Chilmark is dark and rainy today as I write. I was preparing to send you a word picture of the lovely snow-covered fields and ice-covered brooks, but it all has changed with today’s heavy rains and we are back to soggy and brown. I am not complaining as this is so much better than what our friends on the mainland are suffering this winter. Instead I will tell you how pretty the dozen or so swans looked against the gray sky as they flew over Menemsha bight this week and how much fun it was to watch some very large seals playing in the surf at Squibnocket beach one day recently. There were also some hearty souls parasailing with surfboards last week in the surf. The seals must wonder ...

We send condolences to the family and many friends of Dick Reiss, of Weston and Menemsha, who died at his home this week at the age of 91. He was well known in Menemsha where he kept his sport fisherman, the Peptide, for many years. He was a friendly and interested neighbor on Larsen Lane and had many friends here. We will all miss him as it was always pleasant to visit with him, usually including interesting discussions of whatever was current.

There are plans afoot for some entertainments for all of us to keep us cheery through January.

Mark your calendars for Jan. 24 when there will be a dance for the benefit of the Chilmark School with funds going to the after-school programs. The dance will be at the community center from 7 to 11 p.m. and the music will be provided by the Smokin Flamingos from Redding. They have generously played for fundraisers on the Vineyard before and they are a favorite of many here. Merrily Fenner will play with them, as will several other Martha’s Vineyard musicians. The Chilmark School parents will provide many and varied desserts, and there will be a live auction of many donated gifts. A good time for all. Merrily tells me the music will be in the 60s and 70s style for you dancers! Tickets may be purchased from Merrily Fenner, 508-645-9242; Alicia Knight, 508-645-2015; and Judy LoRusso, 508-645-2287. They are $12 each.

We send best wishes for a speedy recovery to Lorna Flanders who has been down awhile with a mending leg. We hope she will soon be up and out soon.

The Democratic Party members will meet at the Howes House tomorrow, Sat., Jan. 10 at 9 a.m. to make some plans for activities to come in the ‘new era’ soon to be here. The Chilmark Democrats plan to hold a mid winter caucus at the Chilmark Community Center on Feb. 8 at 10 a.m.

The Chilmark library will host the inauguration on the big screen in the meeting room on Jan. 20 beginning at 11 a.m. All are welcome.

The Chilmark Church is holding its Tuesday night suppers again. They will take place at the church and offer soup, salad, bread and dessert to all who come at no charge. Those who can are asked to bring a donation for any part of the meal.

The Chilmark library is offering a new service. If you are house-bound for whatever reason and want a book, video, DVD or talking book or magazine that the library has, you may call and request it and they will arrange delivery to any one in town. The icy roads are not for everyone.

On Wednesday, the library offers the twice a month chowder and a movie matinée at noon on Jan. 14. The chowder is donated by the Menemsha Fish Market and the movie is a classic.

The library continues to have the Friday films at 7 p.m. There is a film tonight called In America and the film for next Friday, Jan. 16, will be Brassed Off.

The chef series continues at the library on Wednesday evening, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. with chef Jean-Marc Dupon telling us how to make demi-glace sauces.

Herbalist Holly Bellebuono will present the Wednesday program on Jan. 21 at 5:30 p.m. She will explain how to make herbal products. She is the owner of Vineyard Herbs and has much experience in Island grown herbs. The program is free to all.

Recently the Friends of the library introduced a new program at the library meeting every Thursday evening to share their handicraft efforts. Calling themselves the evening stitching group, they have found a mutual interest in knitting, and more crafters are joining in each week. Currently, several knitters are working on fishermen knit sweaters of a design from the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. However, Susan Murphy wants us to know that there are knitters at all levels of experience learning from each other every week and more are welcome to join them. There is no cost, just bring your own yarn and needles. Please e-mail Susan at for details.

Coco Adams sends word that there will be a flea market at the VFW hall in Oak Bluffs on Jan. 24. There will be another in Chilmark at the community center in mid February.