the group except for the aunts and mommies. Chris Clark called from Iraq to check on our holiday progress. I can’t wait to visit again.

Our library wants you to know that all programs for children and young adults have resumed this week. Infants and young adults are entertained on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. with stories, songs, and rhymes, all bundled up in weekly themes. The toddlers, ages three to five, enjoy their program on the same day from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Chess club is also on Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. for ages six through high school. All playing levels are welcome. Teen games night is on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., ages 12 and up. And for us grown-ups, don’t forget Dr. Jim Norton’s fascinating lecture series, Under the Burqa, which begins on Wednesday, Jan. 9 and is free. I’ll see you there.

The Kennedy Studios on Main street, site of the wonderful Island Art Gallery, has just gotten in 2008 calendars which feature the new ag fair poster along with many posters from bygone days. You can’t miss this. Stop by and check them out, as well as the new exhibit featuring Marston Clough’s artwork.

Amid all the holiday happiness and good will I received sad news. A wonderful friend from White Plains and West Tisbury, Liz Doyle, died on Christmas Eve. Liz was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend to all. She was an accomplished nurse, an educator, a reader, a multiculturalist, a person you could discuss any subject with enthusiastically and always be bowled over by her knowledge. I don’t accept the phrase: “She died before her time.” When you die, it is your time. But I do believe that not only the good, but many of the good, die young. And that leaves us inconsolable. Great as she was, memorable as she can be, Liz Doyle died young and we are left bereft. And that is the burden to us and the glory to her. May she rest in peace and may we take comfort in the fact she will never be forgotten.

The birthday bandwagon pulls along Barsha Tolin and Helena Nivala today. Jan. 5 is shared by Jimmy Bishop and Anthony Iammarino. Jan. 7 is claimed by Jamie Amaral. Jan. 8 is for Thelma Baird and Sonya Mayrand. Jan. 9 honors Lou Jannace and Tarny Levett. And on Jan. 10, Dominic Leigh Clark, Aja Stamp, Sandra Healy, Brigitte Araujo, Teika Lampart, and Rita Shapiro take the cake. Many happy returns.